Comparing AD and Azure®AD
With Microsoft® pushing hard on their new cloud identity management solution Azure® Active Directory®, many IT organizations are in the process of comparing AD and Azure AD.
- Is Azure AD a replacement to Active Directory?
- What are the cost differences?
- Does Azure AD connect with Macs?
- Does Azure AD come with Group Policy Objects?
These questions need to be answered when comparing AD and Azure AD. To understand the significance behind these questions, it’s important to take a look at the world from which Active Directory came.
In the Beginning, There was Microsoft
As most IT admins know, Microsoft Active Directory has become the most popular identity provider on the planet over the last two decades. Active Directory emerged in a time when users almost exclusively used Microsoft Windows® for their workstation, Microsoft Outlook for email, and Microsoft Office for productivity applications. In addition, these resources, and the networks used to access them, required on-prem infrastructure. IT found it difficult to securely manage identities within this Microsoft-centric on-prem workplace; Active Directory was created to address this problem. AD worked very well, and it provided IT admins with the user and system management they had been lacking. The key here is that it really only worked as long as the IT network was located on-prem and remained Windows-based.
Changes in IT Landscape Lead to Azure AD
Shortly after AD was introduced, the world started to slowly shift. The change started with the introduction of web applications — solutions such as Salesforce, G Suite, Github, and others. Soon, AWS® and other Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) providers changed how data centers were thought about and implemented. Even cloud and Linux server-based file storage solutions emerged, changing a core part of the IT infrastructure. Of course, Mac, and even Linux systems, also started to replace Windows workstations.
All of these changes soon put Microsoft (Read more...)