How to Sync Active Directory with Modern IT

Written by Zach DeMeyer on March 6, 2020

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Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) has been a mainstay in organizations for the past few decades. Since the inception of AD, however, a lot has changed in the field of IT. A major challenge IT organizations currently face is how to sync Active Directory with modern IT. 

What is Modern IT?

Today’s IT landscape is fascinating. Modern innovations have revolutionized the workplace:

  • Applications and infrastructure are fully available from the cloud, meaning their users can leverage them wherever and whenever they please. 
  • The Windows® OS, while it still dominates market share, is no longer the only player at the table with macOS® and Linux® nipping at its heels. 
  • WiFi, VPNs, laptops, and even mobile devices usable as workstations have enabled the rise of the remote worker.

Compared to the IT environment of yesteryear, things today are incredibly different. No longer are workstations limited to on-prem Windows desktops. Applications and infrastructure exist outside the domain. The control that AD once had over an IT organization is starting to wane.

Syncing AD with Modern IT Using Multiple Solutions

The IT solution industry responded to AD’s waning control in force, but instead of addressing the problem as a whole, vendors simply released point solutions into the market to address individual pain points. Tools such as directory extensions, identity bridges, web application single sign-on (SSO), privileged identity management, governance platforms, and more popped up to aid IT admins with individualized needs. IT admins then had to purchase and integrate these various solutions into their AD infrastructure to extend AD user credentials to non-domain IT resources.

Although this approach works for many organizations today, it’s complex, time consuming, brittle, and costly. Furthermore, it forces IT organizations to continue to rely upon their on-prem infrastructure. In the grand scheme, it seems like two steps forward, one step back.

Syncing AD with Modern IT Using One Solution

In order to sync Active Directory with modern IT while addressing the overhead of previous approaches, IT admins need to turn to comprehensive cloud identity management platforms, like a cloud directory service. 

The cloud directory service represents an emerging generation of AD extension solutions that are cloud-based and integrate multiple components into one tool. This includes web application SSO, cloud LDAP and RADIUS, user and system management for Windows, macOS, and Linux, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and much more. It is, in essence, a reimagination of Active Directory for modern IT.

A cloud directory service could replace AD entirely, but organizations can also use it to sync Active Directory with modern IT resources without ousting their current infrastructure. By integrating a cloud directory service with AD, IT organizations can extend their AD instances to their various cloud resources with a single comprehensive solution.

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Video:  AD Integration Tutorial:
Does the prospect of a single solution to sync AD with modern IT resources sound interesting to you? Schedule a free personalized demo with us, and request to see our Active Directory Integration feature in action.

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