Gartner Research

Optimizing Active Directory for Identity, Agility and the Cloud

Published: 02 August 2016

ID: G00308398

Analyst(s): Paul Rabinovich


Integration with the cloud compels many organizations to re-evaluate their IAM approach to Active Directory with the goal of achieving greater simplicity and consistency. This assessment guides identity architects through common approaches to AD optimization in enterprise-only and hybrid scenarios.

Table Of Contents



  • What Is Optimal?
  • Drivers for Active Directory Optimization
  • Active Directory Optimization Options
    • Maintain the Current Structure
    • Assimilate
    • Create a Consolidated Directory
    • Migrate
    • Implement Additional IAM Functions
    • Implement Data Quality Improvements
    • Federate
    • Hybridize


  • Treat Active Directory as Part of the IAM Infrastructure
  • Simplify Directory Structure
  • Maintain Good Data Quality
  • Use Hybrid Identity and Identity Federation
  • Plan Active Directory Migrations With Care

The Details

  • Active Directory Fundamentals
  • The Evolution of IAM Features in Active Directory
  • Office 365, Azure AD and Active Directory
    • Architecture and Data Flows
    • Data Integration Between Active Directory and Azure AD
  • Typical Active Directory Topologies
  • Active Directory Domain Migration
    • Unique Considerations for Active Directory
    • Types of Migrations
    • Common Data Elements
  • Active Directory Optimization Tools
    • Microsoft IdFix
    • Microsoft Active Directory Migration Tool
    • Dell Migration Manager for Active Directory

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