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12 Best Cloud Directory Services Shortlist

After a thorough evaluation, I've curated a list of the 12 best cloud directory services and summarized the specific cloud challenges each one addresses.

  1. Micro Focus eDirectory - Best for established businesses seeking robust identity management
  2. miniOrange - Best for secure single sign-on and multi-factor authentication
  3. PingIdentity - Best for scalability with user-friendly identity solutions
  4. Okta Universal Directory - Best for comprehensive, centralized user management
  5. OneLogin Advanced Directory - Best for integrating on-premise and cloud directories
  6. Okta Workforce Identity Cloud - Best for efficient employee lifecycle management
  7. Microsoft Managed Service for Microsoft Active Directory - Best for those seeking managed Microsoft AD services
  8. JumpCloud - Best for businesses requiring directory-as-a-service functions
  9. Kyndryl - Best for businesses transitioning to the cloud
  10. Foxpass - Best for secure, easy-to-use LDAP and RADIUS
  11. AWS Directory Service - Best for those using Amazon Web Services for easy integration
  12. Microsoft Entra Verified ID - Best for ensuring secure digital identities in a Microsoft environment

In the world of operating systems, from Windows to mobile devices, cloud directory services serve as a critical connector that facilitates automation, real-time tracking, and secure access to resources. These directory platforms manage user accounts and help orchestrate workflow processes, providing an integrated approach to address a variety of use cases.

The relief from dealing with disparate, unconnected systems is significant, and the ability to centralize and automate the management of user accounts enhances security. Trust me when I say that these cloud directory services are worth checking out - they've been a game-changer in my own experience and could be for you too.

What Is a Cloud Directory Service?

Cloud directory services, also known as Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS), provide an essential platform for managing user access to IT resources, including systems, applications, files, and networks. Primarily used by IT administrators, these services streamline the process of connecting users to their IT resources, irrespective of their location, device, or the nature of the resource itself.

The goal is to enhance security, simplify identity management, and facilitate user access. From small startups to large corporations, businesses leverage cloud directory services to ensure secure, efficient operations in an increasingly digital and remote work environment.

Overview of the 12 Best Cloud Directory Services

1. Micro Focus eDirectory - Best for established businesses seeking robust identity management

Micro Focus eDirectory service catalog overview
This is a screenshot of the Micro Focus eDirectory service catalog.

Micro Focus eDirectory is a high-end, battle-tested identity management solution. It's uniquely designed to serve established businesses seeking secure, scalable, and robust directory services.

Why I Picked Micro Focus eDirectory:

I chose Micro Focus eDirectory because of its exceptional reputation and proven performance in managing complex identity structures. It stands out with its robust set of features and ability to handle large volumes of identities and resources, making it ideal for established businesses.

In terms of identity management, it consistently delivers with reliability and robustness, hence my assertion that it's best suited for established businesses.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Micro Focus eDirectory comes with high-grade security features, including access control rules and password self-service. It also offers comprehensive auditing for easier compliance.

As for integrations, it syncs well with other Micro Focus offerings like NetIQ Access Manager and Identity Manager, providing an expanded suite of identity and access management tools.


Micro Focus eDirectory pricing starts at $1.40 per user per month (minimum 10 seats).


  • Proven scalability and reliability
  • Strong security and auditing features
  • Efficient password self-service


  • May be overkill for smaller businesses
  • Could be complex for novice users
  • Relatively higher pricing for smaller seat counts

2. miniOrange - Best for secure single sign-on and multi-factor authentication

miniOrange is one of the top cloud directory services
MiniOrange integrates multiple directory services for centralized management of users, groups, and access privileges.

MiniOrange is a comprehensive cloud directory service with a focus on security. With an emphasis on single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA), it offers strong protection for user identities and resources.

Why I Picked miniOrange:

In selecting tools for this list, I was particularly impressed by miniOrange's robust and reliable security features. It stands out for its emphasis on secure single sign-on and multi-factor authentication, providing an extra layer of security for businesses. Given the rising cybersecurity threats today, I believe miniOrange is best for businesses that prioritize secure SSO and MFA.

Standout Features & Integrations:

MiniOrange offers feature-rich SSO and MFA solutions, with support for a wide range of protocols and biometric authentication methods. It also has adaptive authentication, providing dynamic security based on user behavior.

