Why Use a Domain Controller?

Written by Zach DeMeyer on February 7, 2019

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There is an expansive number of components to running an IT infrastructure. As a business owner or executive, you can’t possibly know about every one of the different IT systems and tools that are at play. That’s why you trust your MSP or IT organization, right? But, many leaders also want to understand the business reasons for these pieces of technology. In this article, we’ll discuss why your IT organization would use a domain controller.

What is the Domain Controller?

What is a Domain Controller?

The concept of a domain controller emerged in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The idea behind this solution was simple. Your network was your “domain” and, as the ruler of said domain, you gave people access to the IT resources that they needed. Of course, not everyone should be able to access all of a network’s resources, so ensuring that the right people had the right access was key.

The domain controller kept these access rights straight so that a person who wasn’t supposed to have access to something wouldn’t inadvertently get in. As a concept, the domain controller arose to prominence with the first iterations of Microsoft® Active Directory®. Perhaps the most significant benefit of the domain controllers of the early 2000s was the ability to login to your Windows® laptop or desktop and then instantly have access to other Windows-based IT resources.

A Changing Scene

Microsoft shifting to the cloud

The idea of the domain controller was predicated on the fact that your network was Windows-based and the various IT resources you accessed were also leveraging the Windows OS. While most executives may not have known what a domain controller was or did, they could easily understand the benefits. Their users could access the IT resources they needed quickly, easily, and securely. It made their organization more productive.

The IT scene, however, has changed. The cloud has taken the IT world by storm. Mac® and Linux® systems are challenging Microsoft’s OS market share. As organizations shift their infrastructure to be less Windows-centric, using solutions such as AWS®, G Suite™, web applications such as Salesforce, GitHub, Slack, and thousands of others, the challenge is that the traditional domain controller doesn’t work anymore.

IT resources are no longer entirely on-prem or Windows-based. Despite this, organizations don’t want to lose the benefits of controlling and securing access as well as making it simple for users to access what they need. What’s an IT admin (and their executive) to do?

Domain Controller from the Cloud

The result is that a new generation of domain controller is required to accomplish these goals. Thankfully, a reimagination of the traditional domain controller is available from the cloud. This serverless directory service manages user identities and those users systems, on top of the various IT resources the users can leverage. This Directory-as-a-Service® does so regardless of platform, provider, protocol, or location, and is offered by JumpCloud®.

Learn more about why you should use a domain controller from the cloud and contact us today. You can schedule a demo to see Directory-as-a-Service in action, or sign up to try the product directly. Sign up is absolutely free, as are the ten users included forever.

Zach DeMeyer

Zach is a Product Marketing Specialist at JumpCloud with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He loves being on the cutting edge of new technology, and when he's not working, he enjoys all things outdoors, music, and soccer.

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