AWS Directory Service makes it easy to setup and run Microsoft Active Directory (AD) in the AWS cloud, or connect your AWS resources with an existing on-premises Microsoft Active Directory. Once your directory is created, you can use it to manage users and groups, provide single sign-on to applications and services, create and apply group policy, domain join Amazon EC2 instances, as well as simplify the deployment and management of cloud-based Linux and Microsoft Windows workloads.
AWS Directory Service provides you with three directory types to choose from including AWS Directory Service for Microsoft Active Directory (Enterprise Edition), also referred to as Microsoft AD, as well as Simple AD, and AD Connector.
You can use AWS Directory Service to provision a managed Microsoft Active Directory, enabling you to manage users and group memberships, domain-joining Amazon EC2 Linux and Windows computers, perform Kerberos single sign-on (SSO), apply Group Policies, and create trust relationships between domains. This makes it easier to deploy and manage EC2 instances, and deploy directory-aware Windows-based workloads, including SharePoint, custom .NET and SQL Server-based applications.
AWS Directory Service helps to reduce management tasks. There is no need to build out your own complex, highly-available directory topology because each directory is deployed across multiple Availability Zones (AZ), and monitoring automatically detects and replaces domain controllers that fail. In addition, data replication and automated daily snapshots are configured for you. There is no software to install and AWS handles all of the patching and software updates.
Getting started is easy. You can use the AWS Management Console, or the API to provision the directory type that meets your needs. Once your directory is running, you pay only for the directory hours you use, whether you require a directory for a handful of users or tens of thousands of users.
AWS Directory Service enables your IT administrators to use their existing corporate credentials to access the AWS Management Console via AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles to manage all your AWS resources (e.g. Amazon EC2 instances or Amazon S3 buckets). There is no need to stand up and manage federation infrastructure of your own.
AWS Directory Service enables your end users to use their existing corporate credentials when accessing AWS applications, such as Amazon WorkSpaces, Amazon WorkDocs, and Amazon WorkMail, as well as directory-aware Microsoft applications, including SharePoint, custom .NET and SQL Server-based applications.