Stronger Active Directory

By Zach DeMeyer Posted November 20, 2019

Microsoft® Active Directory® is widely known for the amount of heavy lifting it can do for IT organizations. Of course, Active Directory was created for a time when the only things it needed to lift were on-prem, Windows® domain-connected resources. With non-Windows/cloud resources piling on top of it, IT admins need a stronger Active Directory to keep up.

Active Directory Origins

When it first hit the IT market in 1999, Active Directory (AD) quickly rose through the ranks as the directory service of choice for IT organizations. This was largely because the average office of the time was almost entirely centered around Windows® systems and applications. Because AD was created by Microsoft, Windows resources were right in its management wheelhouse. 

Beyond that, AD was one of the earliest commercially available options in the space. This meant that it came fairly ready to go out-of-the-box and required considerably less work to implement than its open-source counterparts, such as OpenLDAP™. Due to these factors, AD soon dominated the identity management scene. 

Troubles of the Modern Era

Active Directory is often regarded as the strongest choice for directory services among the majority of IT admins, even to this day. Unfortunately, however, following the introduction of cloud resources and non-Windows assets, its strength has waned.

After all, AD was created specifically to serve the needs of IT organizations based primarily around on-prem, Windows-based resources. With the advent of cloud infrastructure, Mac® and Linux® systems, web applications, etc., organizations leveraging AD found they were having a harder time managing these modern innovations.

Performance Enhancement

The innovations of the cloud era seemed to be draining strength from Active Directory. In response, vendors in the identity management space took it upon themselves to enhance AD’s abilities. These solutions added on to native AD, compensating for its struggles with non-Windows solutions and cloud innovations.

Although the breadth of these add-ons stretched across much of identity management, the most common of these tools were web application single sign-on tools, identity bridges, multi-factor authentication (MFA) solutions, and governance software. In (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/stronger-active-directory/

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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