AWS launches an Azure Active Directory clone

Amazon offers Microsoft users support for the Active Directory platform on its AWS cloud.

For authentication and user management of Microsoft solutions, Amazon markets a directory service called Directory Service for AWS. Using Directory Service in Amazon’s cloud will allow businesses to manage requests for SQL Server, SharePoint, and applications built with .NET on AWS. A very useful item for companies trying to migrate from an on-premises Microsoft software solution to a cloud platform.

When companies start using the Directory service on AWS, they actually create a pair of domain controllers connected to the virtual private cloud of a VM running Windows Server 2012 R2. Each domain controller operates in a different Availability Zone within the same region, and Amazon will handle basic functions like host monitoring, data replication, and snapshots.

Attracting Microsoft Enterprise Customers

Administrators will be able to set up a secure link between their Active Directory and the one in Amazon’s cloud, so users can log in to all systems using a single login. Businesses can try the service for free for one month or 750 hours, whichever comes first. After that, the solution is billed at $0.40 per hour.

This is an opportunistic move for Amazon, since Azure Active Directory is one of the main Microsoft products used to push services to the cloud in large enterprises. Azure Active Directory provides MS cloud implementation of user authentication and management service along with a bunch of other services. It is a gateway to the Azure cloud for companies that are already customers of the publisher’s solutions. It remains to be seen how Amazon will flesh out its own Directory service to better compete with Azure AD. The two web giants, which compete for domination of the public cloud market, continue to sharpen their solutions to better meet the needs of businesses.

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