Leveraging Cloud Identity Management in DevOps

Written by Jon Griffin on June 15, 2017

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DevOps organizations are the modern version of ops and infrastructure groups, usually comprising of a mix between developers and ops personnel. Their job is to codify much of the operational infrastructure making it more resilient, flexible, and automated.

But even advanced organizations run into challenges when it comes to managing user access across their vast, varied infrastructures. This post is about how leveraging cloud identity management in organizations can accomplish many of the goals of DevOps organizations, and minimize the associated challenges.

DevOps Infrastructure

devops identity server

Today, organizations are moving much more of their infrastructure online. The motive is often financial. Virtual servers require less upfront investment and essentially no maintenance over time. But that’s not the only reason for the move to the cloud. Many of today’s companies offer a product or solution that is inherently online and it simply makes sense to run a business “by and for the cloud.”

Whatever the reason, the end result is that DevOps organizations have become more critical than ever. Because of this, DevOps organizations are transforming IT infrastructure from being a cost center to a part of the revenue generation chain.

Key parts of the DevOps infrastructure often include the production infrastructure, the network, development processes/infrastructure, testing processes/infrastructure, and the monitoring systems. It’s a wide set of IT resources that engineers manage and run. Often, the challenge for IT admins and DevOps engineers is their need to tightly control user access to these critical pieces of the infrastructure.

Attempts at Solving the Issues

DevOps Tools

Historically, the IT and DevOps organization has leveraged either manual user management, config management solutions (such as Chef, Puppet, Salt, Ansible, and others), or legacy directory services solutions such as OpenLDAP™ or Microsoft Active Directory®. But no matter how you slice it, these approaches leave a lot to be desired for IT and engineers.

On top of having a number of SaaS-based tools to manage and networking infrastructure to maintain, DevOps organizations need to manage the server infrastructure either on-prem or within Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers such as AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, and others. Some examples of the SaaS tools that need to be managed would be GitHub, Atlassian Cloud, and many others.

On the networking side, IT and DevOps organizations may have responsibility for switches, routers, storage, or WiFi infrastructure. All of these “other” solutions can’t be easily tied to a config management tool or even an on-prem directory service.

The Solution for DevOps Identity Management

the future of cloud IAM

Because of the variety of IT resources and the locations of those resources, IT and DevOps engineers are turning to cloud identity management as their approach to centrally manage user access across systems, applications, and networks. As a next generation IDaaS solution, Directory-as-a-Service® is securely connecting users to their systems, cloud or on-prem servers, web or on-prem applications, storage infrastructure, and networking gear. The idea is to have one identity – it could even be their G Suite or Office 365 credentials – to leverage across their entire set of IT resources including cloud servers, source code repositories, monitoring tools, and more.

Cloud Identity Management for DevOps

DevOps doesn’t have to mean one-off coding projects when it comes to identity management. Directory-as-a-Service has already done the heavy lifting to create an agile, cloud native, and secure cloud identity management platform.

If you would like to learn more about how cloud identity management can support your organization, drop us a note. We’d be happy to walk you through how modern cloud IAM solutions are becoming a key part of the DevOps tool chain. Give Directory-as-a-Service’s free account a try for yourself. Your first 10 users are free forever.

Jon Griffin

Jon Griffin works as a writer for JumpCloud, an organization focused on bringing centralized IT to the modern organization. He graduated with a degree in Professional and Technical Writing from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and is an avid learner of new technology from cloud-based innovations to VR and more.

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