Do I need Active Directory® if I have Office 365® (O365)?

Active Directory Azure AD O365

Every day, we hear this question from companies: “We are shifting our business to the cloud and leveraging Microsoft® Office 365™, do I need Active Directory® if I have Office 365?”

Let’s cut right to the chase. No! You don’t need to continue to leverage Active Directory as you make the move to the cloud. In fact, you don’t need to do a lot of the things the same way you’ve been doing them in the past. That said, we get it. It is easy to get confused by this topic. There have been some big changes in IT, and even before that, Microsoft’s identity management plans have always been a little difficult to understand. Let’s see if we can clarify them.

The New Roles of Active Directory and Office 365

Active Directory is Microsoft’s on-prem identity management software that has been used for just about two decades now (it was released in the back half of 1999). Perhaps due to Microsoft’s timing or the fact they owned where most computing was happening at that time, on Windows® machines, they’ve had a virtual monopoly on the market ever since. As a result, Active Directory is the only directory service that many IT admins even know.

With the shift to the cloud, though, Microsoft has started to build a completely separate product called Azure® Active Directory (AAD or Azure AD). This product doesn’t share the same code base and is largely meant to serve as a complement to existing, on-prem AD implementations. The problem with going with a cloud Microsoft product like Azure is two-fold. You still need to leverage on-prem AD, and Microsoft wants to keep you firmly in their ecosystem. What do we mean by this?

If you’re solely focused on leveraging Azure and don’t need system management for Linux® and macOS® systems, cloud servers at AWS®, G Suite™ integration, or any number of non-Microsoft solutions, then the cloud-based directory service Azure AD may fit your needs just fine. For most organizations, however, in order to have directory services (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by Rajat. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/need-active-directory-office-365-o365/