Cloud Computing

What is AAD – Azure Active Directory and how does it benefit the business industry

What is AAD - Azure Active Directory and how does it benefit the business industry 1

According to Microsoft “Azure Active Directory is the next evolution of identity and access management solutions for the cloud.”

Business solution providers look to AAD for infrastructure management
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What is AAD? In the first 10 years of the 2000s, it was a great skill to have if you knew Windows AD – Active Directory. Then the AD included the introduction of the business operating system Windows 2000 with the great upgrade of the first Windows Server operating system Windows Server 2003.

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Windows Server 2003 is based on the consumer operating system, Windows XP, and required IT personnel to up their skill to the new features that required enterprise IT resource management.

The upgradable skills required a good knowledge and practical experience in managing the Windows Active Directory – AD. Initially, AD began as a management tool for Windows services and processes and was a centralized unit for domain management.



AD was refreshed to include a broad range of directory-based identity-related services and was developed as a foundation stone of every Windows domain network. Hence AD DS – Active Directory Services.

Skills Related to Windows AD

The initial Windows Server 2003 was released in several flavors that included

  • Web-version; Windows Server 2003 Web, primarily meant for managing web applications, web pages, and XML web services.
  • Standard-version; Windows Server 2003 Standard, the most popular version in Zambia owing to the licensing cost and was the foundational skill for most IT folks then. The standard version was aimed at small to medium-sized businesses supporting file and printer sharing, secure Internet connectivity, and centralized desktop application deployment. 
  • Enterprise-version; Windows Server 2003 Enterprise, was meant for big and large businesses with thousands of deployments running on Windows services. It was an advanced version of the standard and the Windows Admin skills demanded such.
  • Datacenter-version; Windows Server 2003 Datacenter was and still is designed for infrastructures demanding high security and reliability. The Datacenter is the foundation of the cloud and virtualized computing existing currently.

So What is AAD – Azure Active Directory and how does it benefit the business industry today

Beginning 2015 or about AAD -Azure Active Directory has assumed the key skill for cloud management of IT business infrastructure. The Ad skill now requires to be upgraded to AD DS


And today Microsoft offers Azure Active Directory in four editions—free, included with Office 365 subscriptions, and two premium plans for advanced enterprise, threat protection.

The skill level for AAD begins with identifying the differences between AD and AAD.

Active Directory groups are comprised of on-premises user accounts and control access to on-premises applications and resources.

On the other hand, Azure AD security groups are comprised of Azure AD user accounts and are used to grant access to Microsoft 365 resources in the cloud.

According to Microsoft “Azure Active Directory is the next evolution of identity and access management solutions for the cloud.”

Azure takes to the next level the ability to manage multiple on-premises infrastructure components and systems using a single identity per user as introduced in Windows 2000.

Currently, most IT administrators are familiar with Active Directory Domain Services concepts, and getting into support or solution provider for businesses must look to the knowledge of AD DS on which AAD is built.

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