An outsourced identity provider (IdP) can be highly advantageous for cloud-forward IT organizations. The challenge for IT admins is to find an outsourced identity provider that can replace on-prem IdPs like Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD).
Fortunately, a new solution called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® has come to market that is effectively Active Directory and LDAP reimagined for modern networks. The question is, why do IT organizations need a cloud IdP in the first place?
A Brief History of the Identity Provider
The concept of the identity provider is nothing new in IT organizations. In fact, admins have always needed the ability to manage user access to IT resources. That’s why developers have created a number of directory services solutions to help. Perhaps the most notable in recent memory is Active Directory.
AD was introduced in 1999 to provide user and system management capabilities for Windows® based IT resources, which were dominant at the time. It was one of the first solutions that could manage both users and systems from one central management platform. Needless to say, IT admins loved it. However, AD does have a number of limitations that cannot be ignored – especially for modern networks.
For one, Active Directory is an on-prem implementation that requires a village of savvy IT admins to implement and maintain. Further, the native capabilities of AD work well with Windows-based IT resources – but require third party tools to manage other platforms well.
First Generation Outsourced Identity Providers
The limitations of AD inspired the creation of a large number of Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) solutions. They were called IDaaS solutions because they were delivered as a service, and federated on-prem identities to web applications (e.g., Single Sign-On) and beyond. While this approach has proven to be effective, the issue with first generation IDaaS solutions is they must be layered on top of an existing IdP and they are effectively siloed to the resources they were designed to support.
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by Vince Lujan. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/outsourced-identity-provider/