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AWS Adds SMB Option to Its Active Directory Service

Small and midsized businesses (SMBs) can now connect their on-premises Microsoft Active Directory (AD) to their workloads in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud.

AWS this week announced a new "Standard Edition" of its AWS Directory Service for Microsoft AD, designed for businesses with up to 5,000 employees and 30,000 directory objects. Its release comes nearly two years after AWS launched the Enterprise Edition, which accommodates as many as 50,000 employees and 500,000 directory objects.

Like the Enterprise Edition before it, the Standard Edition functions as a managed Microsoft AD service that businesses can use to manage and log into their AWS resources, including Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances and AWS productivity applications like WorkSpaces, WorkDocs, WorkMail, Chime and Connect.

Businesses can also use the service to add directory capabilities to their AD-aware workloads in the AWS cloud and enable single sign-on in their cloud applications.

AWS Senior Product Manager Peter Pereira provided a diagram of potential use cases in a blog post Tuesday:

[Click on image for larger view.] Uses cases for the AWS Directory Service for Microsoft AD, Standard Edition. (Source: AWS/Peter Pereira)

AWS handles much of the configuration and maintenance tasks for the service, lifting the burden from SMBs.

"As a managed service, AWS Microsoft AD (Standard Edition) configures directory replication, automates daily snapshots, and handles all patching and software updates," Pereira said in the blog. "In addition, AWS Microsoft AD (Standard Edition) monitors and automatically recovers domain controllers in the event of a failure."

To ensure high-availability, the AWS Directory Service automatically deploys two AD domain controllers in separate availability zones, although users have the option to add more domain controllers as-needed.

Pricing for the Standard Edition varies by region, ranging from $0.12 to $0.172 per hour for two domain controllers. Additional domain controllers can each cost between $0.06 and $0.086 per hour. More information is available here.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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