ADFS, DirSync, Azure AD Connect? What’s the Best Way to Connect On-Premise AD to Office 365?

So maybe you are planning an Office 365 deployment, knee deep already or you want to connect your already deployed Office 365 tenant to your on-premises Active Directory environment. What’s the answer for password and directory synchronization? DirSync used to be the defacto standard for easy quick Office 365 and Active Directory Sync without the hassle of full-blown ADFS. However, it had it’s limitations. Enter now, Azure AD Connect! It’s what we’ve been waiting for the challenges of identity connection are resolved in a single tool with a guided GUI to make deployment a breeze! Hey, isn’t the cloud supposed to make everything easier!

The Azure AD Connect wizard is the single tool and guided experience for connecting your on premises identity infrastructure to the cloud.  Choose your topology and needs (single or multiple directories, password sync or federation), and the wizard will deploy and configure all components required to get your connection up and running including sync services, AD FS, and the Azure AD PowerShell module.

It’s currently in Public Preview 1 and is scheduled for General Availability Spring 2014.

Note, Azure AD Connect is replacing both ADFS and DirSync – Azure AD Connect encompasses functionality that was previously released as Dirsync and AAD Sync.  These tools will no longer be released individually.  All future improvements will be included in updates to Azure AD Connect, so that you always know where to get the most current functionality.

You can download Azure AD Connect from this link: Azure AD Connect Public Preview 1 Download

For more information see this helpful MS Technet blog article written by Alex Simmons (Twitter: @Alex_A_Simons):




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