Open Directory®️ Competitor

By George Lattimore Posted June 9, 2018

Open Directory Competitor

IT admins are asking, “Is there an Open Directory (OD) competitor that tightly integrates with Mac®️ systems the way OD does?” Thankfully, the answer is yes: JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®️ provides an excellent alternative to Open Directory for Mac integration, and this blog will highlight some key talking points for IT admins contemplating a change.

Crossroads with Open Directory

Considering alternatives to Open Directory


We’re all well aware of how Apple®️ has been
dialing back the focus on the macOS Server, right? Well, it’s still unclear whether Apple will ultimately support solutions like Open Directory long-term, and right now, all indications show that macOS Server is not going to be around much longer.

Open Directory did an excellent job of tightly integrating with Apple Mac systems, so an obvious initial requirement for any OD competitor has to be native support for Mac desktops and laptops. The good news is there are actually solid options available for IT organizations to make a smooth transition to an Open Directory alternative.

Shifting to a Cloud Competitor

mac management jumpcloud


Historically speaking, the primary Open Directory competitor was a legacy directory service called Microsoft
®️ Active Directory®️ (AD). While it was technically possible to manage Macs with AD, it has been difficult to integrate the platform with Macs and other non-Windows®️ IT resources. But, that was then. Now, a cross-platform solution catering to Mac and Linux®️ systems from the cloud can certainly be a viable competitor to Open Directory.

For IT organizations thinking of shifting from on-prem directory services like OD, moving up to the cloud seems to be the logical next step. There’s simply no reason for modern IT organizations to trade one legacy identity provider for another and shortchange their potential. Now, more than ever, the appeal of shifting to a cloud directory service presents Mac-centric organizations with an opportunity for progress.

As you’re reading this, JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service is securely managing and connecting users to their IT resources through their Mac systems, tightly managing user access, and executing GPO-like functions across a fleet of Mac machines. With support for a wide range of non-Windows IT solutions, Directory-as-a-Service strongly resembles a reimagination of Active Directory for the cloud era.

JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service

JumpCloud directory-as-a-service

Is your organization considering an Open Directory competitor with Mac integration functionality? Be sure to check out the JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service platform to see if migrating to a centralized directory in the cloud is the right move for you. Contact JumpCloud directly and one of our experts will be happy to answer any of your questions. You can also set up a personalized demo, or just go ahead and try the platform out for yourself!

George Lattimore

George is a writer at JumpCloud, a central source for authenticating, authorizing, and managing your IT infrastructure through the cloud. With a degree in Marketing and an MS in Public Communications and Technology, George enjoys writing about how the IT landscape is adapting to a diversified field of technology.

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