Directory services have traditionally been on-prem implementations. In fact, many IT organizations are skeptical that a completely cloud-based identity provider (IdP) is even possible. However, as core IT solutions shift to the cloud, more IT admins are recognizing the need for directory services in the cloud. We’ll discuss some of the advantages of a comprehensive cloud-based directory services platform in this blog post. But first, we should talk about why so many IT organizations are leaving traditional directory services platforms behind.
Traditional Directory Services
Directory services refer to the software and hardware that enables IT to securely manage and connect users to IT resources such as systems, applications, files, and networks. Over the past two decades, Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) has been the on-prem directory services platform of choice in most IT organizations. Microsoft introduced AD in 1999 to help IT administer Windows® users and their access to on-prem networks. Considering that the network was mainly comprised of Windows-based IT resources, IT admins generally integrated AD into their environments and never looked back because they could effectively manage their entire infrastructure with one identity management solution. However, like all things in the IT market, the landscape changes and requires adjustment.
Challenges with Traditional Directory Services
Today’s IT infrastructure is vastly different than the Windows-only networks of yesteryear. For example, Mac® and Linux® machines are more popular than ever; on-prem data centers are being replaced by Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) providers such as AWS® and Google Cloud Platform™ (GCP); web applications like G Suite™ and Office 365™ exist for just about anything; file servers are now more cost-effective with on-prem options like Samba file servers and NAS appliances, or cloud alternatives such as Google Drive™, Box™, and Dropbox™; even the network itself is no longer a wired connection, but rather wireless. All of these changes and more have placed enormous pressure on the legacy IdP, Active Directory. This is primarily because AD was never designed to support non-Windows IT resources – regardless of whether they were on-prem (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by Vince Lujan. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/the-need-for-directory-services-in-the-cloud/