Skip to main content

Azure AD and AWS Managed Microsoft AD side-by-side


In my previous post, I’ve made a subjective comparison between AWS Cognito and Azure AD. I took into consideration only the features that I was directly interested in. 
In this post, I want to summarise what are the main differences between Azure AD and AWS Managed Microsoft AD. Why? Because on AWS, the documentation related to what are features of AD available inside AWS Managed Microsoft AD is limited, and you cannot find a clear statement. Some of the cases I had to spin-up a service instance and check manually if a feature is available or not.

First of all remember that the Azure AD is the last version of AD that Microsoft has, full-featured. In comparison, AWS is offering a ‘legacy’ instance, with features that are available inside the on-premises AD deployments. Because of this, the features available inside AWS Managed Microsoft AD is just a subset of the ones available inside Azure AD.
The question that we need to answer is WHICH ARE THE ONES

The below tables covers the most important features of AD and some differences between them. You might notice that in some cases Azure AD does not support the full features. This happens because some legacy part of on-premises AD versions were removed or are not suitable for an IAM solution hosted inside the cloud.
Item
Azure AD
AWS Managed Microsoft AD
Price model
No. of DO (Directory Objects)
No. of DC (Domain Controllers)
Custom DNS
Yes
Yes
Snapshots
No, because it is a SaaS
Yes
No of managed forests
1 for each Azure AD tenant
10 for each account
Trusts
No
Limited
Schema extensions
No
Limited
Log access to DC
No (because it is a SaaS)
Yes
Max no. of DC
SaaS – not relevant
20 for each directory
Connection with on-premises
VNET only
Direct Connect or VPN
LDAPS support
Yes
Yes
Kerberos support
Yes
Yes
LDAPS
Read-only, Write available only for managed domain
Read and Write (~not easy)
LDAP CS
All (AES 128 & 265, RC4, 3DES)
All (AES 128 & 265, RC4, 3DES)
Kerberos Encryption
All (AES 128 & 265, RC4, 3DES)
All (AES 128 & 265, RC4, 3DES)
LDAP Protocol
TLS 1.0, TLS 1.2 (SSLv3 not supported anymore)
SSLv3, TLS 1.0, TLS 1.2
Smart Card
No, because of SaaS and limitation of integration with on-premises solutions
RADIUS only
Directory Synchronization
Yes
No
Password policies
Yes
Yes
NTLM
Yes, NTLM v1 and v2
Yes, NTLM v1 and v2
Kerberos Delegation
Resource-based
Resource and Account-based
Managed Service
Yes
No
Secure deployments
Yes
Partial
Domain administrator privileges
No
Partial
Domain join
No
Yes
Schema extensions
Not directly
Yes
Group policy
Yes
Yes
Graph API
Yes
No

What is important to remember is that when you use Azure AD, you are using managed services, full-featured. In comparison when using the AWS Managed Microsoft AD you receive a service that has behind a scene EC2s with Windows Server AD configured on them. The services is managed as a set of VMs, not as a fully managed service. Based on the documentation that I was able to find, it seems that AWS is deploying the service using Microsoft Windows Server 2016.

AWS Managed Microsoft AD is a good option when your solution is running inside AWS, and you don’t have in plans to migrate to Office365 or to use Azure. Even so, once you start to use the AWS Managed Microsoft AD, you can migrate to Azure AD or do a federation with it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

ADO.NET provider with invariant name 'System.Data.SqlClient' could not be loaded

Today blog post will be started with the following error when running DB tests on the CI machine:
threw exception: System.InvalidOperationException: The Entity Framework provider type 'System.Data.Entity.SqlServer.SqlProviderServices, EntityFramework.SqlServer' registered in the application config file for the ADO.NET provider with invariant name 'System.Data.SqlClient' could not be loaded. Make sure that the assembly-qualified name is used and that the assembly is available to the running application. See http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=260882 for more information. at System.Data.Entity.Infrastructure.DependencyResolution.ProviderServicesFactory.GetInstance(String providerTypeName, String providerInvariantName) This error happened only on the Continuous Integration machine. On the devs machines, everything has fine. The classic problem – on my machine it’s working. The CI has the following configuration:

TeamCity.NET 4.51EF 6.0.2VS2013
It seems that there …

Entity Framework (EF) TransactionScope vs Database.BeginTransaction

In today blog post we will talk a little about a new feature that is available on EF6+ related to Transactions.
Until now, when we had to use transaction we used ‘TransactionScope’. It works great and I would say that is something that is now in our blood.
using (var scope = new TransactionScope(TransactionScopeOption.Required)) { using (SqlConnection conn = new SqlConnection("...")) { conn.Open(); SqlCommand sqlCommand = new SqlCommand(); sqlCommand.Connection = conn; sqlCommand.CommandText = ... sqlCommand.ExecuteNonQuery(); ... } scope.Complete(); } Starting with EF6.0 we have a new way to work with transactions. The new approach is based on Database.BeginTransaction(), Database.Rollback(), Database.Commit(). Yes, no more TransactionScope.
In the followi…

GET call of REST API that contains '/'-slash character in the value of a parameter

Let’s assume that we have the following scenario: I have a public HTTP endpoint and I need to post some content using GET command. One of the parameters contains special characters like “\” and “/”. If the endpoint is an ApiController than you may have problems if you encode the parameter using the http encoder.
using (var httpClient = new HttpClient()) { httpClient.BaseAddress = baseUrl; Task<HttpResponseMessage> response = httpClient.GetAsync(string.Format("api/foo/{0}", "qwert/qwerqwer"))); response.Wait(); response.Result.EnsureSuccessStatusCode(); } One possible solution would be to encode the query parameter using UrlTokenEncode method of HttpServerUtility class and GetBytes method ofUTF8. In this way you would get the array of bytes of the parameter and encode them as a url token.
The following code show to you how you could write the encode and decode methods.
publ…