Benefits of a Cloud Directory

cloud directory

As IT organizations move more of their infrastructure to the cloud, many are realizing the benefits of a cloud directory. In short, the benefits of a cloud directory are increasing productivity and agility while reducing cost and management overhead. The longer story is how, which is what we’ll discuss in this blog post.

A Directory is Born

The story of the modern directory service begins in 1992. The scene is set at the University of Michigan, where a young Tim Howes is working in the University’s information technology division. Howes has just completed an assignment to deploy an X.500 directory service for the campus, but in doing so, he realizes that X.500 is far too complicated and heavy of a protocol for the machines on most people’s desktops. Howes then resolves to create a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol to replace X.500, and subsequently, LDAP is born.

The birth of LDAP marked the advent of a new era in identity management. At the time, there were many different services such as email, catalog services, commerce services, and the web—all of which would have you create users in multiple places. That is, until Howes said, “Let’s abstract out the place where users go, where authentication occurs, and where user profile information is stored.” And that became the modern directory service.

Enter Active Directory

Fast forward to 1999, and LDAP is now the standard for authentication. OpenLDAP, an open source iteration of the LDAP protocol and directory, has also come to market and helps IT admins manage on-prem networks of systems and servers. Yet, the majority of these systems and servers run a popular operating system (OS) known as Windows®, which offers a variety of applications and services that would again have you create users in multiple places. Microsoft recognizes the potential of the LDAP directory to centralize identity management for Windows-based networks, and subsequently combines LDAP with Kerberos® and other proprietary elements (e.g. GPOs or Group Policy Objects) to create Active Directory® (AD).

Microsoft introduced Active Directory to play (Read more...)

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

Vince Lujan

Vince is a documentation and blog writer at JumpCloud, the world’s first cloud-based directory service. Vince recently graduated with a degree in professional and technical writing from the University of New Mexico, and enjoys researching new innovations in cloud architecture and infrastructure.

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