Most IT admins will tell you that implementing a cloud directory replacement for traditional, on-prem identity providers, such as Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD), makes a lot of sense. The challenge is that AD is so entrenched in so many IT organizations that the thought of shifting to a cloud directory alternative can seem daunting. Yet, as the IT landscape continues to shift and evolve, legacy approaches to identity management are breaking down. Why? Let’s take a trip down memory lane to find out.
Traditional Directory Services
The modern era of identity management kicked off in 1993, when Tim Howes and his colleagues at the University of Michigan invented the LDAP authentication protocol. This innovation would inspire a new generation of identity management solutions, namely, OpenLDAP™ and Active Directory. Both of these solutions would go on to become market leaders in the directory services market. Active Directory, would ultimately become the on-prem market leader, primarily because IT environments were essentially all Windows-based and on-prem in the late 1990s when AD (and OpenLDAP) was introduced.
Challenges with Traditional Directory Services
As the IT environment started to move away from Windows-based systems and applications in the mid-2000s, a number of identity management challenges emerged. These challenges included the inability to control non-Windows IT resources with AD, maintaining security in hybrid or cloud environments, and a market-wide shift away from on-prem infrastructure altogether.
The key drivers behind these challenges were innovative IT solutions such as AWS® cloud infrastructure, G Suite™ and Office 365™ productivity suites, Mac® and Linux® systems, web applications such as Slack®, Github®, Salesforce®, and more. Solutions such as these offered numerous advantages compared to traditional, on-prem alternatives, such as decreasing costs while increasing efficiency. However, one consequence was that traditional directory services solutions struggled with non-Windows resources and those that weren’t on-prem, since a direct connection was required.
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by Vince Lujan. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/directory-services/cloud-directory-replacement/