Directory services are a core component of any organization’s network. The directory connects users with their IT resources. These IT resources can include devices such as their laptop or desktop as well as applications whether developed in house or third party. The benefits of using a directory are central control, increased security, and visibility. Using a directory simplifies the task for IT admins of enabling their employees.

The core protocol for directory services is LDAP – lightweight directory access protocol. Created in the mid-1990s, LDAP has become the most widely used directory protocol with on-premise-based solutions such as OpenLDAP and Microsoft Active Directory. While the protocol was designed to be lightweight, it was also designed to be extremely flexible. The downside to the flexibility was a more complicated implementation and management effort. IT admins struggled with managing LDAP.

As the world has turned to software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions delivered from the cloud, directory services – namely a cloud-based LDAP solution – could also be managed as a SaaS-based solution. Like other SaaS-based solutions, a cloud-based LDAP solution off-loads the difficult parts of implementing LDAP. Setup and configuration of an LDAP server is done by the provider. LDAP client setup can be automated through scripts and agents. Or, if it is a custom LDAP client, a standard implementation speeds integration. On-going management of the LDAP server hardware and software is included in the cloud-based LDAP service. High availability and security are also included in the solution. Many of the time consuming and tedious tasks of managing an LDAP-based directory solution are solved through a managed cloud LDAP service.

In short, an IT admin needs to input their user base into the cloud-based LDAP solution through a UI or import them in. And, then connect those users to the devices and applications they need to access. All of the infrastructure management and overhead is gone. In the cloud era, major protocols should be delivered as utility services. That’s exactly what a cloud-based LDAP solution should do for directory services.

JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service® (DaaS) solution delivers a cloud-based LDAP solution as one of its core features. Organizations can leverage JumpCloud’s core directory and then enable authentication and authorization via the LDAP protocol. Devices and applications that can leverage LDAP simply connect to JumpCloud’s LDAP server endpoint with secure keys and then authenticate and authorize their user logins. IT admins no longer have to manage LDAP or have the operational headaches of it.

A cloud-based LDAP solution is delivering directory services as a utility for organizations. JumpCloud’s DaaS solution is the first cloud-based directory that delivers LDAP as a managed, cloud-based service.