Last month we covered the concept of having all endpoints under the control of Intune and Azure AD. Leaving On-Premises servers in another camp, and you might wonder the next steps to being an organization without On-Premise Active Directory.
So, what’s the next step to becoming a full cloud-first organization and leaving Active Directory in the dust? Azure Active Directory Domain Services (AADDS) fills the gaps of providing domain join, group policy, LDAP, and Kerberos/NTLM authentication to devices that do not natively communicate to AzureAD. AADDS typically includes servers and any devices that rely on LDAP or Kerberos/NTLM authentication. Additionally, this service provides Active Directory services within the Azure tenant for services like Virtual Machines and even Windows Virtual Desktop.
During transition, the following diagram from Microsoft, Overview of Azure Active Directory Domain Services | Microsoft Docs, depicts what the deployment looks like:
Benefits of Migrating to AADDS
Now that we are past the things to be aware of, let’s talk benefits and the simplicity gained from a deployment and migration to AADDS.
Key benefits include:
- Simplified deployment experience – All services are deployed within a matter of hours and ready for prime time.
- Rich integration with Azure AD- All identity data in Azure AD is seamlessly synced to AADDS, no tools, software, or connectors required.
- Highly available – AADDS includes multiple domain controllers and can be geographically expanded via Azure Availability Zones and Replica sets to expand beyond local zone redundancy.
- No more patching domain controllers – Since this is a managed service, IT is out of the business of patching one of the most critical infrastructures in the network. It seems like a win to me!
As one might see, the benefits are pretty significant in driving greater efficiency and resiliency for organizations of all sizes, and adoption for the small-to-medium-size business is not too daunting of a task. Basically, with a spend of under $300.00 a month, most organizations can move beyond the management of On-Premise AD and complete the journey to being a cloud-first organization.
Kyle Yencer is the MicroAge vice president of services and connected workforce. Formerly the founder and president at Semaphore Co, a cloud-services organization acquired by MicroAge, Kyle has two decades of experience in IT services and operations and is dedicated to keeping the focus on advancing edge technologies, user experience, and maximizing agility and value.
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