Amazon has expanded support for its AWS Directory Service that offers a cloud-based Microsoft Active Directory service to the EU (Frankfurt) region, providing broader support for customers to manage user accounts and apply group policies to Windows-based infrastructure running on AWS.
AWS Directory Service enables organisations to operate three types of directory service to manage infrastructure deployed on the AWS cloud: an AD Connector that links to on-premise Microsoft Active Directory; a small-scale directory powered by a Samba 4 server; and a full-blown, fully managed Microsoft Active Directory powered by Windows Server 2012 R2.
Known as AWS Directory Service for Microsoft Active Directory (Enterprise Edition), or Microsoft AD, the last option was added at the end of 2015 and is designed to support up to 50,000 users. It allows customers to manage user accounts and group memberships, create and apply group policies, domain-join Amazon EC2 instances, and provide Kerberos-based single sign-on.
This was initially available from a handful of AWS regions, including the Europe (Ireland) region, but has now been expanded to a second EU region as part of the firm's usual practice of extending support for features across all its data centres. The move gives European customers a choice of regions as well as the ability to operate a backup infrastructure in a separate region.
Microsoft AD enables organisations to run directory-aware Windows workloads in the AWS cloud, including SharePoint and other Microsoft applications. Customers can also create trust relationships between Microsoft AD domains in the AWS cloud and on-premise Microsoft Active Directory domains.
Amazon added support for Windows Authentication to its cloud-based RDS for SQL Server database service earlier this year, enabling applications and services that access SQL Server instances hosted on Amazon's cloud-based relational database service to authenticate using credentials stored in the Microsoft AD service.
This launch makes the AWS Directory Service available from Amazon's US East, US West, EU (Ireland), EU (Frankfurt) regions, and the Sydney, Tokyo and Singapore Asia Pacific regions.
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