Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Microsoft Future RoadMap for Identity and Access Management with O365

It's always good to know the future, Microsoft is now known majorly for its robust products and remarkable changes they make in their Product line on which Office 365 is the major one to consider and now Microsoft primary target is on the Cloud business and they have already proved their Leadership in the Cloud Market to the world and still extending their boundaries across the world.


Let's get in to our Topic, I have already written many post about the Identity and Access Management with Office 365 covering some major topics over Dirsync and ADFS, which forms the fundamentals for everything to work with O365 and the articles collection can be found here and Today I am writing this post in continuation to this series referring to the Latest Office 365 FM podcast I listened today which was an eye opener for me to know about present and the future Roadmap of Microsoft with Office 365.


This podcast series gives us more information on what are the current features available from Microsoft to provide rich Identity and Access management and how they are planning to enhance it by adding new features which customer really need to provide a rich service experience and these information was shared to us by none other than Microsoft Senior Program Manager "Jono Luk" who owns the Windows Azure Active Directory Sync tool and Password Sync features with O365 along with the Team of Experts in Q &A session and provides clear details and Microsoft strong vision towards the future of O365.
 

Few key points present in the podcast are shared below and I would encourage you all to Listen to the complete podcast through the Link shared at the bottom of the post to know more.

  • Dirsync Password Hash or ADFS which one is better and how they differ from each other and their benefits.
  • Dirsync can now be installed in Domain controller and we don’t need a dedicated server as before with the new version.
  • Microsoft is working on providing support to use Dirsync password hash along with ADFS for DR where something goes wrong with ADFS we can switch to use password sync where in user current password will sync to WAAD ( Cloud Directory) and they can use the same password to access the resources during this time without major user impact at present we can use either one of them and for Large enterprises ADFS is the preferred one as it provides additional features and real single-sign on feature. ( Good quote “Password hash = Same Sign-on”  “ADFS = Single Sign on”)
  • Managing Objects in cloud itself and the same changes replicated to on premise ( two way sync feature with Dirsync). one vital key factor for all customers on the future road map which is under investigation. ( currently one way sync from on premises to cloud alone is possible and also few write back attributes are available for sync back)
  • Discussion over few great security enhancements with password hash and the effect of Password policy in cloud with respect to on premises AD. 
  • One Important feature which Microsoft does not have in their immediate Roadmap is to make Dirsync to get latest updates as a part of windows update, wherein now we need to download the latest version and install it freshly and do a full sync. Microsoft says that all Organizations don’t need the latest update right away when it arrives and to give the flexibility for Admins to choose whether they need the update or not for their environment (Which is Good) they tend to continue to use the same support model for future Dirsync releases also they are still evaluating with customers whether they all are in sync to get the new products to their environment up on release and once they have a proper feedback we can expect the latest updates to Dirsync via windows update.
  • Discussion on Enhanced Filtering option with Dirsync to do custom sync to WAAD.
Here is the link to the podcast series from Office365 FM 


Access here: Episode 5: Interview with Jono Luk, Senior Program Manager

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