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Running Your Own Directory Services? Don’t.

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Running Your Own Directory Services? Don’t.

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Are you spending time running your own directory services? Are you managing your own servers, software, and maintaining it all yourself?

If you’re like most organizations on the planet, then you are. You probably have Microsoft Active Directory (AD) or OpenLDAP running on a server at your facility.

Directory Challenges

On its best days, directory services are completely invisible and just work. Unfortunately, those days are few and far between. With constant changes to the network, application stack, devices, and users, most IT admins are into their directory on a daily basis. Directory services also need to be available 100% of the time, because if services go down then users can’t access the IT resources they need, and business suffers.

There’s a better way for IT organizations to connect their users to the IT resources that they need: it’s called leveraging Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS).

“DaaS. Never Heard of It. What Is That?”

Similar to a number of other IT software applications that have moved to SaaS-based services, directory services is making the leap to the cloud. They call it DaaS, a play off “Infrastructure as a Service” and “Software as a Service.”

As with many SaaS systems, the benefits of DaaS for organizations can be enormous. User directories live in the cloud and are managed by a third party provider, thereby relieving an organization from needing to procure hardware and software, manage the implementation, or provide the on-going support for the solution. The directory services infrastructure is completely managed by a third party.

In short, business no longer need to spend time, energy, or excessive resources on the management of a directory service because they’ve handily outsourced that service.

The end result is better efficiency and centralized control over devices, applications, and networks. IT admins, then, can integrate disparate areas of their network into one directory, easily connecting all users and applications within a singular central user store.

  • Mac and Linux devices can be treated as first class citizens versus instead of being an afterthought.
  • Common SaaS-based applications—such as Google Apps and Salesforce—can be centrally controlled from the directory.
  • And, wireless networks can be secured by adding in login credentials.

How Directory-as-a-Service Solutions Work:

1—As an IT admin, you add the users that you manage to the cloud directory. You connect your devices by adding an agent to them and applications by connecting them via LDAP or SAML as appropriate.

2—Now that everything is hooked up together, you can simply add IT resources to each user.  When you need to modify or delete a user, the Web-based console is available to make it happen.

The goal of a cloud based directory is to cut across the various geographic locations, platforms, and protocols to centrally manage all of an organization’s IT resources.

“DaaS. That’s a Great Idea.”

If you are spending time managing directory services, think twice. There are better ways for you to spend your time.

By implementing a DaaS, you can connect all of your disparate resources into one central cloud-based directory. Save yourself some time – and focus your business on the things that matter.

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Published at DZone with permission of Topher Marie, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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