You will be hard pressed to find a better cloud identity provider than Microsoft Azure Active Directory
April 07, 2021

You will be hard pressed to find a better cloud identity provider than Microsoft Azure Active Directory

Caleb Reinhardt | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft Azure Active Directory

We use M365 within our school district, and as such, Microsoft Azure Active Directory is our cloud identity provider for all our user accounts (faculty, staff, and students). Ultimately, we are a hybrid Microsoft Azure Active Directory environment, with an on-prem Active Directory that syncs to local objects to Azure. This synchronization helps address the need for cloud-based access to resources that would otherwise be unavailable if we were solely working from an on-prem Microsoft Azure Active Directory environment. We have considered moving all our users and devices to being 100% cloud based; however, the current Microsoft Azure Active Directory infrastructure we are a part of (multi-domain forest) is not currently suited to support that transition at this time.
  • Conditional Access -- this is one of the biggest tools that any admin needs when it comes to securing when, where, and how users are accessing information. Especially if the information contains sensitive data types.
  • Multi-factor Authentication -- we have all our employees configured for MFA. This is incredibly easy to configure with Azure, as well as defining when MFA should be used through Conditional Access.
  • Audit Logs -- being able to track and identify a user's activity is pretty critical, especially when in incident response mode.
  • Complexity --Microsoft Azure Active Directory isn't exactly for the faint of heart.
  • Management -- some bulk management tasks need to be run through PowerShell...if you don't know PowerShell (and you should) then this could be problematic.
  • Needs assessment -- the licensing structure for Azure AD might be difficult to understand given the breadth of features available. For example, Azure Active Directory P1 will differ from Azure Active Directory P2, but what does that mean and is it applicable to your organization? Is it necessary to have P2 over P1 to accomplish your business goals?
  • It has helped improve our cybersecurity maturity/posture.
  • We are better suited to protect the identities of all our users from bad actors.
  • It is difficult for me to come up with how this has negatively impacted has been largely beneficial in almost every respect.
Google Cloud was the only other main contender for us. However, it was a logical move given what we were already paying for in Microsoft licensing. Additionally, the feature set of Microsoft Azure Active Directory is simply more robust than what is offered from a Google perspective. Don't get me wrong... Google offers some good products, but when you look at what the different providers can do? Microsoft has a higher ceiling cap in terms of what it can offer (albeit, it also requires a higher skillset).

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Goverlan Reach, Microsoft Endpoint Manager (Microsoft Intune + SCCM), Lansweeper
I think that Microsoft Azure Active Directory is going to be applicable to any organization that needs a cloud identity solution and they have more than a handful of employees and users. Licensing could be problematic to figure out, and bundling the Microsoft Azure Active Directory license with an M365 subscription is probably the route to take. However, I would not recommend this product to an organization with an IT administrator who is not strong technically. In this case, it might be better managed by an MSP.

The reality is that Microsoft Azure Active Directory is one part of a suite of products and it is sometimes hard to look at it without understanding how it interacts with the other tools in the suite. If we take this into consideration, then Microsoft Azure Active Directory is the backbone for providing a cloud-based user identity and security solution that will be applicable under any circumstance.

Microsoft Entra ID Feature Ratings

ID-Management Access Control
ID Management Single-Sign On (SSO)
Multi-Factor Authentication
Password Management
Account Provisioning and De-provisioning
ID Management Workflow Automation
ID Risk Management