Definition of Directory-as-a-Service®

Definition of Directory-as-a-Service®
The great Bob Dylan wrote, “the times, they are a changin’.” No statement could more accurately sum up the state of the IT industry. A new generation of directory services are hitting the market, spearheaded by
JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®. As a new player in the directory services game, Directory-as-a-Service is certainly a head turner. Those who are unfamiliar with it, though, are asking; what is the definition of Directory-as-a-Service?

What’s a Directory Service?

What's a Directory Service?To understand Directory-as-a-Service, one must first understand the state of directory services as a whole. Since its inception in the late 1990s, Microsoft® Active Directory® (MAD or AD) has been a dominant figure when it comes to directory services, and for good reason. From the beginning, AD offered most of the facets that a directory service needs. And, in the Windows®-centric environment of the late 90s to early 2000s, AD could control everything in its domain.

But, what are those facets you may ask? Well, a directory service like AD is leveraged to provide IT admins a database to house and manage the identities of their end users. An IT admin can then dole out permissions to access certain Windows-based resources, both for individuals and groups, as well as control Windows systems via Group Policy Objects (GPOs) within Active Directory. Managing identity access and authorization is a crucial part of maintaining security in an IT realm. This functionality, and system management capabilities especially thanks to GPOs, helped push AD to the top of the directory services ladder.

The times, they are a changin’

IT industry is changingKeeping in mind Mr. Dylan’s quote from earlier, the IT industry began a changin’. More and more users began leveraging other platforms, such as Mac® and Linux®. The workforce shifted from being completely on-prem to one that was mobile, and, perhaps more importantly, leveraging the cloud. AD began to struggle to keep up.

See, while it excelled in Windows-based, on-prem organizations, Active Directory could not meet the demands of modern enterprises by itself. To fill these voids inherent in AD, vendors in the Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) space (Read more...)

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

Zach DeMeyer

Zach DeMeyer

Zach is a writer and researcher for JumpCloud with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He loves being on the cutting edge of new technology, and when he's not working, he enjoys all things outdoors, making music, and soccer.

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