A Straightforward Approach to Cloud-based Directory Services

Gartner predicts one half of employers will be byod by 1017.

Microsoft’s Active Directory (AD) has been the dominant solution for directory services over the last decade. IT admins have been leveraging AD to control user access to their internal system and applications while also executing on policies for years, in part because it’s been one of the only options available, and in part because for years it was sufficient.

However, major IT changes are driving a wedge between what Microsoft AD can control and modern IT platforms. Organizations have shifted the way that they do business. Specifically, they’ve moved services away from on-premise models, and into the cloud. And the shift has sent ripples into other business infrastructure needs. For example, IT can leverage cloud-based solutions for IT services, email, applications, and HR, payroll, and document sharing. These ‘off-premise’ solutions aren’t controlled by AD and therefore, AD limitations hold many organizations back from leveraging the latest IT innovations.

Modern organizations have reason to want to aggressively leverage the cloud. It typically provides faster service, fewer costs, and reduced time and resources needed for the management of hardware.

But without a sufficient directory solution, companies balk at the security risks imposed on unregulated devices, applications, and users.

But There Is An Answer: Active Directory Migration

In 2014, engineers took a big leap in the advancements to directory services. Knowing the challenges and limitations that AD provided to the modern workplace, a solution was designed to give businesses the flexibility to manage a more diverse office, but maintain high security.

This innovation is the cloud-based directory.

A cloud-based directory, or “Directory-as-a-Service®,” maintains all the values of AD (authentication and authorization, user control and management, etc) but also offers ubiquitous support for devices and applications, increased security, and decreased level of overhead.

For an industry that hasn’t seen much innovation in over 10 years, this is a quantum leap.

The question is: How do you move from your existing AD to a more modern Directory-as-a-Service® solution?

The answer is simple. With JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service® solution, migration is straightforward. A small agent is placed on the AD server. This agent synchronizes the users and their access within Active Directory to JumpCloud. The two systems—AD and JumpCloud—operate in parallel during the migration. Any changes in Active Directory are automatically replicated in the DaaS solution, keeping both systems in sync. By running both systems in parallel, organizations can ensure that users are able to continue accessing everything that they need. Over time, IT admins can switch where authentication is being validated to JumpCloud from Active Directory. This migration path from AD to DaaS is ideal for IT admins. It ensures that the transition is smooth and controlled.

Migrating from AD to more modern directory services doesn’t need to be painful and difficult. Directory-as-a-Service® systems are built to easily move organizations from AD to a managed directory service. Not only does an organization have compatible functionality to AD, but it extends directory capabilities significantly. With a DaaS solution, IT admins can connect their users to the latest devices (including Macs and Linux machines), manage their cloud-server infrastructure, and enable Web-based applications. In short, migrating from AD to DaaS enables organizations to leverage modern IT services.

Active Directory® is a registered trademark of the Microsoft Corporation