The domain controller has been a core component of on-prem networks for a number of years. However, with cloud applications and servers gaining traction, the prominence of the conventional domain controller has started to wane. In order to save money and gain efficiency, many IT admins are wondering whether or not there is a virtual domain controller option that is built for the new era of the cloud.
The Rise of the Domain Controller
A domain controller is the server that is running Active Directory Domain Services. Domain controllers became a staple of IT networks in the early 2000s. With the advent of Microsoft Active Directory® in 1999, IT admins were able to control access to IT resources at the enterprise level. AD allowed organizations to manage the user access to their Microsoft-based systems with a level of sophistication never before possible. Seeing as the entire enterprise was Microsoft-based at that time, it was a perfect fit.
As mentioned, this concept was perfect for an IT environment that was primarily Windows and on-prem. As a result, when a user connected to their device and the device was on the network, the domain controller could automatically authenticate users to all of their IT resources. It was a simple and easy process for the end user, and offered control for the admin.
No Longer Microsoft Exclusive
As we have all seen, the rise in popularity of cloud applications and infrastructure is taking over the enterprise. This change is drastically improving the way that organizations operate, and is changing the IT network as well. This network is no longer all on-prem and Windows-based, and because of that the concept of the domain controller needs to change. An existing Active Directory instance just doesn’t easily connect users to cloud and non-Windows resources. Common tools like AWS, G Suite, Linux, macOS, and much more have become painful or almost impossible to connect to the on-prem domain controller. Trying to maintain an AD instance in this environment is a nightmare for IT admins.
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from JumpCloud authored by Jon Griffin. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/virtual-domain-controller/