Replace Active Directory® in 5 Steps

By Rajat Bhargava Posted November 4, 2016

There is a move to replace Active Directory in organizations today. Microsoft’s legacy, on-prem directory services solution isn’t what it used to be to an organization.

Honestly, that really isn’t Microsoft’s fault.

The IT landscape has shifted so significantly over the last decade that it has been hard for a traditional software solution to adapt. In fact, in most cases like this in the IT sector, a replacement solution emerges and takes over. There is usually a period of transition and migration, but depending upon how that is handled that can be relatively painless.

In this post, we will show you how Directory-as-a-Service® can replace Active Directory in 5 easy steps. Let’s first just quickly talk about why you should replace Active Directory and why Directory-as-a-Service is the right choice.

Reasons to Replace Active Directory 2016-07-22 12-42-05

If you are an all Windows shop with no intention of changing to other platforms or moving to the cloud, then you are better off sticking with AD. If you are any other type of organization, you should be leveraging an open, independent identity management platform such as Directory-as-a-Service.

As organizations move to mixed platform environments with MacOS and Linux, leverage cloud infrastructure such as AWS, and major SaaS platforms like Google Apps for Work and Microsoft Office 365, Active Directory is managing less of your infrastructure. As a result, an alternative to Active Directory is a better bet to centralize user management. There are a variety of other reasons to move to a cloud identity management platform including security, multi-protocol support, more efficient on-boarding and off-boarding and more, but that is a good start to get you thinking about why moving to a unified cloud directory service makes sense.

Once you’ve made the decision to shift to Identity-as-a-Service, the next step is to think through how you can migrate from Active Directory to Directory-as-a-Service without hassle. The good news here is that you can take your time and make the move at your pace and convenience. The AD migration model enables both directory services to run in parallel until you are ready to eliminate AD.

(1) Start by Signing-Up for Directory-as-a-Service

daas Directory-as-a-Service replace active directory

You can sign-up for a free account, and get 10 users free forever.

(2) Install the Active Directory Bridge

You will then install a little agent on your Active Directory server that will sync it with the cloud directory service. Any changes to AD will be reflected into Directory-as-a-Service as appropriate.

(3) Select the Users You Wish to Import into the Cloud Directory

For testing purposes, you have complete control over which users make the leap over to JumpCloud.

(4) Test and Verify

Now you can connect any number of IT resources to the virtual identity provider. This means that you can run AD and DaaS in parallel and ensure that users are syncing properly, IT resources are authenticating, and users are able to leverage the platform as expected. Note, that you will not be able to authenticate Windows devices that are still connected to AD. That is the next step.

(5) Dissociate Users from Active Directory

When you are ready the last step is to eliminate the tether to Active Directory. Here you’ll cut the cord and shift user authentications over to Directory-as-a-Service.

Say Goodbye to AD

And, that’s it. It’s an easy 5 step process to replace Active Directory in your network.

More organizations are taking this path than ever. They are realizing that an alternative to Active Directory makes a great deal of sense for their heterogeneous environment. Managing Active Directory in the modern IT environment is arduous enough. The Active Directory migration process doesn’t need to be long and painful, as well.

If you would like to learn more about how to replace Active Directory in 5 steps, contact us. We’d be happy to help you. Or, feel free to sign-up for an account and give our next generation Identity-as-a-Service platform a try for yourself.

Rajat Bhargava

Rajat Bhargava is co-founder and CEO of JumpCloud, the first Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS). JumpCloud securely connects and manages employees, their devices and IT applications. An MIT graduate with two decades of experience in industries including cloud, security, networking and IT, Rajat is an eight-time entrepreneur with five exits including two IPOs, three trade sales and three companies still private.

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