Azure Active Directory

Azure AD (Active Directory) is a directory and identity management solution.

Concepts for AAD

  • Identity. An object that can get authenticated. An identity can be a user with a username and password. Identities also include applications or other servers that might require authentication through secret keys or certificates.
  • Account. An identity that has data associated with it. You can’t have an account without an identity.
  • Azure AD Account. An identity is created through Azure AD or another Microsoft cloud service, such as Microsoft 365. Identities are stored in Azure AD and accessible to your organization’s cloud service subscriptions. This account is also sometimes called a Work or school account.
  • Azure subscription. Used to pay for Azure cloud services. You can have many subscriptions and they’re linked to a credit card.
  • Azure tenant/directory. A dedicated and trusted instance of Azure AD, a Tenant is automatically created when your organization signs up for a Microsoft cloud service subscription.

Azure Active Directory has free as well as premium versions

  • Free: Provides user and group management, on-premises directory synchronization, basic reports, and single sign-on across Azure, Microsoft 365, and many popular SaaS apps.
  • Premium P1: In addition to the Free features, P1 also lets your hybrid users access both on-premises and cloud resources. It also supports advanced administration, such as dynamic groups, self-service group management, Microsoft Identity Manager (an on-premises identity and access management suite), and cloud write-back capabilities, which allow self-service password reset for your on-premises users.
  • Premium P2: In addition to the Free and P1 features, P2 also offers Azure Active Directory Identity Protection to help provide risk-based Conditional Access to your apps and critical company data. Privileged Identity Management is included to help discover, restrict, and monitor administrators and their access to resources and to provide just-in-time access when needed.