In terms of integrations, miniOrange boasts compatibility with a multitude of apps and platforms, including Office 365, G Suite, Salesforce, and many more.


Pricing for miniOrange starts from $4 per user per month.


  • Strong focus on secure SSO and MFA
  • Adaptive authentication for dynamic security
  • Wide range of integrations


  • Steeper learning curve for non-technical users
  • Customization options may be overwhelming
  • Limited scalability options for larger businesses

3. PingIdentity - Best for scalability with user-friendly identity solutions

PingIdentity administrative console screenshot
PingIdentity focuses on secure, seamless digital experiences.

PingIdentity is a renowned provider of identity and access management solutions that caters to businesses of all sizes. It stands out for its ability to scale alongside businesses while maintaining a user-friendly approach to identity management.

Why I Picked PingIdentity:

I picked PingIdentity for its impeccable balance between scalability and user-friendliness. In the realm of cloud directory services, it's easy to sacrifice ease of use for scalability. But PingIdentity manages to offer both without compromise. For its ability to handle growth without overwhelming users, I recommend it as best for businesses that need scalable, user-friendly identity solutions.

Standout Features & Integrations:

PingIdentity provides a comprehensive set of features including SSO, MFA, and access security. It also offers an intuitive user interface that makes identity management a breeze. As for integrations, PingIdentity supports an array of applications and platforms, from web and mobile apps to APIs and microservices, ensuring flexibility for diverse IT environments.


Pricing for PingIdentity begins at $3 per user per month.


  • Excellent balance of scalability and user-friendliness
  • Comprehensive security features
  • Wide-ranging integrations


  • Customer support could be more responsive
  • Occasional complexity in setup
  • Some features may require additional cost

4. Okta Universal Directory - Best for comprehensive, centralized user management

Okta Universal Directory sample dashboard
Okta Universal Directory integrates with HR systems, apps, and third-party identity providers.

Okta Universal Directory stands as a premier solution for those requiring a centralized hub for managing users across their entire ecosystem. This service uniquely offers a single view of a user across all systems, making it ideal for comprehensive user management.

Why I Picked Okta Universal Directory:

I chose Okta Universal Directory for its holistic approach to user management. Many cloud directory services offer segmented views, but Okta stands apart with its single, centralized viewpoint. In my judgment, Okta Universal Directory is the best choice for businesses that require a comprehensive, centralized user management solution.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Okta Universal Directory's features include a unified view of all users, flexible user attributes, and comprehensive reporting. These qualities equip it with a robust capability to meet diverse user management needs. Regarding integrations, it boasts compatibility with a wide range of popular business apps and services, like Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Salesforce, and more.


Pricing for Okta Universal Directory starts from $2 per user per month.


  • Centralized view of all users
  • Flexible user attributes
  • Broad range of integrations


  • Pricing can scale quickly with advanced features
  • Might be overkill for small businesses
  • Interface could be more intuitive for beginners

5. OneLogin Advanced Directory - Best for integrating on-premise and cloud directories

Website of OneLogin Advanced Directory cloud directory service
Eliminate time-consuming on-prem directory management hassles with OneLogin Advanced Directory.

OneLogin Advanced Directory excels in merging traditional on-premise directories with cloud-based ones, providing a unique blend of flexibility and control. With its ability to synchronize users from multiple sources, it stands out for businesses aiming to maintain a hybrid directory environment.

Why I Picked OneLogin Advanced Directory:

I picked OneLogin Advanced Directory due to its superior handling of both on-premise and cloud directories. In my selection process, the ability to easily blend these two directory types truly set it apart. Therefore, I believe it is best suited for organizations looking to maintain a balance of on-premise and cloud directory environments.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Key features of OneLogin Advanced Directory include user synchronization from multiple sources, granular control over user attributes, and configurable security policies. These features create a rich and customizable user management experience. Notable integrations include Microsoft Active Directory, LDAP, and Google Workspace, making it capable of playing well with a wide range of platforms.


The starting price for OneLogin Advanced Directory is $4 per user per month (billed annually).


