By Zach DeMeyer Posted October 30, 2018
IT admins need to constantly be on their toes, given the spread of IT resources leverageable by today’s workforce. Like a boxer, admins must roll with the “punches” that the modern workplace can throw at their directory services’ identity management capabilities. Some directory services, however, can be flat-footed and aren’t designed to adapt to changes in the IT scene. You can’t authenticate like a butterfly or authorize like a bee without a nimble directory service.
The Reigning, Aging Champ
When it comes to directory services, none is more widely used than the legacy Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD or MAD). From its inception nearly twenty years ago, MAD has been an on-prem mainstay for IT admins due to its sleek Windows integration and group policy objects (GPOs) among other features. While it may have been the benchmark standard of its day, MAD is anything but nimble. It’s hard to be swift when you’re tied on-prem by miles of Ethernet cable and weighed down by big, blocky servers. It’s even harder to be nimble when you have trouble federating user access to non-Windows systems, like Mac® or Linux® devices.
See, today’s IT scene is constantly changing, and a directory service needs to be able to react to these changes just as quickly. Since Active Directory hit the scene, the IT market has evolved dramatically. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, starting with Salesforce and others, have changed the way the workforce accesses resources. The cloud has offloaded the weight of on-prem file storage, computing servers, and more off of IT shops. Workers have become remote, leveraging WiFi to make work happen virtually anywhere.
A Flat-footed Directory
MAD, however, has practically sat like a stone amidst the innovations of the cloud era. When dealing with web applications, the on-prem AD needs single sign-on (SSO) tools to bridge the gap between its servers and cloud-based work resources. IT admins need to implement identity bridges to link their MAD instance to their users’ Mac and Linux systems. VPNs (virtual private networks) are required to permit remote users to access network resources. With all of these add-ons, it’s hard for MAD to be a nimble directory.
There is, however, a directory service on the market that is quick enough on its “feet” to adapt with the changes of the modern age of IT. This solution is a cloud-based directory, and it uses the LDAP, SAML, and RADIUS protocols to provide users with a True Single Sign-on™ experience, regardless of provider. With sleek endpoint-centric identity management, the nimble cloud directory authenticates access for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems without additional software. The solution is called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®.
A Truly Nimble Cloud Directory Service
JumpCloud is your nimble directory service for the cloud era. Designed for modern IT admins, Directory-as-a-Service allows organizations nearly complete freedom of choice regarding their apps, systems, networks, and more. With a constantly growing library of SAML connectors to connect to web applications and Policies for managing systems on a fleet level, JumpCloud helps admins stay on their toes for whatever resources their users need to leverage. To learn more about the nimble directory service, Directory-as-a-Service, you can attend one of our weekly webinars. You can also contact our team with questions or concerns. As always, the JumpCloud platform is free to try forever, with ten users included to get your feet moving.