User Management for Startups – How to Start Off Right

Written by Rajat Bhargava on September 4, 2013

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There’s something we all love about new development. The tabula rasa, the green field – all potential and no baggage holding you back.

Every time we get the opportunity to code in this kind of environment (and they’re all too rare) we think “this…THIS is the time we’re going to get it right from the start.” We’re talking full Test Driven Development (TDD) from day one. Continuous integration, continuous delivery, development and production machines that spin-up from a script as if conjured by a genie. It’s DevOps from the get-go. We’re putting things into the cloud (AWS, SoftLayer, Rackspace, etc.), we’re bringing up and down machines, and we’re configuring everything RIGHT this time: load balancers, firewalls, and best practices. So, what do we do for our user management?

When it’s one or two people, the answer seems simple – I’ll copy their public keys using my deployment scripts. What about sudo? We’ll configure it to work without a password. We’re TIGHT; we don’t need all your formality. Maybe I’ll even just have a shared user password across me and my fellow devs. Heck, we all know and trust each other, right?

But then we start adding a few more team members. I guess we can give out that password to the new guys, too. Then there’s some churn. Now, we’ve got to remember to change the password for everyone or remove those public keys from the servers. Don’t forget the ones up at AWS, Softlayer, or over at Rackspace. Guess I better put this all into a spreadsheet to keep track. When is the last time it was updated? That contractor guy, did he get forgotten?

Pretty soon we’re in that same mess we’ve hit before. We did the right thing in so many other places, but why is my user management a mess? It’s because we didn’t start off right by using a system that’s simple and that scales along with us. That’s our focus with JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service®. With your first user and first machine, simply install JumpCloud® as part of your deployment script. It slips right into your Chef recipe or Puppet manifest. And then BOOM! Security and access control is managed for you. What if someone joins your team? Simply add them to JumpCloud’s intuitive interface. As a result, they’ve got access to every machine they should and none of the machines they shouldn’t.

Start Your User Management Off Right With JumpCloud

Start off your centralized user management the right way. JumpCloud manages all of your user access and security. It’s that simple. Give our cloud hosted directory service a try – your first 10 users are free forever.

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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