Is the next step in the IAM world (identity and access management) hosted Active Directory? You might say that a managed Active Directory service or what might be called Active Directory as a Service has been around for a number of years. And, you would be right. But what we are really talking about here is the metaphorical hosted AD – or said another way the cloud directory.
Active Directory, Forever On-Prem?
IT admins have been leveraging Microsoft® Active Directory® for almost two decades now. AD is the monopoly of the directory space. Microsoft made some brilliant moves early on that helped to cement their position as the market share leader in a number of spaces. Windows was already a monopoly by the time AD was introduced, but the identity provider ensured that IT admins would leverage Windows systems and Windows-based applications within their network. AD made it easy to manage and control users and devices ensuring that IT admins would continue to utilize Microsoft solutions.
A Hosted Active Directory for a modern world?
As the world started to shift to the cloud over the last decade, IT naturally wondered if AD could shift to the cloud as well. The prospect of a cloud AD made a great deal of sense. The required networking already existed, with VPNs in place and security measures for infrastructure hosted in data centers away from the home office. Because Active Directory was built in the client / server era, everything was assumed to be on-prem and behind the firewall. Those requirements, in addition to Windows as the primary operating system, were core to a smooth AD implementation. So while moving AD to be a managed service was a leap, it wasn’t massive.
During that same time period a few other shifts were happening. Windows was being threatened as the device platform of choice. Apple Macs became the hottest laptop and desktops on the market. The data center and server platform shifted to Linux. And mobile devices were starting to explode. SaaS-based applications were replacing on-prem, Windows-based applications. So, while a hosted Active Directory instance (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from JumpCloud authored by Natalie Bluhm. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/iam-next-step-hosted-active-directory/