The Fall of AD and Rise of the Domainless Enterprise

Written by Brenna Lee on August 17, 2021

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The preferred tools for building, maintaining, and improving a modern IT environment have changed dramatically over the years. At first, it made sense to house on-prem technical infrastructure like a domain controller within an office that employees would visit every day to accomplish their tasks — plus, it was the only option. Along the same lines, it was logical to use Microsoft Active Directory (AD) through the early 2000s as the primary source of truth across IT environments that consisted largely of Windows devices and applications. 

However, as time progressed, web apps became more popular, IT environments evolved to include Windows, Mac, and Linux devices, remote and hybrid work became the new norm for many people, and cloud infrastructure technologies (e.g. AWS) became front and center. All of this led to on-prem infrastructure and AD falling behind which opened up an opportunity for a new vision to enter the marketplace: the domainless enterprise. This term refers to the removal and replacement of the on-prem domain by a non-physical, cloud-hosted “virtual domain” (or what we call the domainless enterprise) that provides the flexibility and security needed to support remote and modern workforces.

In other words, IT admins still get to enjoy the core competencies of traditional directory services using a modern, cloud-based approach. No longer do you need to rely on an internal network or physical infrastructure for security — using this domainless enterprise approach, security is tailored to each user or group of users, device, network, and role-based authorization.

The elements that make up the domainless model:

  • Each access transaction is point-to-point rather than requiring an access gateway or VPN
  • User access control through core identities
  • Cross-OS device management and trust
  • Network paths are secured
  • Monitoring and data logging

Why is this important?

  • 87% of CISOs believe that remote work is here to stay (source: Help Net Security)
  • 53.4% of IT admins surveyed by JumpCloud say that managing remote workers is one of their biggest ongoing challenges (source: JumpCloud)

As the IT landscape continues moving forward, it’s important to add scalable processes and technology into your IT environment to make future organizational improvements easier. See how turning your organization into a domainless enterprise will set you up for long-term success, that’s unachievable with the outdated on-prem strategy, by downloading our technical guide.

The guide goes over:

  • What the domainless enterprise model is and how deploying it can benefit your organization
  • The popularization of remote work and the flexibility that comes with, and how a cloud-based, domainless strategy is needed to manage such a workforce
  • How modern IT environments challenge legacy directory services, and why these traditional solutions are no longer viable for many organizations
  • The key benefits of a domainless model: centralized control, security, and simplicity
  • How current AD admins can transform their IT environment to a secure, cloud-forward, domainless model

Read More: The Fall of Active Directory and the Rise of the Domainless Enterprise

Brenna Lee

Brenna is a Content Writer at JumpCloud that loves learning about and immersing herself in new technologies. Outside of the [remote] office, she loves traveling and exploring the outdoors!

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