Identity Governance

The Top 7 Cloud Directory Solutions

Compare the top cloud directory services for business. Explore features such as data management, schema management, security features, and custom policies.

The Top 7 Cloud Directory Solutions Include:
  • 1. JumpCloud Cloud Directory
  • 2. Google Cloud Identity
  • 3. Microsoft Azure Active Directory
  • 4. Okta Universal Directory
  • 5. OneLogin Advanced Directory
  • 6. ORACLE Unified Directory
  • 7. Forgerock Directory Services

Cloud Directory solutions are cloud-based tools which manage user identities in the cloud. They allow admins to manage user groups and ensure the right teams can access the right files and applications. In addition, they can also help prevent compromise with access management and authentication services, such as single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Traditionally, directory services would have been installed on-prem, most commonly in the form of Microsoft’s Active Directory solution. This worked well for the vast majority of organizations who were based out of an office and used Windows devices; users could simply login to their Windows device and have access to all files in the Directory service. 

As organizations have moved to the cloud, a new category of Cloud Directory solutions have emerged to support cloud user identities. These solutions work across all operating systems and devices, provide a suite of identity security features, including multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, privileged access management and more. They also integrate with workstations, applications, and other directory solutions to provide comprehensive identity and access management across devices and platforms.

The main benefit of implementing a cloud directory solution is to improve identity security by protecting credentials and unifying identity management across applications and services. Many of the best directory services will also offer endpoint management and privileged access management, unifying many key security tools under one management console. These solutions are typically offered under a SaaS model. 

In this list, we’ll cover the best workforce cloud directory services for organizations. We’ll consider features, customer feedback, market presence, and pricing to help you find the right directory solution for your organization.

JumpCloud logo

JumpCloud is a market leading cloud directory and identity and access management provider. Their cloud directory platform has been used by over 200,000 organizations around the world to enable seamless unification and management of devices, identities, and access controls. 

JumpCloud’s cloud directory delivers unified device and access management across all operating systems, applications, and devices, with multi-factor authentication, privileged access management, unified endpoint management, single sign-on, and conditional access policies. 

JumpCloud Cloud Directory Features: 

  • Flexible, open integrations with hundreds of enterprise applications 
  • Multi-factor authentication, with contextual access and secure single sign-on 
  • Cloud LDAP to securely connect users to on-prem resources 
  • Granular conditional access policies and patch management with full-scale identity lifecycle management capabilities 
  • Unified endpoint device management, mobile device management, and patch management for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, iPadOS devices 
  • Granular data monitoring and in-depth reporting capabilities 
  • Comprehensive password manager with secure password vault and secure credential sharing with 2FA included

JumpCloud Cloud Directory Pricing: JumpCloud offers flexible à la carte pricing or bundled plans. 

Expert Insights’ Comments: JumpCloud Cloud Directory is one of the most comprehensive cloud directory solutions available for organizations today. It offers a vast range of features across identity management, device management, and access management to help secure user credentials, reduce the risk of device compromise, and ensure users can always access the applications and services they need to, wherever they are working. We recommend JumpCloud Cloud Directory for organizations looking for a comprehensive cloud directory service.

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Google Cloud Logo

Google Cloud Identity is a unified platform for identity and access management and endpoint management for enterprise use cases. It’s designed to enable users to securely access applications through multi-factor authentication and single sign-on, with endpoint management to enforce policies across devices. Google Cloud Identity also enables enterprises to extend their on-premises directories to the cloud with Google Cloud Directory Sync, which ensures that Google data matches that of your Active Directory or LDAP server.

Google Cloud Identity Features 

  • Secure single sign-on across connected enterprise applications, with support for thousands of cloud applications, including Google Apps, Slack, and Salesforce
  • Extends on-premises active directory with Google Cloud Active Directory Sync
  • Enables secure multi-factor authentication and conditional access policies with wide support for MFA verification methods, including FIDO keys via Android or IoS devices
  • Comprehensive admin console to manage users, access policies, apps, devices policies and reporting and auditing
  • Support across both personal and corporate devices is ideal for remote teams

Google Cloud Identity Pricing: Google Cloud Identity is available as both a premium and free version for Google Cloud users. The premium version of Google Cloud Identity is available as part of your Google Workspace subscription with additional advanced endpoint and app management features.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Google Cloud Identity is not solely a cloud directory service but does offer some key features such as single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, and access management policies for Google Workspace users. End-users report the platform is easy to use, with a wide range of support for authentication options, and admins highly rate the endpoint and app management capabilities.

Azure Logo

Microsoft Azure Active Directory is Microsoft’s flagship cloud directory service, offering key features including single sign-on across enterprise applications, conditional access policies and multi-factor authentication, granular admin visibility and controls, and identity governance capabilities.

The solution is designed for Microsoft 365 users and is widely supported by SaaS applications to sync user identities and provision accounts, including by other providers on this list. Microsoft Azure AD is part of Microsoft Entra, Microsoft’s family of cloud identity solutions which includes permissions management, identity verification, workload identities, and identity governance.

Microsoft Azure Active Directory Features:  

  • Conditional access policies and multi-factor authentication to secure access to Microsoft services, endpoint devices and enterprise applications, with multiple verification options including passwordless authentication
  • Secure single sign-on leveraging Microsoft’s authentication application with end-user self-enrolment options
  • Granular admin control over identity policies for both cloud and on-premises applications with comprehensive reports and audit logs
  • Automated identity governance to ensure only authorized admins and users have access to applications and data

Microsoft Azure Active Directory Pricing: Microsoft Azure AD is available in four editions. One is free for, one is included in M365 subscriptions, and two are premium services with additional features around threat protection, and identity governance.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Microsoft Azure Active Directory is a leading directory service for organizations of all sizes. With granular identity services and authentication policies for Microsoft’s own services and connected third party applications, the solution is both a comprehensive cloud directory and a powerful identity security solution for Microsoft 365 users. The solution is continuously improved by Microsoft’s vast global network of data signals.

