Active Directory vs. Okta

Active Directory vs. OktaBetween the proliferation of Mac and Linux systems and the move to cloud-based resources, the IT landscape has witnessed a tremendous amount of change over the last two decades. With changes like these, can IT organizations continue to manage their modern environment with the long-time leading identity provider, Microsoft® Active Directory®? Or, should they look to cloud identity management solutions like Okta? If you’re in an Active Directory vs. Okta situation, how do you decide which solution is best for you?

Well, in the case of Active Directory vs. Okta, it’s pretty easy because they are two very different solutions. Comparing them would be similar to comparing apples and bananas because AD is a core identity provider, while Okta is a web app single sign-on (SSO) provider. So, let’s take a closer look at Active Directory vs. Okta and the difference between an identity provider and a web app SSO solution.

The Differences Between AD and Okta

In general, Active Directory is focused on being the primary user store for an organization while Okta is meant to be the web application single sign-on portal for users. In fact, the two integrate tightly whereby Okta receives Active Directory identities, which it can subsequently federate to web applications.

This approach to identity and access management has been a staple for the last few years. Because AD has been the directory services solution of choice for many years, Okta really had no other option than to build its solution on top of Active Directory. So, IT admins have leveraged the two in combination for a number of years because it solved their problems. With Active Directory, IT admins have been able to control Windows®--based systems and on-prem applications. By integrating Okta with AD, they gained the ability to federate access to web applications. IT admins would simply add users in AD and those would be passed through to Okta. For many organizations the combination of AD and Okta is working for them, but a whole new generation of organizations are struggling with their IAM approach.

New Organizations Are (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by Natalie Bluhm. Read the original post at:

Natalie Bluhm

Natalie is a writer for JumpCloud, an Identity and Access Management solution designed for the cloud era. Natalie graduated with a degree in professional and technical writing, and she loves learning about cloud infrastructure, identity security, and IT protocols.

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