Requirement #1 for a Modern Directory – Cloud-based

Written by Rajat Bhargava on November 3, 2014

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(This is our second installment of our series of blog posts discussing the requirements around a modern directory service.)

The most fundamental component of a modern directory service is that it must be cloud-based.

In today’s cloud era, the modern directory service needs to be both cloud-based and cloud-friendly to be effective, scalable, and able to fully integrate with existing systems. The modern identity provider, managed as a highly available service in the cloud, should provide an organization with the clarity it is familiar with when weighing decisions regarding other SaaS services. Specifically, the move to a directory service as a managed service should illuminate the obvious inefficiencies that the alternative can bring. I’m referring to the excessive time and resources required for installing, configuring, and managing an Active Directory or OpenLDAP instance on premise.

In contrast, the cloud-based directory allows users easy access, management, and scalability of their identity provider. To go further into detail, here are three key benefits to a cloud-based directory:

1—It eliminates problems regarding management of hardware and software

On-premise directories are cumbersome and costly to manage and maintain. Modern directories are cloud-based, making them easy to access and manage, and don’t require cumbersome physical upkeep or software maintenance.

2—It works seamlessly with other cloud-based solutions

As a cloud-based solution, modern directories work well with other cloud-based services. For example, that may mean tightly integrating with Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers such as AWS so that an organization can easily manage their cloud servers. It may also mean closely working with all of the Single Sign-on (SSO) providers that are helping organizations manage access to their Web applications such as Salesforce, Dropbox, and Workday.

3—It works in complex work environments

Today’s organizations don’t have just one network as was common a decade ago. Rather, modern organizations may have many networks. Their on-premise network is where their employees are connecting to the Internet and doing their work. Many companies today are simply an Internet connection with minimal infrastructure at their office. The cloud provider or hosting provider is another network. What’s more, there may be specific sub-networks, including development, test, staging, and production. A modern directory must traverse all of these networks without challenges. Controlling user access in the past had a lot to do with whether your systems were in the same network. That doesn’t work in today’s cloud environment. Therefore, a modern directory service needs to be adaptable.

JumpCloud® Delivers Cloud-Based Directory Solutions

While the five requirements are all critical, requirement #1 may just be the prerequisite. Without a cloud-based option, it is difficult to see how a modern directory service will fulfill its promise to connect employees with the IT resources they need regardless of location and time. When you are looking for your next directory service, cloud-based should be your number one requirement. You are invited to try our Directory-as-a-Service® platform. Get started today because your first 10 users are free forever.

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