  • Capable of integrating on-premise and cloud directories
  • Provides granular control over user attributes
  • Wide range of integrations


  • May have a steeper learning curve
  • Pricing is billed annually, lacking a monthly option
  • Some advanced features may require additional costs

6. Okta Workforce Identity Cloud - Best for efficient employee lifecycle management

Okta Workforce Identity Cloud website screenshot
Take a look at the Okta Workforce Identity Cloud website screenshot.

Okta Workforce Identity Cloud is designed to provide automated and efficient management of employee identities from onboarding to offboarding. By streamlining the entire lifecycle of an employee's identity within the organization, it stands out for businesses that prioritize easy and efficient employee lifecycle management.

Why I Picked Okta Workforce Identity Cloud:

The decision to pick Okta Workforce Identity Cloud for this list came down to its effective handling of employee identity management. What sets it apart is its comprehensive, end-to-end approach to managing the entire lifecycle of an employee's identity within the organization.

I am convinced it is best for businesses that require efficient employee lifecycle management.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Okta Workforce Identity Cloud offers automated lifecycle management, identity governance, and advanced server access. The ability to manage access based on roles, as well as the provision for automated de-provisioning, makes it a vital tool for organizations. It integrates well with a vast array of enterprise applications, including Salesforce, Google Workspace, Microsoft Office 365, and more.


The pricing for Okta Workforce Identity Cloud starts from $6 per user per month (billed annually).


  • Comprehensive lifecycle management features
  • Wide range of integrations with enterprise applications
  • Robust identity governance


  • Might be overly complex for small businesses
  • Requires a minimum number of users (min 5 seats)
  • Advanced features could come with additional costs

7. Microsoft Managed Service for Microsoft Active Directory - Best for those seeking managed Microsoft AD services

Microsoft Managed Service for Microsoft Active Directory website view
Microsoft Managed Service for Microsoft Active Directory provides secure, hardened domains hosted on Google Cloud.

Microsoft Managed Service for Microsoft Active Directory provides a secure, scalable, and fully managed AD solution to organizations. It is especially advantageous for organizations that heavily rely on Microsoft services and wish to leverage managed Active Directory services for smoother operations.

Why I Picked Microsoft Managed Service for Microsoft Active Directory:

I selected Microsoft Managed Service for Microsoft Active Directory based on its extensive capabilities, particularly for organizations deeply integrated with the Microsoft ecosystem. It delivers managed AD services that alleviate the need for internal management, making it an excellent choice for businesses wanting to take advantage of Microsoft AD without the hassle of self-management.

Standout Features & Integrations:

This service offers fully managed Active Directory Domain Services such as domain join, group policy, LDAP, and Kerberos/NTLM authentication. It integrates tightly with other Microsoft services like Azure AD, Microsoft 365, and SharePoint, creating a unified environment for all your identity and access needs.


The pricing for Microsoft Managed Service for Microsoft Active Directory starts from $2.45 per user per month. However, this cost depends on the specific requirements and may vary accordingly.


  • Fully managed Active Directory services
  • Tight integration with Microsoft's suite of services
  • Scalability as per organizational needs


  • Might not be ideal for organizations not using Microsoft services
  • Some advanced features could increase the cost
  • Limited integration options with non-Microsoft services

8. JumpCloud - Best for businesses requiring directory-as-a-service functions

JumpCloud users view
JumpCloud enables secure access to connected resources through a single identity.

JumpCloud offers a comprehensive directory-as-a-service (DaaS) platform that connects and manages users to their systems, applications, files, and networks through a secure, cloud-based platform. It's an ideal solution for businesses that require extensive DaaS functions for diverse IT resources.

Why I Picked JumpCloud:

I picked JumpCloud for this list because of its robust functionality that centralizes and simplifies user management. It offers a platform-agnostic service, allowing organizations to manage users across a variety of systems. This makes it stand out among other similar tools and is why I believe it's best for businesses needing extensive DaaS features.

Standout Features & Integrations:

JumpCloud offers numerous features like LDAP, SAML, RADIUS, MFA, and more, providing businesses with a wide array of tools for managing user access. The platform integrates with multiple platforms such as G Suite, Office 365,

and AWS, thereby providing the flexibility to work in diverse IT environments.


