DirSync, Azure AD Sync, Forefront Identity Manager and Azure AD Connect – so many ways to synchronize your identities to Microsoft Cloud Support identities’ repository. But only one will become most effective and supported. This update has actually just landed in April.
Microsoft officially announced the end of support for DirSync & Azure AD Sync on April 13th, 2017. Azure AD Connect is becoming the tool that will officially support identity synchronization.
It doesn’t mean that previous tools will stop working now, but their support ends. Therefore, it is highly advisable and quite a prudent idea to migrate to Azure pretty fast. The final deadline for this will be the end of the year, 2017.
This implies that beyond the specified date, DirSync & Azure AD Sync will stop working. Similarly, Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager 2010 R2 with Service Pack 1 mainstream support will end on 10th of October 2017. However, its extended support will end later, thought to be on the 11th of October 2022.
A farewell schedule calendar happened as follows;
Support ending means that these tools will no longer be supported by Microsoft. Just to mention, briefly, imagine that in the case anything happens to your tool, you will be informed that such support case ticket cannot be opened by Microsoft Cloud Support.
Furthermore, Microsoft stops issuing patches, updates, and fixes. Quite stressful.
You may wonder or have lots of questions as to why Microsoft is phasing out such effective working tools. If you want my opinion, it’s time to focus!
Azure AD Connect is like the result of the evolution in synchronization tools. To begin with, there were a couple of them, starting with DirSync which was built just as a solution on top of the existing product. It seemed daunting for Microsoft to have another tool mutated and grown to replace Azure AD Connect. This implies that it could most probably be the tool used in the future.
Azure AD Connect has been completely rewritten, so to speak. It provides not only synchronization but also recently added functionalities, including pass-through authentication. It has an identity bridge between your on-premises AD and Azure AD. Microsoft has put a lot of effort into the latest versions to significantly increase the usability of the tool, integrate many features and technologies.
Some of the features include auto upgrade or possibility to install Active Directory Federation Services farm (AD FS) directly from the Azure AD Connect Wizard. Oh, and BTW – AD FS can now be replaced in some scenarios by one of the Azure AD Connect features called Azure AD Pass-through. Haven’t heard of it? Ask us!
Azure AD Connect is your bridge between the on-premises AD and your Azure AD. This allows the synchronization of identities and much more! Simply placed in organization structure, it can bring many benefits:
What will you gain? Among others the features include:
With such critical software, formerly acting as a bridge between on-premises and Azure worlds, becoming deprecated, one can easily see the potential threats. This could result in service disruptions, no help when required and even a possibility of data breach or loss among other viable threats. Therefore, what are the remedies available?
Verify which tool you are using and whether it had any modifications in the synchronization process or not.
To check if you have DirSync installed run following PowerShell cmdlet, use:
(GP “hklm:SOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionUninstallMicrosoft Online Directory Sync”).DisplayVersion.
Another, one of the easiest ways to verify which tool has been installed is to use “Uninstall a program” from your control panel to look through the list of installed software. Of course, take caution not to actually uninstall it, just check the version.
Please note: Even if you have Azure AD Connect below 1.1.x, you should plan your migration to the latest version.
It is important to mention that starting with version 1.1.x can provide one very crucial feature which is an automatic upgrade, many improvements and fixes. A complete list of version changes can be found here: Azure Connect history.
There are several things that you should consider. Highlighted below are some of the key factors.
If you need help with all of it, we have done it many times. In a way, it is like a standard heart surgery. But as with surgery, even if it is a standard procedure, it is better to at least consult with someone skilled.
To many people, this not only comes as a surprise but a daunting activity to undertake. However, with the support from us at Predica, consider your problems sorted.
All you need to do is get in touch!
There are several tools you can use to manage your cloud identity sync. However, only Azure AD Connect will remain supported for the foreseeable future. To avoid service interruptions, verify which solution you are currently using and upgrade it if necessary. Don’t hesitate to ask us for help!
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