By Rajat Bhargava Posted May 2, 2016
Azure Active Directory (AD) is a cloud-based directory created by Microsoft to directly compete with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Apps. Azure AD enables organizations to manage user authentication and authorization to the Azure infrastructure, Office 365, and applications that leverage Azure.
Mistake: Thinking Azure AD is a Directory Service
Unlike the traditional Active Directory, the Azure AD is not meant as directory services solution for the on-premise network and infrastructure. In fact, the on-premise traditional Active Directory is rooted in a different code base than the the newer cloud-focused Azure AD. You can combine the two, but that pairing only benefits Windows and Azure-centric organizations.
In short, Azure AD is a cloud extension to the traditional Active Directory, making it a viable solution only if your organization’s entire infrastructure is based at Azure and that is all the functionality you need, because Azure AD does not support multiple devices, applications, and networks independent of its own environment. Azure AD will work well for organizations that want to control and manage Azure infrastructure, but the directory won’t be viable by itself since it requires a connection to the on-premise AD solution. Furthermore, IT admins will need to search for other ways to connect their LDAP-based, on-premise applications to a central user store.
Verdict: Azure AD is not a complete solution for an era in which cloud infrastructure, Macs, and web applications are mainstays. Using Azure AD forces IT admins to jump through hoops in order to connect all their users and resources together. In short, Azure AD is a headache to implement and manage.
Solution: Replacing Azure AD with Directory-as-a-Service®
Nowadays, IT admins want to trade in the heavy lifting of managing a legacy, on-premise directory for a cross-platform solution that manages their heterogeneous device environment, Identity-as-a-Service, and SaaS-based web applications. You won’t find that at Microsoft.
Directory-as-a-Service® (DaaS) solution is a cloud-based directory services replacement for Azure AD. DaaS is a central source to authenticate, authorize, and manage employees, their devices and IT applications, regardless of location. DaaS also makes user management cost-effective without the required maintenance of on-premise AD, a legacy solution that fumbles when compared to streamlined, secure, and easy-to-use solutions like JumpCloud®.
If you have all major OS platforms to support, user access to control for both internal and external resources such as servers and applications, and want to make identity management easier for your organization, drop us a note. We’ll walk you through how Directory-as-a-Service can help your business succeed.