By Zach DeMeyer Posted April 5, 2019
As IT organizations are shifting their infrastructure to the cloud, many are trying to figure out the best cloud-based alternatives to on-prem identity and access management (IAM) solutions. Specifically, some are interested in an LDAP provider from the cloud. This concept of cloud LDAP has recently emerged in the IAM space. It serves as an effective way for IT admins to shift the overhead of implementing and managing an LDAP infrastructure to the cloud.
What is LDAP?
The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) was created in the early 1990s and has become one of the core authentication protocols over the years. In fact, LDAP was so critical to IT that it would go on to spawn two major identity and access management solutions: Microsoft® Active Directory® and OpenLDAP™.
Active Directory is generally focused on Windows®-based resources, while OpenLDAP is more tuned for technical applications and solutions, which are often Linux®-based. Both of these IAM platforms would go on to become dominant on-prem solutions, assisting IT organizations with managing user access to their IT resources to this day.
Open-Source LDAP Providers
Open-source LDAP providers, like OpenLDAP or Red Hat 389 Directory, require the use of on-prem servers to properly implement. These servers were often difficult to set up, manage, and monitor. Integrating applications and systems to authenticate with LDAP providers was often challenging as well.
And, of course, there was the process of making these servers highly available, and then, ultimately, securing the infrastructure. For organizations looking to shift to SaaS-based platforms and eliminate on-prem infrastructure, legacy LDAP providers were not the answer.
Cloud LDAP Provider
Since it is becoming increasingly apparent to IT admins that traditional LDAP providers can’t cut the mustard for modern IAM, a new option is required. This new LDAP provider needs to offer a cloud-based implementation of LDAP, hosted in the cloud. By doing so, the work and maintenance required for on-prem LDAP servers is essentially subverted.
The good news is that there is a cloud LDAP provider that does just that, replacing the need for on-prem LDAP infrastructure completely. IT organizations can simply point their legacy IT applications to the virtual LDAP infrastructure in the cloud and authenticate access to those apps in an instant.
LDAP-as-a-Service from JumpCloud®
This cloud LDAP provider is JumpCloud, offering LDAP-as-a-Service as a part of the Directory-as-a-Service® platform. By hosting OpenLDAP servers in the cloud, LDAP-as-a-Service allows IT admins to leverage LDAP without any of the hassle of actually implementing it. And since LDAP-as-a-Service is tied directly into JumpCloud’s cloud directory service, there’s no additional IT infrastructure required.
LDAP is only one of the many protocols supported by Directory-as-a-Service. IT admins using JumpCloud can reap the benefits of the SAML and RADIUS protocols for cloud apps and networks, respectively, as well as effective cross-platform system management using group policy object (GPO)-like capabilities called Policies. This True Single Sign-On™ allows end users to access virtually all of their IT resources with a single set of credentials, saving time and reducing friction in the modern, cloud-forward era of IT.
Try LDAP-as-a-Service Free
Signing up for Directory-as-a-Service gives you full reign over the product, including cloud LDAP, for free for up to ten users. After that, you can either buy cloud hosted LDAP a la carte or pay for the entire JumpCloud product as your needs dictate.
If you would like to learn more, please contact us.