IT organizations are shifting a great deal of their infrastructure to the cloud. Along with leveraging cloud infrastructure from AWS® and productivity platforms such as G Suite™ and Office 365™, IT admins and MSPs are looking to shift their identity management infrastructure cloudward as well. While the whole category has been heating up, a key facet revolves around directory services platforms and protocols, including LDAP. For those considering shifting to the cloud, here’s an overview of cloud LDAP.
What is LDAP?
LDAP (which stands for the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) was created by our advisor and friend, Tim Howes, and his colleagues at the University of Michigan in the early 1990s. By using LDAP, IT organizations could create communication lines between their directories, such as user identities or networks. Doing so, admins could federate user access to applications or other IT resources they need.
The LDAP protocol subsequently hatched two major directory services solutions: OpenLDAP™ and Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD). Both of these solutions were on-prem platforms that required a great deal of ongoing management and maintenance. Regardless, these solutions based on LDAP became the mainstays for IT organizations everywhere.
In the case of Active Directory, because the average IT network was largely based around Windows®, it’s popularity made a great deal of sense. OpenLDAP, on the other hand, is an open source instance of LDAP, which was more intensive in implementation than AD. The solution served a different set of use cases including connecting more technical users to their infrastructure platforms such as OpenVPN™, Kubernetes, MySQL, Jira, GitHub, and thousands of others. As well, LDAP was often used on its own as the platform to manage remote data centers with Linux® servers.
OpenLDAP would ultimately take a back seat to Active Directory as the core directory, but it would remain a critical part of the identity and access management infrastructure.
The Shift to the Cloud
For many IT and DevOps organizations, implementing and managing an on-prem LDAP infrastructure is quite painful. It requires ongoing security, high availability, additional infrastructure measures, and more. (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/overview-of-cloud-ldap/