8 Benefits to Using Azure AD DS


Is it possible to have a less complex approach to running domains in Azure? This topic seems to come up quite a bit with our state and local government and EDU sector clients.

On today’s blog, we will talk about Azure AD Domain Services (Azure AD DS) and the benefits of running it in your Azure Virtual Machine. 

Let’s start with the basics. 

Azure Active Directory Domain Services Defined

Azure AD DS (also known as Azure Active Directory Domain Services) is exactly as it reads they are “managed domain services”. With them, you no longer need to manage, patch, or deploy domain controllers on the cloud.

Key Benefits to Using Azure AD DS


      1. Simplified Deployment – Through a single wizard in the Azure portal, Azure AD DS can be enabled for your Azure AD Tenant.


      1. Integrated Systems – Experience automatic synchronization between the changes to attributes in your Azure AD tenant (or on-premises) and Azure AD DS.


      1. Unified Passwords – Because passwords in your Azure AD tenant work with Azure AD DS, users can use their corporate credentials to domain-joined machines. They can also sign in interactively or over remote desktop and authenticate against the Azure AD DS managed domain.


      1. NTLM and Kerberos Authentication – Through these two authentication support systems you can now deploy applications that rely on Windows-integrated authentication.


      1. High Availability – Because of its multiple domain controller capabilities, Azure AD DS provides high availability. This results in a resistance to failure and guarantees service uptime.


      1. DNS Interface – A DNS (Domain Name Resolution) server is included to provide name resolution for the managed domain. There are built-in DNS records and updates that allow the service to run key components.


      1. Custom OUs – When you have custom Organizational Units in AD DS, you can logically group objects. You can assign administrators and apply group policy that enforces targeted configuration settings.


    1. Basic Group Policy – Computer objects and user settings can be managed in Azure Active Directory through Group Policy Objects. The added feature however with Azure AD DS includes built-in GPOs for users and computer containers. 

How does Azure AD DS Help My Business?

Azure AD DS could hold many benefits to your company. Here are just a few:

  • Total Cost of Ownership Reduction 
  • Options and Flexibility are offered for those deploying IT resources for both on-premises and cloud
  • Quick to enable and deploy for your Azure Directory tenant
  • Highly available and hosted at a global level
  • Pay as you go features

Next steps:

An important step to take when running a domain controller in an Azure Virtual Machine is to create an AAD DC Administrators Group in Azure and add your Azure AD join admins to the group. To find out more recommendations and learn about best practices, consider attending our upcoming webinar. Click here for more information.


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