Can I Replace Active Directory® with Okta®

replace active directory

Perhaps one of the most significant monopolies in the IT market is Microsoft’s with their directory services solution Active Directory® (AD). When it comes to medium to large businesses, Microsoft® has an overwhelming percentage of the market share with Active Directory. Since its release in 1999, AD has been a staple in organizations of all sizes. But, as the world shifts to the cloud, AD has become less and less functional on its own. Many SSO vendors have risen to prominence in that wake – with Okta® near the top of the heap – and as a result many admins have wondered whether or not an IT organization can replace Active Directory with Okta.

What Does Okta Actually Do?

Okta is one of the leading web application single sign-on (SSO) solutions today. Web app SSO solutions have risen to popularity today due to their ability to help AD connect to cloud-based identities and resources. Their solution works by leveraging AD identities, and then federating them to web applications. Web app SSO vendors like Okta are creating frictionless access to web applications, increasing control over IT resources, and improving security. As more web apps come into the enterprise the popularity of SSO solutions has only risen, creating one of the hottest categories in IT at the moment.

But as more IT infrastructure shifts to the cloud – e.g. servers, file storage, and much more – Active Directory is losing touch with more than just web application solutions. Are IT organizations better off eliminating Active Directory, and leveraging Okta’s Universal Directory instead?

It’s a good question, but it’s unfortunately a little off base – Okta’s Universal Directory is not a replacement for AD.

Why You Can’t Replace Active Directory With Okta

Unfortunately, Okta cannot serve as a total replacement to Active Directory. This is because AD serves as the identity provider for Windows systems, applications, file servers, and the network. Okta is using those AD identities to federate those users to web applications. Shifting to Okta as a cloud directory service will result in admins losing the ability (Read more...)

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

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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