In the world of cloud-based identity and access management, organizations often face the decision of choosing the right tool for synchronizing their on-premises Active Directory with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) now Entra AD.
Microsoft offers two popular options for this purpose: Azure/Entra AD Connect and Cloud Sync Connect.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each solution to help you make an perfect decision according to the business need:
Azure/Entra AD Connect:
- Azure AD Connect is a comprehensive tool that provides robust synchronization capabilities. It supports various deployment scenarios, including password writeback, device writeback, and seamless single sign-on (SSO).
- Customization: Organizations can tailor synchronization rules, filtering, and attribute mappings to meet their specific requirements. This flexibility is particularly valuable in complex environments.
- Single Sign-On: Azure AD Connect allows for seamless SSO experiences for users, which enhances productivity and security.
- Password Hash Sync: Offers the option to synchronize password hashes, reducing the need for complex federation configurations.
- AD health Check option is available.
- Complex Setup: Azure AD Connect can be complex to set up and configure, especially for organizations with intricate directory structures or specific compliance needs.
- Infrastructure Requirements: It requires on-premises infrastructure to run, including at least one Windows Server.
- Maintenance Overhead: Ongoing maintenance and updates are necessary to keep the synchronization process running smoothly.
Cloud Sync Connect:
- Simplified Deployment: Cloud Sync Connect is a fully managed cloud service, eliminating the need for on-premises infrastructure. This simplifies deployment and reduces maintenance efforts.
- Low Initial Setup Time: Getting started with Cloud Sync Connect is quick, which is advantageous for organizations looking to establish Azure AD integration rapidly.
- Cost-Effective: It can be more cost-effective, especially for smaller organizations that do not require the advanced features offered by Azure AD Connect.
- Scalability: Cloud Sync Connect is highly scalable and can accommodate growing user bases without significant architectural changes.
- Limited Feature Set: While Cloud Sync Connect is a reliable choice for basic synchronization needs, it lacks the advanced features available in Azure AD Connect, such as SSO and advanced filtering.
- Less Customization: Organizations with complex synchronization requirements may find that Cloud Sync Connects simplicity comes at the cost of customization options.
- Reduced Control: As a fully managed service, Cloud Sync Connect offers less control over the synchronization process compared to the on-premises Azure AD Connect.
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