Identity Management Category Directory Services

Written by Vince Lujan on March 7, 2018

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The identity management landscape is changing rapidly. In fact, it may be one of the hottest IT markets and has been for the last few years. The confluence of cloud infrastructure, web applications, and heterogeneous platforms is driving the dawn of a new era in identity and access management (IAM). Specifically, in this post we will discuss the innovations in the identity management category directory services.

The Development of Directory Services

evolution of the Identity Management category Directory Services

The modern era of directory services kicked off with the advent of LDAP. The creation of the LDAP protocol led to the directory services platforms OpenLDAP and Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD).

OpenLDAP and AD both would go on to become incredibly popular. For example, OpenLDAP is leading the way in technical implementations via their open source model, while Active Directory became the monopoly in the space and is implemented in virtually all organizations.

It’s easy to understand why these solutions were successful in the past. Active Directory was focused on Windows platform and applications, which was the norm in the early 2000s. It also required on-prem resources which was the way the network was architected back then.

Those that used OpenLDAP did so for their more technical platforms – i.e., Unix, Linux, etc.

Often, OpenLDAP would be an adjunct directory service to AD. The problem was that the two directory services didn’t integrate well. So, either the IT admin had overhead in managing a brittle integration, or the end user had two identities to manage.

Next Generation Cloud Identity Management

Next Generation Identity Management category Directory Services

Interestingly, these approaches were considered the state of the art for many years. Active Directory had become one of the most successful products from Microsoft, and as a result, it was embedded into the core of an organization’s IT infrastructure. Of course, that meant that IT admins were loathe to change solutions, even if there was a better solution out there (which there wasn’t for the longest time).

Then, web applications, cloud infrastructure, mobile devices, and Mac and Linux platforms transformed IT environments. This massive transformation required new management tooling, but because IT organizations had been centered around Active Directory there was slow movement to change.

Over time, though, with Windows representing a much smaller portion of the IT infrastructure, the identity management category for directory services had to change. The good news is that new innovations in cloud identity management started to drive a new era of cloud directory service.

Called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®, this new approach integrated a wide range of platforms, protocols, providers, and locations of IT resources and connected those to a new generation of much more mobile and sophisticated end users. The result has been a new paradigm of directory services.

Learn More about the Identity Management Category: Directory Services

Get Started and Learn more about JumpCloud's Identity Management category Directory Services

Contact JumpCloud to learn more about the identity management category directory services. You can also sign up for a JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service account to see a cloud directory service in action. Your first ten users are free forever.

Vince Lujan

Vince is a writer and video specialist at JumpCloud. Originally from the horse capital of New Mexico, Corrales, he has lived in Boulder, Colorado for three years. When Vince is not developing content for JumpCloud, he can usually be found at the Boulder Creek.

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