It’s Time to Put LDAP in the Cloud

By Greg Keller Posted October 1, 2014

The cloud. It has changed everything for small to large businesses alike. Simplifying management, reducing infrastructure to run it, always-on service and lastly significant cost-reductions. So many services that have been traditionally managed on your premises or data centers have been moving to the cloud, but one interesting area hasn’t made that move yet…your user directory service. Do a Google search on “hosted LDAP”, “virtual LDAP”, “LDAP-as-a-Service”, or “LDAP in the Cloud” and you don’t come up with a lot. Why? Most organizations just haven’t thought about outsourcing their internal directory. It might be because of concerns around networking, management, or security. Or, it just may be because it never occurred to them that there could be providers that could host your directory service as a SaaS-based service.

As we introduced our user management solution for servers, one of the immediate requests that we received was to be an LDAP host. We talked to a large number of folks who had similar challenges and problems — they didn’t want to take the time to setup, manage, and maintain LDAP, but they clearly wanted to have a directory service that would connect their users to servers and applications. The comments that we heard ranged from “I have to manually manage my users because I don’t have the experience to run OpenLDAP” to “I’m an expert at LDAP, but just don’t want to take the time to run it – my time is better spent elsewhere.” And, we’ve heard many variations in between (read the full story of how we got here).

What Does LDAP in the Cloud Look Like?

As a result, we’re proud to announce new functionality that will let you host your LDAP with us. We’re leveraging our user-management core and great UI as the foundation to bring you a fully featured and robust solution for your OpenLDAP woes. Now, using JumpCloud, you can use the LDAP protocol to authenticate your users directly. A new, exciting development is that you can now agent-lessly authenticate your LDAP-based applications against your directory service hosted with us: simply point your applications to us and it just works.

The benefits to you? You don’t need to setup and manage LDAP. You get a great UI to manage your users and their access while letting us do the heavy lifting of configuration, maintenance and ensuring high-availability. No on-prem or cloud-based servers for you to pay for and care for. All of your endpoints and applications can easily communicate to us – no more worrying about how to network your LDAP server to your cloud-based servers and applications. And, perhaps best of all, you don’t need to be involved in user provisioning and resets – that’s taken care of automatically from our self-service portal.

If you are using LDAP internally and are interested in off-loading the hosting, management, and maintenance of OpenLDAP, drop us a line. We’d love to help by being your LDAP-as-a-Service.

Greg Keller

Greg is JumpCloud's Chief Product Officer, overseeing the product management team, product vision and go-to-market execution for the company's Directory-as-a-Service offering. The SaaS-based platform re-imagines Active Directory and LDAP for the cloud era, securely connecting and managing employees, their devices and IT applications.

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