Time to Retire Your Active Directory
For years the enterprise has been heavily dependent on Microsoft’s Active Directory. The reason: It was the best solution to give users access to resources found within the boundaries of the corporate premises with the option of using a VPN for remote access. But things are changing as the “Cloud Era” has dawned upon us. As most solutions are migrating to the cloud, the premise infrastructure has gradually retired a majority of the servers. There are exceptions though – the Domain Controller running active directory, is still active due to high dependence on it for using workstations and controlling group policies.
As the technology landscape becomes more cloud focused and cloud dependent, it is pertinent to work towards shifting your organization’s IT infrastructure completely to the cloud.
To achieve this, your organization needs to move away from any dependency on servers – managed either by in-house IT staff or an outsourced IT partner. In addition to the ever-decreasing servers at company offices, data centers or hosted providers, the workforce is moving to a remote working model. This makes it even more important to address how best to provide a robust cloud infrastructure that incorporates identity management, mobile device management and the ability to quickly deploy applications and new workstations. Thus, eliminating the need of servers completely.
Microsoft, over the last few years has introduced new cloud services as part of their offering to address this transition to the cloud and off the Premise Active Directory.Microsoft 365 (M365) is an excellent example of this. M365 is a bundled solution that Microsoft offers and includes productivity apps and cloud services like the well-known Office 365 (O365),Enterprise Mobility + Security(EMS), Windows 10 Enterprise, etc. The latest release of M365 includes all the components necessary to make a seamless transition to cloud or you can use the Enterprise mobility and security addon with O365 to achieve the same.
Many companies are already using O365 which includes a lightweight version of Azure Active Directory as a Service. Improving on that with the Microsoft EMS (enterprise-mobility-security) provides the additional components necessary to deploy a more robust solution to address identity management, device access and many more features. This would include an upgrade version of Azure AD to the Premium version and enrollment into Intune, a Microsoft cloud based Unified endpoint management service. In addition, Windows Autopilot can also be implemented for zero touch deployments of workstations. This is a great solution for deploying new workstation and/or re-deploying existing due to poor performance or failing Windows.
Microsoft’s cloud offerings provide some of the best solutions available today to complete your move to the cloud and retire your premise based active directory dependency. Now is the time to act! Need some help figuring out how your organization can smoothly transition off the active directory using the right combination of Microsoft tools and application? Reach out to ECHO!