Is Azure® AD the future of Active Directory®?

Is Azure AD the future of Active Directory?

With all the talk of changing directory services in the identity management sector, there’s a great deal of confusion about what the future holds. Long time industry leader, Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD or MAD), seems to be losing its grip on the market, and it’s creating an apparent vacuum in the directory services space. Microsoft Azure® Active Directory might be able to fill that vacuum, although many are still unsure. Foundationally, IT admins are wondering, is Azure AD the future of Active Directory?

A Pressing Question

A Pressing Question

The question is a complicated one because it touches on a number of areas of the identity and access management market. To start, Azure Active Directory is not a replacement to Active Directory. In fact, it doesn’t even seem as though Microsoft wants to replace AD with Azure AD. Certainly, given AD’s dominant hold on the IT industry, Microsoft feels no need to cannibalize it any time soon. Therefore, it’s clear that Microsoft wants Azure AD to be a complement to Active Directory. More importantly though, Azure AD is meant to be the mechanism that entices IT organizations towards using Azure, and subsequently keeping them there.

From a business standpoint, Microsoft doesn’t want to make it easy for IT organizations to shift to their competitors, such as G Suite, Google Cloud Platform, or AWS®. They do, however, want to make it interesting enough to draw IT organizations towards their platform. Often, a choice for IaaS also includes ancillary solutions that support the ability to manage and secure cloud infrastructure, hence why Microsoft needs a cloud IAM tool to be competitive with AWS IAM and Google IAM.

Microsoft’s Identity Management Plans for the Future

Unified Access Management Saves IT admins time

So, while Azure AD isn’t a replacement for Active Directory — even by Microsoft’s own admission via this post on Spiceworks — that doesn’t mean that they don’t view Azure AD as a key part of their future. Microsoft is working to shift their entire business to the cloud, and Azure AD is integral to their plans. Azure AD ties directly to cloud infrastructure, the (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by Zach DeMeyer. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/is-azure-ad-the-future-of-active-directory/

Zach DeMeyer

Zach DeMeyer

Zach is a writer and researcher for JumpCloud with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He loves being on the cutting edge of new technology, and when he's not working, he enjoys all things outdoors, making music, and soccer.

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