The Future of macOS® Open Directory

future macOS open directory

With the recent announcements from Apple® surrounding macOS® Server, there is a legitimate question about the future of macOS Open Directory (OD). Apple has slowly been deprecating various components of macOS Server, and it would appear that they are shifting away from the Open Directory platform entirely. As a result, IT organizations leveraging Open Directory must consider the future of their identity management strategy.

Fortunately, IT admins need not worry because a comprehensive cloud directory has recently emerged that is a reimagination of traditional directory services, but for modern IT networks. This solution may represent the future of macOS Open Directory, but to understand why, we must first look to the past.

The Origins of macOS Open Directory

macOS open directoryApple introduced Open Directory many years ago, primarily to compete against Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD). Active Directory is Microsoft’s on-prem directory services platform designed for managing Windows® users, systems, and applications. Of course, Microsoft didn’t make it easy to manage a competing platform (i.e., macOS). That’s why Apple needed to take matters into their own hands and deliver a similar solution designed for managing macOS users, systems, and applications. Open Directory offered feature parity for Apple in their quest to get into the enterprise, and for a while it did just that.

The Evolution of macOS Open Directory

evolution of directory servicesIt should come as no surprise that Mac-centric organizations have been leveraging Open Directory as a core part of their IT infrastructure ever since it was introduced. After all, Open Directory is essentially the Active Directory for Mac® systems. Over the years, Apple has even tried to make Open Directory work and feel like Active Directory, which went on to become the preferred option for on-prem identity providers on the basis of market share. So, as Apple moves away from macOS server, Mac organizations can’t help but worry about what this means for their identity management infrastructure.

Part of the reason that Apple is moving away from Open Directory is the dramatic shift to the cloud. There are more solutions and service providers that (Read more...)

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

Vince Lujan

Vince is a documentation and blog writer at JumpCloud, the world’s first cloud-based directory service. Vince recently graduated with a degree in professional and technical writing from the University of New Mexico, and enjoys researching new innovations in cloud architecture and infrastructure.

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