Windows Azure Active Directory Review

Windows Azure Active Directory is a cloud-based, enterprise identity management solution with single sign-on (SSO), multifactor authentication (MFA), and password management tools. It's designed for information technology (IT) departments and developers to secure user access to multiple accounts and applications. Users include Amtrak, BP, and Walmart.

Combine SSO with the Windows My Apps portal, so your employees can access multiple Microsoft and third-party applications with a single login. MFA adds extra protection with secondary authentication factors such as security codes, one-time passwords (OTPs), and biometrics. IT admins can also generate granular reports about user login attempts, password strength, and risky logins.

Windows Azure Active Directory Review

Ban passwords based on company-specific or other information. Image source: Author

Your IT techs will appreciate how Azure Active Directory reduces routine service requests for new and reset passwords, and adaptive authentication streamlines the user login experience. The depth and breadth of available features, however, can create a steep learning curve for your IT personnel.

Basic self-service resources and help ticket support are free, but you need direct Microsoft support for production workload and business-critical environments. The $100/month Standard support package is suitable for the former, while the $1,000 Professional Direct package is required for the latter.

Basic Azure Active Directory features are included with most Office 365 Enterprise plans. For the identity management tools you'll likely need, however, get either the $6/month per user Premium P1 or the $9/month Premium P2 plan. To calculate your total price, do your due diligence: Many IT managers have commented on the complex licensing agreements that factor in multiple add-on options which are not immediately apparent.

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