A new model of identity management is emerging. This new model is being driven from the cloud and is delivered in the “as a service” form. It’s arriving at the perfect time too, because a good number of IT organizations have started wondering if an alternative to their current identity management provider, Microsoft Active Directory®, exists. Many have looked into the concept of Active Directory as a service replacement, but what they would find was not often what they expected.
Hosted Active Directory
While there is no product called Active Directory as a service, there are hosting providers that offer an AD solution. This is often what those looking for an AD as a service product would find. Hosted Active Directory solutions are effectively server instances with AD pre-loaded on the machine. Examples of this type of service exist from AWS and many other providers. However, these solutions still require admins to do a lot of the work, and it isn’t truly “as a service.”
Another proposed cloud alternative has been Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory. This product has been promoted as the cloud version of AD, but the truth is that it doesn’t quite stack up. In fact, a Microsoft rep even stated in this post on spiceworks that Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory isn’t actually an Active Directory instance delivered in the cloud as a service. Azure AD is actually a separate product with a different use case. In short, Azure AD is not an Active Directory as a service replacement or solution for that matter. It is a complement to the on-prem Active Directory.
AD and the Identity Management Landscape
The identity management landscape has been long dominated by Microsoft Active Directory. The solution was introduced in 1999 and immediately became a core part of IT networks. Coupled with Microsoft Exchange, it was a requirement for IT organizations of any size, even when they were just a handful of people. As time has gone on and IT networks have morphed however, IT admins have longed for a more flexible approach to their directory services. The (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from JumpCloud authored by Jon Griffin. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/active-directory-service-replacement/