JumpCloud's pricing begins from $10 per user per month. This is the starting cost for their Standard package, offering core directory services along with secure device management.


  • Extensive directory-as-a-service features
  • Integrates with a wide array of platforms
  • Allows for cross-platform user and device management


  • Can become expensive for large organizations
  • The interface may be complex for beginners
  • Limited advanced security features in the base package

9. Kyndryl - Best for businesses transitioning to the cloud

Website of the Kyndryl cloud directory service
A screenshot of the Kyndryl website.

Kyndryl, previously IBM's managed infrastructure services business, is now a separate entity focused on enabling businesses to accelerate their digital transformations by transitioning to cloud environments. Its comprehensive service offerings make it a prime choice for businesses moving to the cloud.

Why I Picked Kyndryl:

I chose Kyndryl due to its extensive experience and well-built infrastructure in managing and transforming IT services. Its rich history as part of IBM sets it apart, as it has a deep understanding of both legacy systems and modern, cloud-based environments.

This dual expertise is why it's the best choice for businesses transitioning to the cloud.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Kyndryl's main features include cloud consulting, managed IT services, and network and edge services, all aimed at driving digital transformation. It boasts integrations with most major cloud providers, enabling transitions and interoperability between different cloud environments.


Pricing for Kyndryl's services is not readily available, as it largely depends on the specific needs of each client. For accurate information, interested parties would need to contact Kyndryl directly.


  • Comprehensive suite of services for digital transformation
  • Broad range of integrations with major cloud providers
  • Strong track record in IT service management


  • Pricing is not transparent
  • Services may be too extensive for small businesses
  • Potential conflicts with previous IBM services may arise

10. Foxpass - Best for secure, easy-to-use LDAP and RADIUS

Foxpass website overview
A page screenshot on the Foxpass website.

Foxpass is an identity management tool that provides organizations with secure, scalable, and easy-to-use LDAP, RADIUS, and SSH key management. Its robustness and straightforward usage make it ideal for any business looking for strong yet user-friendly LDAP and RADIUS services.

Why I Picked Foxpass:

I picked Foxpass because of its user-friendly approach to secure identity management. It offers strong security features without sacrificing usability, which sets it apart from many other solutions. This blend of security and ease of use is why I believe Foxpass is the best option for secure, easy-to-use LDAP and RADIUS.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Foxpass provides LDAP, RADIUS, and SSH key management, with security features such as automatic lockout after too many failed login attempts. Integrations include most cloud providers and VPN systems, as well as support for custom integrations via its API.


Pricing starts from $3/user/month, with discounts available for larger deployments.


  • Provides strong security features like automatic lockout
  • Offers LDAP, RADIUS, and SSH key management
  • Supports a wide range of integrations, including most cloud providers and VPN systems


  • Advanced features might require some technical know-how
  • Smaller businesses might find the cost per user higher than alternatives
  • The user interface could be more intuitive

11. AWS Directory Service - Best for those using Amazon Web Services for easy integration

AWS Directory Service features
Streamline operations, availability, maintenance, and workload management with AWS Directory Service.

AWS Directory Service provides managed directories that make it easy to connect and manage AWS resources with an existing on-premises Microsoft Active Directory or to set up a new standalone directory in the AWS Cloud. Because of its natural fit within the AWS ecosystem, it is best suited for businesses that use Amazon Web Services and want to benefit from the integration possibilities it offers.

Why I Picked AWS Directory Service:

In my comparison of various directory services, I found AWS Directory Service to stand out, mainly due to its high level of compatibility with the AWS ecosystem. The smooth integration it provides for businesses already using AWS is a significant advantage. Therefore, I judge AWS Directory Service to be the best option for those using Amazon Web Services.

Standout Features & Integrations:

AWS Directory Service stands out with its AWS Managed Microsoft AD, which lets you use existing corporate identities to access AWS resources. It also enables the use of familiar AD administrative tools. The service integrates well with other AWS services, including Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, and AWS Enterprise IT applications.


Pricing starts from $0.05/hour for Small directories (billed hourly), which is equivalent to about $36/month.


