Is a Hosted Directory Right for your IT Infrastructure

Directory services have been the core of IT infrastructure since the early 1990’s. However, traditional directory services have had a hard time keeping up with the new wave of IT resources such as cloud infrastructure, web applications, myriad device types, and much more.

Hosted directory services have emerged to address these changes like the increase in Mac and Linux devices in the workplace, the growing popularity of web based applications such as GitHub, Salesforce, and Box to name just a few, and the number of resources employees need access to. Embracing a cloud directory service can be a little scary: it’s unfamiliar and the overhaul to implement it can seem daunting.

Is a hosted directory right for your IT infrastructure?

That depends.

Hosted solutions generally work well for organizations with modern infrastructure. On-prem directory services such as Microsoft Active Directory and OpenLDAP require more maintenance than a hosted directory alternative, such as Directory-as-a-Service. That said, some organizations still choose to maintain their own directory infrastructure on-premises.

To help answer this question for your unique IT infrastructure, let’s take a look at where traditional directory services started, and why many organizations are leaving them behind.

The Origins of Directory Services

evolution of directory services

In the 1980s and 1990s, computers and networks became a common workplace resource, and IT realized the necessity for controlling user access to these IT resources. Also, with the possibility of multiple users needing access to the same resources, an efficient method was needed for providing access to those resources. This led to the creation of LDAP.

The LDAP protocol was created in 1993 by Tim Howes and his colleagues at the University of Michigan. This protocol provided a much lighter weight mechanism to support user authentication and authorization than it’s heavy duty counterparts at the time (think X.500). Two solutions began leveraging this protocol.

OpenLDAP leveraged the protocol and became the open source directory (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from JumpCloud authored by Natalie Bluhm. Read the original post at:

Natalie Bluhm

Natalie is a writer for JumpCloud, an Identity and Access Management solution designed for the cloud era. Natalie graduated with a degree in professional and technical writing, and she loves learning about cloud infrastructure, identity security, and IT protocols.

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