Okta Logo

Okta are a global leading identity provider, used by more than 10,000 organizations around the world. Their Universal Directory solution is a unified cloud directory for managing all users, devices, and groups, managed in one, comprehensive admin console. This solution is delivered as part of Okta’s Workforce Identity Cloud, which delivers a comprehensive suite of IAM features including single sign-on, MFA, passwordless authentication, and privileged access management.

Okta Universal Directory Features: 

  • Comprehensive view of all users, including partners, customers, and contractors in a centralized admin console
  • Integrations to on-premises AD and LDAP directories, as well as HR systems, SaaS apps, CVS files, and other identity providers
  • User management policies and lifecycle management, including conditional access policies-based user location, IP, device, group membership, enforced with MFA, and password policy enforcement
  • Detailed, pre-built reporting which can be easily exported to other tools or to CSV files
  • More than 7,000 pre-built integrations to applications and infrastructure to enable admins to easily roll out secure access policies 

OKTA Universal Directory Pricing: Okta has a modular pricing model, with a $1,500 per year minimum annual contract cost. The Universal Directory module has a list price of $2 per user, per month.

Expert Insights’ Comments: The Okta platform offers a huge range of features, from adaptive MFA to privilege access management. The huge amount of pre-built integrations means it’s highly scalable and straightforward to deploy across applications. The Universal Directory is praised by users for it’s easy-to-manage admin console, and wide support across apps and other identity providers.

Onelogin logo

OneLogin’s Advanced Directory service enables organizations to synchronize their users in the cloud from both cloud and on-premises directories such as Microsoft Azure AD, LDAP, G Suite, and HR providers. The solution is offered as part of OneLogin’s Workforce Identity suite, which also enables key IAM solutions such as SSO, MFA, user provisioning, and mobile identity. OneLogin are a trusted identity provider, headquartered in Aliso Viejo, CA, securing over 5,500 customers globally.

OneLogin Advanced Directory Features

  • Fully cloud-based directory service with easy-to-manage web interface for managing users, groups, and authentication policies, including access management MFA and SSO
  • Integrations with Microsoft AD, LDAP, HR platforms, and Google apps to import users and provision access to new applications, with real-time sync
  • Fast set-up and deployment with AD connectors installed in minutes and no changes required to firewalls
  • Vast range of IAM features delivered in the OneLogin Workforce Identity stack including MFA, SSO, adaptive authentication, and lifecycle management 

OneLogin Advanced Directory Pricing: OneLogin pricing is modular, with pricing for Advanced Directory starting at $2 per user per month. A bundle deal is available which offers SSO, MFA, and advanced directory for $4 per user per month.

Expert Insights’ Comments: OneLogin offers a cost effective and fully featured enterprise directory service. It is simple to use and deploy, enabling admins to easily manage user access policies and enforce key IAM services such as secure MFA and SSO. Users report that this solution is dependable and scalable as an identity solution.

Oracle Logo

ORACLE offer a suite of identity and access management solutions to secure access to both cloud and on-premises enterprise applications. ORACLE’s highly scalable service offering includes identity governance and administration, and cloud-native identity and access management, including adaptive multi-factor authentication, single sign-on and contextual and risk aware conditional access policies. ORACLE’s Unified Directory is an integrated, enterprise directory solution, designed for scalability to support millions of users and devices.

Oracle Unified Directory Features 

  • Elastic scalability to support growth without unnecessary over-provisioning, with support for millions of users and devices
  • Support for a range of deployment options; directory server can be deployed and configured in a few clicks
  • Granular configuration options and metrics
  • Cloud-native, identity-as-a-service solution, supporting multi-cloud and on-premises environments
  • Oracle’s wider identity and access management stack includes adaptive authentication, secure single sign on, and contextual access policies

Oracle Unified Directory Pricing: Pricing for this service can be obtained by contacting the Oracle team directly.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Oracle offer granular identity and access management policies in a highly scalable solution for enterprise users. It is particularly suited to large corporations, universities and large retail groups, and the solution is able to support use cases of billions of connected users and devices. This is a powerful, enterprise focussed directory solution.

ForgeRock Logo

Forgerock offers a comprehensive workforce and customer identity and access management suite, enabling easy, secure management of workforce identities in the cloud. The ForgeRock Identity Platform delivers a broad range of IAM features, including access management, identity governance, automated access management policies, an identity gateway, and intelligent access solutions. It also provides secure directory services, designed to unite directories thereby improving performance and scalability.

Forgerock Directory Services Features: 

  • Improved performance for user authentication process and applications for highly scalable access processes
  • Highly secure directory with data encrypted at rest and in transit
  • Support for millions of connected users and devices with minimal latency and zero downtime
  • Flexible deployment with support for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments, across operating systems and within any cloud environments, including AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, or using containerized Docker and Kubernetes technologies
  • Delivered as art of Forgerock’s Identity Platform, which is a dedicated access management, identity governance and identity management solution

Forgerock Directory Services Pricing: Pricing for this solution can be obtained by contacting the Forgerock sales team directly.

 Expert Insights’ Comments: Forgerock Directory Services is a highly scalable and flexible directory solution, with support for millions of users. It has support for a vast range of possible use cases and helps to greatly improve the speed of identity related processes. Forgerock is recommended for large organizations, especially those in the financial services, healthcare, government, media, and retail industries.

The Top Cloud Directory Solutions For Business - Expert Insights