How to Leverage OpenLDAP Efficiently

OpenLDAP is the leading open source LDAP platform today, in part because it’s extremely flexible and allows organizations to fulfill many needs. However, this flexibility in software can translate to more complexity in implementation.

While indeed OpenLDAP’s flexibility allows it to authenticate using LDAP on many different types of devices and applications, the negatives include:

  • Increased effort and complexity of programs
  • Expensive and complex hardware and software operational maintenance
  • The availability of highly trained IT staff to configure and setup OpenLDAP
  • And virtual perfect network connectivity (and networking), as authenticating users against their devices and applications requires 100% uptime.

As a result of the level of effort required due to the operational overhead, many IT admins might shy away from using OpenLDAP. Instead, they choose to either use Microsoft Active Directory, manually manage their users, or script access through configuration management solutions such as Chef and Puppet.

But still, even these “solutions” aren’t complete, and often leave businesses and IT admins alike with a convoluted IT headache.

There is a Better Way to Leverage LDAP!

Recently, JumpCloud announced Directory-as-a-Service®, or a cloud-based directory service. A core part of this directory service is its ability to function as a hosted LDAP solution. Under the hood, JumpCloud leverages OpenLDAP servers on the edge of its network to ensure compatibility and understanding with OpenLDAP. At the core, JumpCloud has built its own database to manage users and their connections to IT resources along with a Web-based UI. The benefit of this approach is that JumpCloud enables authentication and authorization through a variety of different protocols. The JumpCloud infrastructure is designed to be resilient and available ensuring fast authentication across the globe. Further, JumpCloud’s architecture allows it to manage Windows, Mac, and Linux devices. You get OpenLDAP without the level of effort required.

How Does JumpCloud Work?

The JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service® solution has a Web-based interface that IT admins leverage to manage the connections between users and IT resources. IT organizations can use this hosted OpenLDAP approach in two ways. The first is that they can create an LDAP instance from scratch via JumpCloud. Users are directly populated within JumpCloud and devices and IT applications are connected to the cloud-based directory via the LDAP protocol. The second method that an organization can leverage DaaS is to migrate their existing OpenLDAP instance to a managed OpenLDAP solution. In this case, users are imported in to JumpCloud and then managed on an on-going basis from JumpCloud. The benefit of this approach is reduced management time, infrastructure, and cost.

OpenLDAP is the open source LDAP implementation of choice. For those organizations that want to save time and money they can move to a managed OpenLDAP solution via JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service. For more information on how JumpCloud can help, drop us a line at