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Active Directory Is Dead: 3 Reasons
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Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Ninja
4/15/2014 | 9:28:32 AM
What's the alternative
This is all well and good, but do you really thing there's a better choice right now? Everyone knows how to use AD. Maybe it takes time to integrate new services, but it's doable. Yes, "different user communities require different security policies, and creating a new Active Directory group for every use case is time consuming." But IT has to manage roles, not individuals. The other way leads to anarchy. 

What would you suggest for a company that doesn't have 30 employees, lives on Red Bull and is all cloud all the time?

 
snake oil antedote
67%
33%
snake oil antedote,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/15/2014 | 10:19:55 AM
Horrible AD Assessment
This is truly a sensationalistic piece at best. To headline AD is dead then to fall back and say its a predictive analysis, shows the true intent of a marketing veiled security article with bad analysis.  Any RBAC, MAC, DAC based model has overhead, in fact good security will require it. It's important to temper the cloud-fare with a balanced approach. As long as there are brick-mortar establishments, its not sound security to have a multi-tenant auth solution authenticate your every app. Even for apps interfacing with AD, you have ADFS as a recourse which the author excludes. An article that only critiques a technology w/o proposing viable solutions should be received w/ caution.
orinthomas
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33%
orinthomas,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/15/2014 | 10:26:21 AM
Marketing rather than technical argument
"Why am I predicting the death of Active Directory?"

Because you're running a company that's trying to compete with it and you are trying to look relevant?
Thomas B. Pedersen
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100%
Thomas B. Pedersen,
User Rank: Author
4/15/2014 | 10:39:58 AM
Re: What's the alternative
The first application a startup needs is email. But when you start a company today, your first inclination is probably not to drive down to your local computer store and purchase Microsoft Exchange and Office. More likely, you will sign up your team for Google Apps and get email and productivity suite all-in-one.

And then you work your way from there. You'll quickly be adding more applications so you can build, market and sell your product or service. Soon you will realize that the number of passwords your company is managing is out of control and that you need some way to control access and relieve your busy employees of their password fatigue. At this stage of your company, Active Directory will do nothing to propell your company forward. It will only limit your agility and make things more complicated for everyone.

Your company will be best served by deploying a cloud-based identity provider, such as OneLogin. The advantage of this approach is that it becomes very easy to onboard new employees and applications. You centralize user management and access control and have a much better view of your identity footprint. And it was just as easy to get in place as that Google Apps account your company started out with.

 

 

 
MauriceB786
67%
33%
MauriceB786,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/15/2014 | 10:48:40 AM
Re: What's the alternative
I came to point out that this is a thinly veiled ad for a service that's targeted at people who have no business touching a domain controller. Instead I will point out that everything this product does and I do mean EVERYTHING you can already do with Windows.  You just have to find an admin who's willing to step away from the GUI and get their hands dirty with a small bit of PowerShell.  That's just for the sync'ing everything with the same password stuff.

Delegated rights have been in AD from day one.

When properly configured (read: AD Sites and Services setup along with proper connectors) replication isn't an issue.

What's irritating is that this is being peddled like it's real news and I fear some poor IT Manager is going to be forced to sit in a three hour meeting justifying some headcount.

Incidenally I'm putting as an open challenge Mr.Pederson, that your product doesn't do anything that a decently resourced IT team can't. 

In fact I'd go as far to argue that your product hurts IT departments by giving a false sense of security , hiding people from the complexity of their decisions.
MauriceB786
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50%
MauriceB786,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/15/2014 | 11:15:42 AM
Re: What's the alternative
If we go with your assertion of what a startup needs, then Google would be the dead last place I'd go as they usually need secrecy and Google doesn't go in for that very much.  It's also a lot of fun migrating off as well. 

Most orgs when they're mature enough to need something like AD are ready to hire an EXPERT to do it for them.  You're neglecting to mention the fact that you're freqently going to run into systems where the password complexity requirements are incompatable.


This isn't taking into consideration audit and compliance issues.


One last thing, while you don't say it, I'd be willing to bet your service is largely open source.  What do you use fo your login services?
Thomas B. Pedersen
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50%
Thomas B. Pedersen,
User Rank: Author
4/15/2014 | 11:28:58 AM
Re: What's the alternative
Maurice,

While our stack (Rails, Postgres, Ubuntu) is open-source, OneLogin has been written from the ground up by us. We don't use any larger open-source components for our identity functionality.

Thomas
Marilyn Cohodas
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50%
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
4/15/2014 | 11:50:31 AM
Re: What's the alternative
Incidenally I'm putting as an open challenge Mr.Pederson, that your product doesn't do anything that a decently resourced IT team can't. 

@MauriceB786 
What are the specific things that you believe a cloud-based identity management solution can't do that Active Directory does.
Thomas B. Pedersen
50%
50%
Thomas B. Pedersen,
User Rank: Author
4/15/2014 | 11:58:27 AM
Re: What's the alternative
Maurice,

You hit the nail on the head right there. A decently resourced IT team can accomplish anything, but do you really want to throw resources at all problems or would you rather leverage commercially available solutions that can automate and streamline your processes?

We talk to a ton of companies about their identity management challenges and a common theme is that they don't want to invest more resources in configuring ADFS (Active Directory Federation Services). Not only is ADFS unreasonably complex, but it also does not solve problems most of the problems they are strugging with, such as:
  • User provisioning
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Password reset
  • Apps that don't support federation
  • Easy-to-use SSO portals that increase productivity

The conversation is just as much about business agility and focusing on your core competences. It's a hyper competitive business environment and you can't be an identity laggard and stay competitive.

Thomas

 
MauriceB786
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0%
MauriceB786,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/15/2014 | 12:07:20 PM
Re: What's the alternative
I may have worded that poorly.

I meant what value-add is it?

What can it do that I can't?

This is speaking as someone well-versed in automation, AD, and generally making people say "I didn't know it could do that."



I'm generally leery when someone asserts that any one product can solve all problems.

So of course there will be edge cases that aren't within a reasonable scope for spending developer cycles on, but are those cases in that catagory because there wasn't sufficent documentation out there saying, "Hey ADFS can do _____ ".

 

Or the admin didn't know to look for it?
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