For larger enterprises worldwide, the choice to leverage Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) has hardly been a choice at all. Microsoft’s flagship directory solution may not be as much of a household name as Microsoft Word, but AD’s market share in the enterprise is second to none. Still most IT admins don’t exactly love Active Directory – and neither do their CFOs. That’s why many are wondering if there is a cheaper alternative to Active Directory.
There are a number of reasons why IT organizations are searching for a replacement to Active Directory. While cost is a significant factor, which we’ll discuss below, part of the interest in eliminating AD also has to do with its inability to manage user access to non-Windows solutions. We’ll unpack this a little more by taking a step back and looking at how the IT landscape has evolved over the last two decades.
Active Directory and the Changing IT Landscape
When Microsoft initially released Active Directory, a majority of workplaces were filled to the brim with Microsoft products. From systems to productivity software, Microsoft had a firm grasp on the office, and in return, Active Directory worked very well for IT admins in this environment. Additionally, IT resources only had the option of existing on-prem, so paying for expensive hardware and licenses was just part of the deal. Then, some new advances in technology began to chip away at Microsoft’s monolithic presence.
A flood of web-based applications, the rise of Mac and Linux, and the emergence of cloud-based infrastructure are some of the changes impacting the IT landscape. Microsoft and the identity management space as a whole have both been significantly impacted. These new resources have provided organizations with sufficient alternatives to most Microsoft technology, so Microsoft’s dominance is slowly fading away. As users migrate away from on-prem, Microsoft solutions, Active Directory has started to lose its ability to help IT admins manage their environment. AD doesn’t work with these modern resources, and it doesn’t help that new ones are appearing all the time. So, AD’s growing struggles are one reason (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from JumpCloud authored by Natalie Bluhm. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/cheaper-alternative-active-directory/