Outsourced Open Directory

Apple’s Open Directory platform had been commonly used for system management at organizations with Macs. But, Apple seems to be indicating that the end of life of Open Directory is near and it’s likely that identity management isn’t part of Apple’s plans for the future. As a result, Open Directory shouldn’t be part of your future plans either, which is why IT organizations are wondering if they can find an outsourced Open Directory or another alternative to Apple’s likely decommissioned directory solution.

Needing a Replacement for Open Directory

Outsourced Open Directory is the solution for complete mac user management

Open Directory has long been a favorite of Mac admins. Built upon the open source OpenLDAP™ solution, Apple customized it and made Open Directory more tightly aligned to the Mac platform. Apple even embedded components that would make it more Microsoft Active Directory®-like, with support for domains and Kerberos. This was all designed to set Apple up to compete with Microsoft in the enterprise. However, it seems that Apple has stopped pushing towards that goal as of late.

As Apple has shifted their focus away from the enterprise market, one of the casualties of that decision has been the OS X Server, which is now called the macOS Server. The macOS Server used to be delivered on a hardware appliance, but Apple has now shifted to just delivering the solution as a $20 piece of software. Apple appears to be content to gradually step away from the enterprise server software and hardware market.

As a result, IT organizations that are leveraging Open Directory will likely be looking for a replacement solution soon. That solution could be an outsourced Open Directory platform provider, but more likely it will come in the form of a third party identity provider.

A More Modern Identity Provider

Outsourced Open Directory offers cross platform group policy objects

Microsoft Active Directory is often considered to be the leading legacy on-prem directory service, but, as Mac admins know, connecting Macs to AD is a struggle. OpenLDAP is a potential alternative to Open Directory as well, but that too lacks in its ability to seamlessly integrate with Mac devices. The challenges do not end there either. IT admins (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/outsourced-open-directory/

Jon Griffin

Jon Griffin works as a writer for JumpCloud, an organization focused on bringing centralized IT to the modern organization. He graduated with a degree in Professional and Technical Writing from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and is an avid learner of new technology from cloud-based innovations to VR and more.

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