Gartner Research

Preparing Your IAM Environment for Working With Azure AD and Office 365

Published: 06 January 2014

ID: G00255568

Analyst(s): Nick Nikols, Mary Ruddy


IT organizations wishing to adopt Microsoft Office 365 need to address a number of identity and access management issues with their existing on-premises Microsoft Active Directory and federation environments before they can make the move.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • Directory Structure Scenarios
    • Cloud-Only Environment
    • Single-Forest, Single-Domain On-Premises Active Directory Environment
    • Simple On-Premises Active Directory Environment
    • Complex On-Premises Directory Environment
  • Authentication Scenarios
    • Direct Login
    • Direct Login With Synchronized Password
    • Single-Purpose Federation
    • Complex Federation


  • To Consolidate or Not to Consolidate
    • Active Directory Structure Considerations
    • Simplifying the Directory Environment Through Migration
    • Generating a Simple Consolidated View From a Complex Directory Environment
    • Azure AD Integration Options
  • To Federate or Not to Federate
    • Direct Login
    • Direct Login With Synchronized Passwords
    • Single-Purpose Federation
    • Complex Federation

The Details

  • Pure Azure AD Cloud Deployment
  • Directory Synchronization With DirSync
  • Synchronizing Passwords With DirSync
  • Simple On-Premises AD Environment With Simple Federation
  • Single Sign-On With a Multipurpose Federation Offering
  • Consolidating On-Premises Domains
  • Directory Integration With a Metadirectory
  • Directory Integration Using a Virtual Directory

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