Going Serverless With Azure AD and Intune/Autopilot

Publication date: Feb 13, 2023

Last Published: Jun 15, 2023

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Read Time : 4 minutes

The cloud can be a real game-changer for small and medium-sized organizations, freeing them from expensive hardware purchases and maintenance, strengthening their cybersecurity, and allowing them to focus on core business activities.

The only problem is that these and other benefits of cloud computing are often not fully realized because many organizations settle for a hybrid approach instead of going fully serverless.

Such organizations sometimes believe that a fully serverless IT architecture would be too difficult to implement. In reality, Microsoft’s Azure AD and complementary services like Intune and Autopilot make it completely painless to operate exclusively in the cloud.

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What It Means to Go Fully Serverless

Countless organizations have already replaced their on-premise email servers with various cloud-hosted email services, moved locally stored data to cloud storage solutions, utilized cloud-based collaboration tools to improve team productivity and communication, and done much more to take advantage of the numerous benefits cloud computing offers.

However, the same organizations still frequently use a server running the Active Directory Domain Service (AD DS) role to authenticate and authorize users and computers, assign and enforce security policies, and install or update software.

This reliance on on-premise Active Directory (AD) can create a number of challenges for organizations, including increased security risks from on-premise vulnerabilities and downtime caused by poor maintenance. Moving the AD infrastructure to the cloud is the best way to address these challenges, and that’s where Azure AD comes in.

Benefits of Going Fully Serverless With Azure AD

For organizations that already live in the cloud, as well as those that are just planning to move there, going fully serverless by moving from on-premise AD to Azure AD offers several important benefits:

  • Improved security: Azure AD makes it easy for organizations to achieve the basic level of identity security with Azure AD security defaults, which can be enabled with a single click. Thanks to Azure AD Identity Protection, organizations can benefit from automated risk detection and remediation for identity-based risks based on trillions of signals per day.
  • High availability: Azure AD provides high availability and reliability through its global network of data centers, ensuring the directory and identity management service remains available even in the event of a single data center failure. This helps to minimize downtime and improve user productivity.
  • Increased operational efficiency: It takes just a click to enable managed domain services for directory-aware applications and virtual machines deployed in Azure.
  • Simple sign-in process: With Azure AD, users can easily sign in to all their applications using a single set of Azure AD credentials, reducing the need for separate usernames and passwords and improving both the user experience and the security of the entire organization.
  • Legacy application migration: Azure AD allows for the easy migration of legacy applications to the cloud, without the need for major changes to the applications themselves. This enables organizations to take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing, even for legacy applications.

All of these benefits make going fully serverless with Azure AD a great choice for all organizations that are tired of constant security headaches, availability issues, and unpredictable expenses.

Effectively Managing Deploying and Securing Endpoints in Azure AD

Once in Azure AD, organizations can leverage Microsoft Intune and Windows Autopilot to effectively manage and deploy endpoints:

  • Microsoft Intune: Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based endpoint management solution with support for mobile devices, desktop computers, and virtual endpoints. Intune can be used to deploy, update, or remove apps, change device configurations, and create policies that respond to threats—all from a convenient web-based admin center.
  • Windows Autopilot: Windows Autopilot is a collection of technologies used to provision new devices so they can be sent ready for use directly to end users. Once provisioned, Windows Autopilot can reset, repurpose, and recover the devices.

Besides Windows Autopilot, Microsoft Intune integrates with a number of other Microsoft products and services, including Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (an enterprise endpoint security platform) or Windows Autopatch (a cloud service that automates updates). This gives organizations everything they need to effectively manage, deploy, and secure all endpoints.

Conclusion on Going Serverless

In conclusion, all organizations that would like to fully remove the shackles of on-premise IT infrastructure should consider going serverless with Azure AD and its complementary services, namely Microsoft Intune and Windows Autopilot. Improved security, guaranteed availability, increased operational efficiency, and a simple sign-in process are just some benefits of making this transition.

Our IT support & strategy services are tailored to meet the needs of small and medium-sized organizations in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Schedule a free consultation with us at OSIbeyond, so that we can help you make it happen.

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