New Azure AD Connect Announcements to Strengthen Your Hybrid Identity

Posted on 2 February 2021

Is your journey to the cloud still in progress? Or have you taken an on-premises path? No sweat either way. We’re still living in the age of hybrid identity – and Microsoft’s latest Azure AD Connect releases are here to help you make the most of it.

Although the media spotlight would have you think we’re all bound for the cloud, the reality is very different: organisations are still living a hybrid life that works for them.

As part of their commitment to supporting and strengthening their users’ hybrid identity, Microsoft has made two announcements that you won’t want to miss.

Within Azure AD, you’ll find Azure AD Connect acting as the key hybrid identity tool. Adapting to organisations’ needs, Azure AD Connect comes in two flavours: ‘Azure AD Connect sync’ (for on-premises), and ‘Azure AD Connect cloud sync (powered by the cloud) – and both have new releases to boast.

Azure AD Connect Cloud Sync Becomes Generally Available

First things first, we have the big announcement: ‘Azure AD Connect cloud sync’ – formerly known as Azure AD Connect cloud provisioning in its preview – is now generally available! But what does that mean for you and your secure hybrid identity?

According to Microsoft, the release is ‘the future of our hybrid identity sync capabilities’, boasting the ability to move ‘all the heavy-lifting of the transform logic to the cloud’. As a side effect, the on-premises footprint is greatly reduced through lightweight agents distributed for enterprise-grade availability.

Don’t worry about the word ‘cloud’ being in there either. Azure AD Connect cloud sync can be deployed by itself or alongside Azure AD Connect sync. The latter option will allow organisations to connect the disconnected AD forests that can arise as a result of mergers, acquisitions, and remote office scenarios.

If you had a peek during the public preview, you’ll also be pleased to know there are a few new features to keep things interesting:

  • Enhanced security with support for gMSA
  • Ability to sync large directories – with up to 150,000 directory objects per configuration
  • Prevent accidental deletes
  • Sync health monitoring to address common data issues
  • Advanced troubleshooting

Looking to learn more about Azure AD Connect cloud sync? Check out the sync capabilities comparison chart here or get in touch with our team.

Azure AD Connect Sync Receives Updates

It’s not just about the cloud though, as hybrid fans will well know, and Microsoft has acknowledged that with further updates for Azure AD Connect sync.

The tool has found its popularity among organisations looking to bridge their hybrid identities. As teams grow, however, higher throughput on syncs and large group syncs are a must.

In response to this need, Microsoft has made it possible to sync up to 250,000 members in the generally available v2 end point and latest build. On average, preview customers saw a huge improvement in sync time performances. In the case of one customer, the change allowed their team to decrease synchronisations from an average of five hours in a work week to twenty-five minutes.

Interested in giving the v2 end point a spin? Make sure you’re using the latest build of Azure AD Connect sync – our team can help shed some light if help is needed.

Embracing a Hybrid Present

For hybrid identity customers, Microsoft’s announcements are both exciting and promising: as well as new features and improvements, Microsoft has also shown its dedication to customers who’ve taken a hybrid approach, making their particular journey all the smoother for it.

We’re not sure what the future looks like, but it’s reassuring that Microsoft is allowing everybody to choose their own path, on a road paved with innovative solutions.

Interested in finding out more about how you can secure your hybrid identity? Just want some pointers on Azure AD Connect? Get in touch with our experts, who are always happy to help.

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