When to use AWS Directory Service and when to use JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service®(DaaS)

Written by Rajat Bhargava on November 13, 2014

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Since the introduction of AWS Directory Service, it seems like IT admins have been wondering the same thing: when to use AWS Directory Service and when to use Directory-as-a-Service® from JumpCloud®. It’s a really good question and one we are happy folks are contemplating.

A Quick Glance At JumpCloud’s DaaS Solution

First of all, let’s take a very general perspective. JumpCloud’s DaaS solution is the most comprehensive and complete cloud-based directory option currently available. It is built to meet the demands of modern organizations with remote users, devices, and complex user controls. While it functions as the core user data store for an organization, it can also extend itself to AWS.

A Longer Look At Directory Solutions

But to get a deeper look, let’s take a step back to assess the state of the directory solutions in addition to the options IT admins are presented with. After all, a lot has been going on in the Identity and Access Management (IAM) space lately.

Single Sign-On (SSO) solutions have been on a tear for the past several years. It’s probably one of the hottest segments in the IT sector. More recently, our announcement last month introducing the first cloud-based directory was very well received. In addition, AWS also just introduced a user management service that works with their VPC infrastructure, Workspaces, and Zocalo.

With all of the activity in the space, it should come as no surprise that IT organizations are trying to figure out what solutions are helpful. Let’s compare and contrast AWS Directory Service with JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service solution to clear up some of these concerns.

Comparing AWS Directory Service and JumpClouds’s Directory-as-a-Service

AWS Directory Service is focused on managing user access to Windows devices hosted at AWS and their cloud storage solution, Zocalo. The AWS Directory Service can connect back to an on-premise Active Directory instance. Windows devices are authenticated and authorized through SAMBA which is under the covers of AWS Directory Service. While the AWS service is integrated into the console, management of the directory occurs with Active Directory administration tools available on Windows Servers. Currently, AWS Directory Service isn’t for on-premise devices or authenticating non-AWS solutions such as Windows EC2 instances, Workspaces, or Zocalo.

JumpCloud’s DaaS can serve as the core user directory for an organization. JumpCloud’s SaaS-based service connects and manages users, their devices, and IT applications, including all desktops, laptops, and servers. JumpCloud is a cloud-based service. Consequently, it works with devices and applications regardless of their location. A critical component of DaaS is its ability to manage devices, including Linux and Mac devices, and it reaches far beyond the normal Windows device management. JumpCloud’s command execution capabilities enable IT admins to quickly and easily execute tasks across the server fleet. This is especially relevant to note due to its likeness to Active Directory’s Group Policy Objects.

Using Directory-as-a-Service and AWS Together

AWS Directory Service is an important step forward for IaaS. Most organizations have been manually managing their server and users. Alternatively, they have been using Chef and Puppet scripts. As most IT admins are probably aware, that’s risky. JumpCloud’s DaaS serves as the fundamental underpinning to AWS Directory Service by being the authoritative directory.

If you would like to learn more about how you can use JumpCloud with AWS, drop us a line. Since it only takes a few minutes to get started, please give it a try. Also, 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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