  • Smooth integration with AWS ecosystem
  • Allows usage of existing corporate identities to access AWS resources
  • Support for familiar AD administrative tools


  • Pricing can be complex due to the hourly billing structure
  • Less suitable for businesses not already using AWS
  • May require additional AWS knowledge for effective usage

12. Microsoft Entra Verified ID - Best for ensuring secure digital identities in a Microsoft environment

Microsoft Entra Verified ID setup overview
Construct a Verified ID in the Microsoft Entra administrator portal for quick credentials issuing.

Microsoft Entra Verified ID is a secure, scalable, and reliable solution for digital identity verification that fits naturally into the Microsoft ecosystem. If you're already utilizing Microsoft services and need to ensure digital identity security, this is an ideal choice.

Why I Picked Microsoft Entra Verified ID:

The reason I picked Microsoft Entra Verified ID comes down to its exceptional fit for Microsoft-oriented organizations. In judging and comparing different tools, it stood out with its dedicated focus on digital identity verification within Microsoft's environment.

Therefore, I believe it's best for those who need to secure digital identities in a Microsoft ecosystem.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Microsoft Entra Verified ID's standout features include its robust identity verification mechanisms and the fact that it is designed to be compliant with a variety of regulations. It integrates well within the Microsoft ecosystem, which means it can be used in conjunction with other Microsoft tools, including Azure, Office 365, and more.


Pricing for Microsoft Entra Verified ID is upon request.


  • Designed specifically for the Microsoft environment
  • Robust identity verification mechanisms
  • Compliant with various regulations


  • Less suitable for businesses not using Microsoft tools
  • Pricing information not readily available
  • Might require additional knowledge of the Microsoft ecosystem for effective usage

Other Noteworthy Cloud Directory Services

Below is a list of additional cloud directory services that I shortlisted but did not make it to the top 12. But, they are still definitely worth checking out.

  1. Amazon Cloud Directory - Good for managing hierarchical data at scale
  2. ManageEngine ADManager Plus - Good for Active Directory management and reporting
  3. Red Hat Directory Server - Good for businesses looking for LDAP services in a Linux environment
  4. Oracle Identity and Access Management (IAM) - Good for implementing enterprise-grade security in Oracle ecosystems
  5. Apache Directory - Good for those seeking an open-source directory solution
  6. Microsoft Azure Compute - Good for businesses needing scalable cloud computing within the Microsoft ecosystem
  7. Cloudflare Zero Trust Network Access - Good for organizations seeking to establish a zero trust security framework
  8. ForgeRock - Good for businesses requiring advanced digital identity management solutions
  9. HelloID - Good for organizations in need of a cloud-based single sign-on solution
  10. Auth0 - Good for companies needing customizable, robust authentication and authorization
  11. Azure Active Directory B2C - Good for businesses requiring consumer identity management in the Microsoft cloud
  12. VMware Workspace ONE - Good for unified endpoint management across different device types
  13. FusionAuth - Good for developers seeking a customizable, scalable identity solution
  14. SailPoint - Good for enterprises seeking robust identity governance capabilities

Selection Criteria for Choosing the Best Cloud Directory Services

When I set out to find the best identity management solutions, I put many tools to the test, trying them out in real-world scenarios. In my evaluations, I scrutinized each tool's core functionality, key features, and usability. Here are the criteria that mattered most to me:

Core Functionality

Identity management solutions should:

  • Provide secure, role-based access control
  • Support single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA)
  • Offer identity governance to manage access rights and ensure compliance
  • Enable user lifecycle management, including provisioning, updating, and de-provisioning users
  • Support a variety of standard protocols such as LDAP, SAML, and OpenID

Key Features

These are some of the key features that stood out in the top identity management solutions:

  • Integration Capabilities: The solution should integrate easily with a variety of applications and systems in your tech stack.
  • Scalability: The tool should be able to grow with your business, accommodating increases in users and complexity over time.
  • Security Features: Improved security measures such as risk-based authentication and threat intelligence are critical in a world with increasing cybersecurity threats.
  • Audit and Reporting: The software should provide detailed audit logs and reporting capabilities to support compliance efforts.
  • Self-service Capabilities: Enabling end-users to manage their own credentials can reduce helpdesk workload and improve user satisfaction.


