Active Directory Service in AWS

Active Directory Service in AWS

February 23, 2021 / Nirav Shah

Active Directory (AD) is Microsoft’s primary feature that is used to manage computers and other devices and different objects like, computers, groups, users, organizational units on a network.

Now, in the same way, AWS also provides a solution for Directory Service. Directories store information about users, groups, and devices, and use them to manage the resources.

AWS Directory Service for Microsoft Active Directory, or we can say AWS Managed Microsoft Active Directory (AD), by which we can manage Active Directory (AD) in AWS.

We can use the standard AD administration tools and take advantage of the built-in AD features, for example, Group Policy and single sign-on.

With AWS Directory Service you can easily manage users and groups, provide single sign-on to applications and services, create and apply group policy, join Amazon EC2 instances to a domain. AWS Directory Service enables your end-users to use their existing corporate credentials when accessing AWS applications, like Amazon WorkSpaces, Amazon WorkDocs and Amazon WorkMail, as well as directory-aware Microsoft workloads, including custom .NET and SQL Server-based applications.

How does AWS Active Directory Service work?


AWS Managed Microsoft AD is available in two editions: Standard and Enterprise.

Standard Edition: AWS Managed Microsoft AD (Standard Edition) is designed for small and midsize businesses with up to 5,000 employees. It provides you with enough storage capacity to support up to 30,000* directory objects, such as users, groups, and computers.
Enterprise Edition: AWS Managed Microsoft AD (Enterprise Edition) is designed to support enterprise organizations with up to 500,000* directory objects.


How to Create a directory?

You can use the AWS Management Console or the API to create a directory. You need to provide a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) for your directory, Administrator account name and password, and the VPC you want the directory to be attached to.


  • High availability
  • AWS-managed infrastructure
  • Multi-region replication
  • Trust support
  • Group-based policies
  • Single sign-on (SSO)
  • Seamless domain join
  • Daily snapshots

Use Cases

  • Sign In to AWS Applications and Services with AD Credentials.
  • Manage Amazon EC2 Instances.
  • Provide Directory Services to Your AD-Aware Workloads.
  • SSO to Office 365 and Other Cloud Applications.
  • Extend Your On-Premises AD to the AWS Cloud.
  • Share Your Directory to Seamlessly Join Amazon EC2 Instances to a Domain Across AWS Accounts.
  • For more information on the AWS Active Directory service pricing please visit this AWS service page.

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