By Rajat Bhargava Posted October 13, 2015
Since the early 2000s, companies of all categories have moved their services to the cloud, from new players challenging their on-premises incumbents, to historical leaders in IT user management.
So, what’s moving to the cloud next? In the identity management sector, directory services is moving to the cloud. Read on to discover the history of the on-premise directory and why now is the right time for the IT directory to move to the cloud.
On-premise Directory Services: The Big Players
Historically, directory services have been provided by two major players: Microsoft® Active Directory® and OpenLDAP™. Both solutions are on-premises software solutions. AD is the commercial market leader, and OpenLDAP is the open source alternative. Both solutions have been around almost 20 years and have faced little competition. Microsoft’s Active Directory is primarily focused on Windows® networks, while OpenLDAP is often used for Linux and more technical applications (e.g. Jira, Git, etc.). IT admins have spent significant amounts of time installing, configuring, and maintaining these solutions. In order to implement AD or OpenLDAP directory services, IT organizations have needed to purchase servers and software, and then hire expertise to execute on their plan. Because authentication services need to be operational 100% of the time, requirements for additional high availability and redundant processes add to the effort.
The Move to the Cloud
JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® is emerging as the next major category to move to the cloud. The limitations of on-premises directories in today’s fast-advancing cloud era are well known. Cloud infrastructure and services end up needing separate directories, whether those are manual or scripted. Mobile workers struggle to connect to the on-premises directory and are often required to connect via VPNs, which adds unnecessary complexity and cost. Different operating systems and device types are neutering the effectiveness of traditional directory services solutions. As a result, a cloud-based directory service that can connect users to the IT resources they need, regardless of location, type, or platform, is a powerful step forward for IT admins.
Delivered as a SaaS-based service, DaaS enables organizations to leverage what they need, when they need it, without worrying about purchasing hardware or software. Redundancy and maintenance issues are handled by the service provider rather than consumer. Similar to the benefits of using other SaaS-based solutions, organizations are beneficiaries of the massive investments made by the service providers. There should be an increase in functionality and better quality, ultimately with less cost. That’s the promise of the move to the cloud.
As you can see, it’s natural that the on-premise directory is moving to the cloud. If you would like to learn more about how Directory-as-a-Service can help you or how you can take advantage of DaaS, drop us a note.