Why Build a Domain Controller?

By Megan Anderson Posted December 4, 2019

In the modern era of cloud services, many have questioned why they should build a domain controller. Of course, Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) requires a domain controller to run AD Domain Services. That’s one reason. But why is it important?

A domain controller is important because it authenticates user identities, making sure that only trusted users are able to connect to an organization’s resources. But with more resources being accessed from the cloud, the domain controller’s efficacy is waning. 

So why build a domain controller? Ten years ago, you built a domain controller because you had no other choice if you wanted to securely grant access to networked resources. But today? Organizations can achieve the same results without a domain controller when they opt for cloud-based directory services.

The Antiquation of On-Prem Domain Controllers

The IT landscape used to be virtually all on-prem and Windows®-based, making Active Directory a very attractive tool for sysadmins. It consolidated all of an enterprise’s users and resources into one database and enabled admins to manage permissions from one platform.

Now, the story is quite different. Today’s IT landscape includes macOS®, Linux® systems, cloud infrastructure from AWS®, G Suite™ and Office 365™, web applications, and much more. AD was not built to accommodate all of these resources, necessitating supplemental software to form a more complete package.

Single sign-on (SSO), Mobile Device Management (MDM), and a host of other products are needed to catch AD up to the modern day. This has led to a sort of à la carte-style network where sysadmins choose individual services and manage them separately in relation to AD, rather than having a single, cohesive solution.

It’s a bit ironic that in a time when technological innovation is pushing for automation, simplicity, and singularity, tech organizations increasingly require admins to manually manage a plethora of assets. The domain controller is part of the problem. It used to be the centralizing force. But IT evolved beyond its rigid walls. Now the domain controller is just (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by Megan Anderson. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/why-build-domain-controller/