Amazon Web Services® (AWS) has been pushing their new solution dubbed, Cloud Directory. But, one of the challenges facing AWS stems from how exactly the term cloud directory is defined. So often when we hear the term directory, whether its proceeded by the word cloud or active, we begin to think of how Microsoft® has defined the term, directory services, for the past two decades. So, is it fair to compare AWS Cloud Directory vs Azure® Active Directory®?
Two Directories Alike in Name Only
While both are “cloud directory” solutions, they are actually very different. AWS Cloud Directory functions more like a database that creates hierarchical relationships between objects. Some of the examples that AWS provides for this platform are: creating organizational charts, automobile fleet management systems, and HR systems. Amazon’s goal with AWS Cloud Directory is to provide a platform that IT organizations and developers can build upon, much like the rest of AWS’s infrastructure platform. Most IT and development organizations can’t use AWS Cloud Directory “out-of-the-box” without significant work.
It is also important to note that while the solution is called AWS Cloud Directory, it does not function as a directory service like we’re used to with Microsoft Active Directory (MAD or AD). Authentication services are not a part of the platform nor are they the focus. This is the main difference when it comes to AWS Cloud Directory vs Azure Active Directory. AWS Cloud Directory functions more like a database, while Azure Active Directory is focused on identity management for the cloud. However, another thing to note is that while Microsoft is pushing Azure AD as their cloud directory, it isn’t even a complete replacement for their traditional on-prem offering. In short, Azure is merely a complement to on-prem AD. Clearly, Azure AD and AWS Cloud Directory have two very different definitions for what a cloud directory service is, and, unfortunately, both are not what most IT admins have in mind for a cloud directory.
A True Cloud Directory
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by Ryan Squires. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/aws-cloud-directory-vs-azure-active-directory/