Active Directory on the Cloud?

Active Directory on the Cloud? Yep. That is Microsoft’s new move to make cloud services more secure.

Network Management System

Active Directory is Microsoft’s Network Management System that resides on servers, 2003 and 2008. Among the things it provides is identity and access for individuals to connect to the network.  Now the same approach will be extended to the Azure Cloud Services. Microsoft offers that “Windows Azure Active Directory is a cloud service that provides identity and access capabilities for applications on Windows Azure and Microsoft Office 365. Windows Azure Active Directory is the multi-tenant cloud service on which Microsoft Office 365 relies on for its identity infrastructure.”

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With the Active Directory elements on hand, individuals can bring applications to the cloud easily. There, one can enable a single sign-on operation, and work with security enhanced applications. All of this coming with the interoperability available with existing Active Directory deployments using Access Control Service (ACS), which is a feature of Windows Azure Active Directory.

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Other Features and Benefits

  • Flexibility to use your tools and social identities
  • Simple interoperability with your existing on-premises Active Directory, meaning that, the Active directory features of your local server can also apply on the cloud.
  • The same programming model, Windows Identity Foundation is used thereby making local to Cloud application transitions possible.
  • Administration Portal is used to integrate Access Control System with your applications and set up authentication and authorization rules used to govern cloud applications access.
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Pricing

There are three plans

  • Pay-As-You-Go which is 1.99 per 100,000 transactions.
  • Cloud Promotions: Microsoft is running a promotion and will provide free use of the service through December 1st, 2012.
  • Subscription Offers Specials: Then if you purchase subscription offers or the Introductory Special Pay-As-You-Go Plan, you will not be charged for any overage beyond the allotted amount that is part of your offer.

Source: WindowsAzure

ZDnet

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