Those wishing for a little more help managing or hosting Microsoft Active Directory have a new option: Late yesterday Amazon announced that its AWS Directory Service now offers Microsoft Active Directory (AD) as a managed service.
The move comes just a little over a month after AWS Directory Service first launched with its own Active Directory solution that competed with Microsoft AD, and particularly with Microsoft’s own Azure Active Directory cloud service.
The details of the new offering, running off Windows Server 2012 R2, are similar, offering options for tight integration with both cloud and on-premise services and single sign-on options for Microsoft products and competing Amazon services, as well as other cloud offerings.
The announcement stated that host monitoring and recovery, data replication, snapshots, and software updates are all automatically configured and managed.
Amazon’s managed AD option also includes a pair of domain controllers run in different availability zones to reduce the impact of outages.
Giving the option of sticking with Microsoft even as you adopt AWS might make switching to a little easier, but it will be tough for Amazon to compete with Azure AD, particularly as Microsoft integrates it more tightly with all its offerings.