Redefining the Directory for Modern IT Environments - Security Boulevard

Redefining the Directory for Modern IT Environments

The following article is associated with a JumpCloud webinar on the role of a directory in modern IT environments featuring entrepreneurs Stephen O’Grady, Principal Analyst & Co-founder of RedMonk, and Tim Howes, Computer Scientist & Co-Creator of LDAP. Watch the full webinar recording here.

In 1999, Active Directory was born. This was around the peak of the Windows era, from both a market share and a penetration standpoint. In most enterprises, company-owned desktops—and often servers for certain workloads—were essentially all Windows and employees were coming into the office to work within the on-premise network. These factors led to a very homogenous directory world. 

This is clearly not the world we’re living in today. The way we work is changing, and IT environments are changing right alongside. Today’s IT admins are managing:

  • Remote work. The pandemic hit the gas pedal on the prevalence of remote work. While some companies are slowly returning to the office, many have shifted to a remote-first model, or a hybrid of both in-office and at-home work.
  • Mixed OS devices. Fleets are no longer Windows dominant and infinitely more complicated. Mac and Linux machines are thrown into the mix, as well as different device types such as smartphones and tablets.
  • Cloud migration. Prior to the release of AWS in 2006, IT infrastructure was directly controlled on-prem. Since then, cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) has increasingly become the dominant model.

In stark contrast to the historical homogeneity of on-prem, Windows-based IT environments, the defining characteristic of the modern IT landscape is heterogeneity. What does this mean from a directory standpoint? Well, it means things are getting more complicated. 

The IT environments we see today are complex and multifaceted, with a variety of moving parts. IT admins can no longer worry about the corporate network alone, they have to worry about home WiFi networks as well. They may be managing Google Workspace, in addition to SaaS apps such as Salesforce, Slack, Atlassian, etc. There are different Dev environments to connect out to, Windows, Mac, and Linux devices, servers, and perhaps even employee-owned devices. 

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*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by Kelsey Kinzer. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/redefining-the-directory-for-modern-it-environments