By Ryan Squires Posted October 16, 2018
We’re often asked by IT admins why they should use JumpCloud® over Okta®. Truthfully, comparing Okta and JumpCloud is a bit like comparing apples to oranges. In the complicated world of identity management, it is easy to get confused about who does what and why their services will be valuable to an organization. The aim of this post is to cut through the clutter and get to the bottom of what service is best for your organization.
Once Private, Now Public
To keep it simple, think of Okta as a web application single sign-on (SSO) solution for large enterprises. About a year and a half ago, Okta was still a private company. Then, on April 7, 2017, Okta went public. For a glimpse on how Okta makes their money, look no further than their earnings releases. Those releases will show you that Okta makes the majority of its money on selling to the largest enterprises in the world. A quick visit to their website shows that they count 20th Century Fox, Adobe®, and News Corp. as their customers.
Okta Tied to On-Prem
Most of these enterprises run Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD), which makes sense given the fact that Okta occupies the web application SSO space—an area typically comprised of solutions that layer on top of AD. These solutions federate AD identities to web applications. Unfortunately, however, in order to extend AD identities to Mac® or Linux® systems, you’d also require an identity bridge. That’s a lot of additional work to get the systems and people that are already in your environment working – and many companies exist to makes these things happen. The biggest competitors to Okta are Microsoft’s own Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS), Amazon, and Google®’s SSO solutions.
But, as with many of these SSO providers and identity bridges, they lack the robust ability to secure networks with deep RADIUS integration. Instead, organizations are often left simply sharing SSID and password combinations instead of securing their networks with unique credentials for each individual.
Further, should your organization have any on-prem applications that authorize via LDAP, an OpenLDAP™ server is probably the best bet, but again, implementing additional on-prem hardware is a massive time sink. Thankfully, JumpCloud exists to provide all this functionality from the cloud – no hardware to setup and configure – and much more.
From the Cloud to You
JumpCloud and its Directory-as-a-Service work from the cloud to provide you with everything you need to Make Work Happen™ in one cloud-forward solution. Think of JumpCloud’s service as a reimagination of Active Directory for the cloud era. Designed for the cloud, a key concept within Directory-as-a-Service is True Single Sign-On™. This feature works by utilizing a single set of credentials, whether they’re integrated from G Suite / O365 or Workday or created and stored within JumpCloud. Directory-as-a-Service allows users to access all of the IT resources they need daily. That includes legacy LDAP applications on-prem (OpenVPN™ and Jira®), secure wired and WiFi network access via RADIUS, web applications (Salesforce®, DocuSign®), cloud infrastructure (AWS®, GCE, and Azure®), on-prem and off file servers (NAS devices, Samba, Box™ and Dropbox™), as well as any of their systems whether they run Windows®, Mac®, or Linux® systems. These capabilities fall outside of the typical SSO space.
What’s Best for You?
All considerations in tow, if you are a large scale global enterprise with web app SSO needs, then Okta may be the right choice for you.Okta has shown that it works well within that global enterprise environment. On the other hand, if you are a mixed-platform organization looking to shift your directory service to the cloud, give JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service a try. If you’re wondering why you should use JumpCloud over Okta, look no further than JumpCloud’s ability to act as a directory and SSO solution combined, with no AD required. See what life is like without having to manage an AD implementation; sign up today for a free account. This free account allows you to manage up to 10 users for free, forever. And, it doesn’t require you to input you credit card information. Additionally, feel free to contact us or visit our YouTube page for informative whiteboard videos, best practices, and tutorials.