OpenVPN LDAP Support from JumpCloud

By Zach DeMeyer Posted March 25, 2019

Now more than ever, the internet-centric atmosphere of the job market is allowing employees to work remotely. In fact, in 2017, at least 23% of the workforce did their jobs remotely, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So as more employees operate outside of the brick and mortar workplace, IT admins look to virtual private networks (VPNs) to provide secure remote network access. VPNs are nothing new, they have been around for a while and many VPN solutions rely on legacy authentication protocols like LDAP and RADIUS to authenticate remote users against a central user directory. IT admins struggle to migrate these VPN services into the new age of federated identity. Thankfully, for Directory-as-a-Service® admins there is LDAP support from JumpCloud® which can be used with OpenVPN.

But, before we discuss LDAP support from JumpCloud for OpenVPN, let’s talk about OpenVPN as a whole.

What is OpenVPN and OpenVPN Access Server?

OpenVPN is the name of the open source project started by the co-founder of OpenVPN Inc. OpenVPN protocol has emerged to establish itself as a de- facto standard in the open source networking space with over 50 million downloads. OpenVPN is entirely a community-supported full-featured open source SSL VPN solution which uses the GPL license.

OpenVPN Access Server is the commercial VPN solution offered by OpenVPN Inc. While based on the open source project, Access Server meets the needs of businesses by offering support, higher availability and scalability, easier configuration and client distribution, and other business-critical features. As with any VPN, managing who has access through the VPN is critical.

User Authentication

Traditionally, OpenVPN Access Server administrators would either configure the credentials of the authorized users in the local database or connect to legacy directory services solutions, such as Microsoft® Active Directory® or OpenLDAP™. As IT admins and DevOps engineers know, the additional overhead and management of an identity provider (IdP) can be significant. Couple that with existing infrastructure management requirements, and it is easy to understand why IT admins and DevOps engineers are looking to off-load the management process of user access.

Use of JumpCloud LDAP with OpenVPN Access Server

JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS) admins are well aware of the identity management power the DaaS IdP is capable of. Users can be easily populated in the directory and authentication can occur via LDAP, SAML, RADIUS, native OS APIs, and more. What some may not know is that they can use their JumpCloud instance to manage access to their OpenVPN implementation. This ability is thanks to JumpCloud’s LDAP-as-a-Service, a managed LDAP instance leverageable from the cloud.

With JumpCloud’s cloud LDAP service, OpenVPN Access Server’s admins can authenticate end user access to the VPN via a cloud LDAP solution that doesn’t need to be managed internally. IT admins and DevOps engineers simply configure their OpenVPN Access Server authentication to occur via JumpCloud’s global network of cloud LDAP servers using the Admin Web Interface. This LDAP support from JumpCloud is making it easy to off-load the heavy lifting of user management for your OpenVPN instance.

Not a JumpCloud Customer?

If you’re not a JumpCloud customer, you may not know exactly what Directory-as-a-Service is. Directory-as-a-Service has reimagined Active Directory and LDAP for the modern era of IT. The cloud-based IdP connects users to their systems, applications, servers, networks (including OpenVPN instances), and more. This True Single Sign-On™ experience is upping efficiency and scalability for tens of thousands of organizations, a benefit that you can reap today.

Whether you want to use Directory-as-a-Service for OpenVPN LDAP support, or for any other identity management need, you can try JumpCloud for free. Signing up requires no credit card, and includes ten complimentary users forever. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to drop us a line, and our Sales or Success staff would be happy to help.

Zach DeMeyer

Zach is a writer and researcher for JumpCloud with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He loves being on the cutting edge of new technology, and when he's not working, he enjoys all things outdoors, making music, and soccer.

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