What is Amazon AWS Directory Service
Updated on 26th Nov, 22 49 Views

Overview of AWS Directory Service:

While Amazon Cognito can manage mobile devices and Simple AD and AWS Cloud Directory can manage separated AWS resources, one might argue that the primary use case for AWS Directory Service is to enable IT managers and DevOps engineers to extend Active Directory identities to AWS resources.

This is because many companies and businesses utilize AD as their primary directory service. As a result, it made it logical for AWS to be able to interact seamlessly with AD.

Without the AWS Directory Service, AD and AWS would be isolated from one another and would have to be handled independently. However, with so many possibilities, how do you know which solution for connecting users to AWS resources is best for your organization?

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Table of Contents:

What is AWS Directory Service?

The AWS Directory Service is an Amazon Web Services solution that enables an IT administrator to operate Microsoft Active Directory (AD) in the public cloud, facilitating user and group data setup and providing end users with access to AWS cloud services.

An IT team can use the AWS Directory Service to link an existing on-premises AD to the cloud or to construct a new directory.

By managing administrative chores such as monitoring domain controllers and establishing redundant infrastructure across various availability zones, the service facilitates the deployment of Linux and Windows-based cloud applications.

Do you know that Amazon Directory Service has Three options..!

They are:

  • Microsoft AD
  • Simple AD
  • AD Connector

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Features of AWS Directory Service

Features of AWS Directory Service
  • AWS-managed infrastructure: AWS Managed Services Microsoft Active Directory operates on AWS-managed infrastructure, with monitoring that automatically finds and replaces failed domain controllers.
  • High Availability: AWS Managed Microsoft AD is implemented with high availability and across several Aws Regions since directories are mission-critical infrastructure.
  • Daily Snapshots: AWS Managed Services Microsoft Active Directory has daily, automatic snapshots.

You may also take extra snapshots before key application upgrades to ensure that you have the most up-to-date data in case you need to roll back a change.

  • Group-based Policies: AWS Managed Microsoft Active Directory enables you to control users and devices by using native Active Directory Group Policy objects (GPOs).
  • GPOs may be created using current tools such as the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC).
  • Trust Support: Using AD trust relationships, you can simply combine AWS Managed Microsoft AD with your existing AD.

You can use trusts to manage which AD users can access your AWS services by using your current Active Directory.

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AWS Active Directory Connector

A proxy provider links appropriate AWS services, such as Amazon EC2, Amazon QuickSight, and Amazon Workspaces for Windows Server instance, to your underlying on-premises Microsoft Active Directory.
  • Features:
    • In order to authenticate users logging into AWS apps, Active Directory Connector sends the sign-in requests to your on-premises AD domain controllers.
    • RDS SQL Server and Active Directory Connector do not interact.
    • You may spread out application loads throughout many AD Connectors to increase performance. There aren’t any limitations on users or connections.

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AWS Microsoft Active Directory

AWS Microsoft AD is a cloud-hosted version of a traditional Active Directory instance. The difference is that AWS does some of the heavy work in terms of deploying an AD server, and AD domain controllers, and configuring them to interface with AWS services.

With this technique, IT administrators may use much of the original AD capability for controlling AWS resources.

  • Features:
    • Managed Services by AWS HA and many Availability Zones are connected with Microsoft Active Directory.
    • Additionally, adding more domain controllers will allow you to grow your directory.
    • Services managed by AWS With surveillance that continuously detects and replaces faulty domain controllers, Microsoft Active Directory runs on infrastructure that is managed by AWS.
    • Managed Services by AWS A single directory for all sorts of workloads (WorkSpaces,EC2, RDS,EC2 WorkSpaces, etc) can also be provided via Microsoft Active Directory. (WorkSpaces,, RDS,EC2, etc).

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AWS Simple AD

A standalone Samba 4 directory from AWS Directory Service that is compatible with Microsoft Active Directory.

For Windows functions that need basic Active Directory functions, compatible AWS features, or Linux workloads that need LDAP service, Simple AD may be utilized as an independent directory within the cloud.

  • Features:
    • Group memberships, Kerberos-based SSO, establishing a Windows-based EC2 instances or a Linux domain, User accounts, and group rules are just a few of the fundamental Active Directory functions that Simple AD delivers.
    • AWS offers inspection, daily snapshots, and backup as a component of the service.
    • Amazon WorkDocs,Amazon WorkMail Amazon Workspaces, and Amazon QuickSight, are all interact with Simple Active Directory.
    • Simple Active Directory user accounts Can also be used to ingress the AWS Management Console.

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Use Cases of AWS Directory Service

Use Cases of AWS Directory Service
  • Allow your on-premises AD users easy access to AWS:

AWS Managed Services and an Active Directory trust all of your users are free to utilize AWS as necessary to Microsoft AD’s ability to divide your on-premises and cloud directories.

  • Utilize Amazon RDS and Amazon FSx connections:

AWS Managed Microsoft AD makes it possible for your apps and services to utilize and merge Amazon FSx for Windows File Server and AWS Controlled data services such as MySQL, Amazon RDS for SQL Server, Oracle,, and PostgreSQL more effectively.

  • Allow single sign-on for AWS End User Computing services:

Secure authentication features for Amazon Workspaces and Amazon WorkDocs, two AWS End User Computing services.

Your customers may access these services from a computer that is connected to AWS Managed Microsoft AD without entering their login information individually thanks to Amazon WorkLink and Amazon AppStream 2.0.

  • Allow your on-premises AD users to access cloud business apps with a single click:

To provide your AWS Managed Microsoft Active Directory or trusted domains access to SAML identity provider (IdP) functionalities, combine AWS Managed Microsoft Active Directory with AWS IAM Identity Center (the replacement for AWS SSO).

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Your users have access to built-in connections to several business products, including Box, Salesforce and Office 365. You may easily set up strong authentication access to these services by following the detailed instructions.

Entering the required certificates, URLs, and information is made simple via the AWS IAM Identity Center.

Benefits of AWS Directory Service

  • Simple on-premises work transfer for directory-aware applications
  • It’s simple to expand domains that already existed.
  • From a single location, manage devices and application access in AWS.
  • Administration is made simpler by management services.

Conclusion

AWS provides several methods to interact with and use a directory service. Many people will be attracted to the notion that many AWS services may be integrated with an on-premises Active Directory architecture.

As we saw with Simple AD and AD connection, there are midrange options that provide same features but at a lower cost. Another reason to think about cloud computing is the integration of cloud services with the existing on-premises Active Directory!

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