The foundation of IT is the directory service. At the base of many an IT organization is the legacy directory service, Microsoft® Active Directory® (MAD or AD). Although it has been leveraged for several decades, we’re starting to see AD is losing its clout in the industry due to the increasing shift of IT resources to the cloud. Despite its trouble keeping up in modern, cloud-forward IT environments, AD is still the most widely used directory service on the market. So, why replace Active Directory, then? In their whitepaper, Stack Analysis, an independent analyst firm, looks into IT professionals who are replacing Active Directory with cloud directory services.
A Bit of Background: Active Directory
Before we dive into the analyst report, however, it’s good to have an understanding of what Active Directory is, and it’s station in the IT world as a whole.
Since its advent in the late 1990s, Microsoft Active Directory has been a dominant force in the directory services marketplace. When it was initially released, a majority of enterprises were based around the Windows® operating system, so, using a directory service that was also based around the OS just made sense. By having all of their IT needs under one Windows umbrella, IT admins could manage their user base with relative ease. AD could authorize user systems, as well as authenticate their access to other on-prem resources like networks, servers, and applications.
Over time, the IT landscape shifted, however. Mac® and Linux® platforms increased in popularity. Applications and storage solutions that were once on-prem moved up to the cloud. Even the network itself shifted from wired to wireless. All the criteria that AD was designed for were going out of vogue. Seeing the growing void, vendors started to release patches such as identity bridges, privileged identity management services, and web-based single sign-on (SSO) solutions in the mid-2000s through the 2010s. At the time, these new tools acted as a sort of bridge between AD and all of the new resources being leveraged from the cloud to fill the gaps where Active (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by Zach DeMeyer. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/why-replace-active-directory/