In terms of usability, here's what I looked for:

  • Intuitive Interface: The software should be easy to navigate, with clearly labeled functions and a user-friendly design.
  • Ease of Configuration: Setting up and configuring the tool should be straightforward and not require extensive technical skills.
  • Quality of Customer Support: When problems arise, having a responsive and knowledgeable support team is essential.
  • Learning Resources: Given the complexity of identity management, the availability of comprehensive documentation, tutorials, and training materials is crucial.
  • Efficient Onboarding: The software should allow for easy addition and removal of users, as well as the intuitive role and permission assignment.

Most Common Questions Regarding Cloud Directory Services (FAQs)

What are the benefits of using cloud directory services?

Cloud directory services offer numerous advantages.

  1. They provide centralized management of user identities across different platforms and devices, making it easier to maintain control and visibility.
  2. They support standard protocols like LDAP, SAML, and RADIUS, promoting interoperability with other systems.
  3. They offer improved security features such as multi-factor authentication and single sign-on, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
  4. They allow for scalability, adjusting to handle an increased number of users and systems as your business grows.
  5. cloud directory services often come with comprehensive audit and reporting capabilities, facilitating compliance with various regulations.

How much do cloud directory services cost?

The pricing for cloud directory services varies widely based on the number of users, features required, and the specific provider. Some tools charge a flat monthly or annual fee, while others use a per-user, per-month model.

What are the pricing models for cloud directory services?

Most cloud directory services operate on a subscription-based pricing model, typically charged per user per month. Some also offer tiered pricing structures, where you pay more for access to advanced features or increased capacity.

What is the typical range of pricing for cloud directory services?

On the lower end, you can expect to pay around $1 per user per month for basic services. For premium services with advanced features, costs can reach up to $15 per user per month. However, pricing can be higher for enterprise-level solutions or plans that include additional security features.

Which are the cheapest and most expensive cloud directory services?

While prices can vary, JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service is one of the more affordable options, starting at $3 per user per month. On the higher end, services like Okta and OneLogin often have pricing that starts at around $15 per user per month.

Are there any free cloud directory services?

Yes, there are a few providers that offer free plans. JumpCloud, for example, offers a free plan for up to 10 users. Keep in mind, however, that free plans usually offer limited features and may not be suitable for larger organizations.

Other Cloud Management Software Reviews


In conclusion, it's apparent that choosing the right cloud directory service revolves around identifying the specific needs of your organization and matching those with the appropriate solutions available in the market.

Key takeaways

  1. Prioritize Core Functionality: The fundamental function of any cloud directory service is to manage and control user identities and access in your IT environment. It's important to choose a solution that efficiently handles these tasks and provides support for the necessary protocols and systems your organization utilizes.
  2. Features Are Crucial: While all cloud directory services aim to provide similar functionality, the unique features of each solution can make a substantial difference. Look out for essential features like multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, scalability, and extensive reporting options that can add value to your organization's IT management.
  3. Balance Usability and Cost: Even the most feature-rich solution can lose its appeal if it's too complex to navigate. Always consider the user interface and user experience when choosing a cloud directory service. Additionally, assess the pricing model to ensure that the solution is not only affordable for your organization but also provides value for money by delivering the features and functionality you require.

What Do You Think?

The landscape of cloud directory services is vast and dynamic. As such, the insights provided here should serve as a practical guide to finding the right tool for your organization. The considerations about core functionality, key features, usability, and cost should empower you to make an informed decision.

However, given the continually evolving nature of this technology, there might be other impressive tools out there that haven't been mentioned in this article. So, if there are any cloud directory services you've found helpful and think should be on this list, please feel free to share them. Your experiences and suggestions are invaluable in making this resource as useful as possible for everyone.

By Paulo Gardini Miguel

Paulo is the Director of Technology at the rapidly growing media tech company BWZ. Prior to that, he worked as a Software Engineering Manager and then Head Of Technology at Navegg, Latin America’s largest data marketplace, and as Full Stack Engineer at MapLink, which provides geolocation APIs as a service. Paulo draws insight from years of experience serving as an infrastructure architect, team leader, and product developer in rapidly scaling web environments. He’s driven to share his expertise with other technology leaders to help them build great teams, improve performance, optimize resources, and create foundations for scalability.