What technologies exist that are alternatives to Active Directory®? Is there a hosted alternative to Active Directory? By hosted, we mean is there an Active Directory in the cloud or Active Directory as a Service? Isn’t Azure Active Directory a cloud version of Active Directory?
These are great questions, but unfortunately, there isn’t a formal product that is Active Directory as a service. You can occasionally find providers that will do a hosted version of AD, but this is effectively just a server instance that has AD loaded onto it. Let’s take a moment to look at why this isn’t the solution IT admins are really looking for.
Problems with a Hosted Alternative to Active Directory
As mentioned above, there are some providers that host an Active Directory instance. But these options aren’t using a true “as-a-Service” model. This means that IT admins don’t get any of the benefits of a truly hosted solution or SaaS-based approach. Instead, they are responsible for the upkeep and on-going maintenance of the platform despite it being delivered as-a-Service. AWS Directory Services is an excellent example of this. It functions as a version of Active Directory that is hosted at AWS but is managed by the IT admins.
The other issue with a cloud Active Directory has to do with Active Directory itself. The conventional approach of Active Directory works for on-prem, all Windows environments, and utilizing a hosted Active Directory instance doesn’t change this. So, IT admins are still faced with the networking challenges of managing a cloud-forward environment with a directory service that wasn’t built for this modern era.
Because of these significant issues with shifting Active Directory to the cloud under a hosted model, IT admins are looking for a different approach to the directory service. They are looking for an approach that is just as comprehensive as AD was in the past. However, they want identity management delivered as a service, and they want their identity provider to integrate with modern IT resources. If you’re looking for this approach to directory services, JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service is the solution you (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/hosted-alternative-active-directory/