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Exploring Microsoft Entra ID: A Dive into Enterprise Identity Services

Dive into the world of Entra ID: Uncovering the essence of Enterprise Identity Services
Exploring Microsoft Entra ID: A Dive into Enterprise Identity Services
Photo by Brett Jordan / Unsplash


In today's interconnected digital landscape, managing user identities and access control is vital for organizations of all sizes.

Microsoft Entra ID, formerly known as Azure Active Directory, has emerged as a powerful solution that offers an array of features to streamline identity management, enhance security, and enable seamless access to resources.

In this article, we will delve into the complexities of Microsoft Entra ID, exploring what it can do, mostly its known features and the difference between on-premises and cloud-based Entra ID.

What is Microsoft Entra ID?

It was previously known as Azure Active Directory.

It is an integral part of Microsoft's cloud ecosystem and is an enterprise identity service designed to facilitate secure and efficient identity and access management.

This robust service is pivotal in enhancing an organization's security posture while enabling convenient access to various resources.

What Microsoft Entra ID Can Do?

Let's try to see what it can offer to us.

Manage Users

Administrators can efficiently manage user accounts once the Entra ID tenant is set up.

This includes user provisioning, de-provisioning, resetting passwords, and assigning roles and permissions.

The user management interface is intuitive, making it easy to carry out these tasks efficiently.

Manage Apps

It offers a vast marketplace of pre-integrated applications and services.

Administrators can manage these applications, control user access, and configure single sign-on settings.

This centralized application management simplifies the deployment and management of software tools across the organization.

User Identity Management

Microsoft Entra ID enables organizations to manage user identities efficiently.

It provides tools for creating, modifying, and deleting user accounts, making it easy to onboard and offboard employees, partners, and customers.

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

RBAC enables organizations to assign roles and permissions based on job functions, ensuring users have the appropriate level of access.

This minimizes the risk of overprivileged accounts.

Identity Protection

Microsoft Entra ID incorporates advanced threat detection and prevention mechanisms to safeguard against identity-related attacks.

It uses machine learning to identify suspicious activities and trigger protective measures.

Single Sign-On (SSO)

SSO capabilities allow users to access numerous applications and services with a single set of credentials, improving user experience and simplifying access management for administrators.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Security is a top priority, and Entra ID offers MFA options to add an extra layer of protection. Users can verify their identity using SMS codes, phone calls, or biometrics.

Conditional Access

Administrators can define policies that determine access based on certain conditions, such as user location, device health, or risk level. This granular control enhances security without compromising productivity.

Self-Service Password Reset

Entra ID offers a self-service password reset feature, allowing users to reset their passwords without requiring assistance from IT support.

This enhances user convenience and reduces the burden on helpdesk personnel.

Entra ID Difference between on-premises and cloud-based

Let's try to see each other.

On-Premises Entra ID

Local Control

On-premises Entra ID allows organizations to control their identity infrastructure completely.

User data and authentication processes are managed within the organization's data center, providing high autonomy.

Hybrid Scenarios

Chosen by most organizations with existing on-premises infrastructure.

It can seamlessly integrate with existing Active Directory setups, ensuring a smooth transition to the cloud when ready.


Managing on-premises Entra ID can be more complex, requiring hardware and software maintenance, ongoing updates, and security measures.

Organizations bear the responsibility for infrastructure management.

Cloud-Based Entra ID


Cloud-based Entra ID offers effortless scalability, making it suitable for businesses of all sizes.

Organizations can quickly adapt to changing user and resource requirements without significant infrastructure investments.

Managed Services

Microsoft takes care of the underlying infrastructure, updates, and security, reducing the administrative burden on organizations and allowing your teams to focus on strategic tasks rather than regular maintenance.

Global Accessibility

Cloud-based Entra ID provides global accessibility, enabling users to access resources from anywhere with an internet connection.

Thus, it is advantageous for businesses with distributed teams.

Lower Initial Costs

Organizations can often start with a lower initial investment since they don't need to purchase and maintain on-premises hardware. Instead, they pay for Entra ID as a subscription service.

Can Microsoft Entra ID Work on-premises Azure AD?

The answer is "yes."

Microsoft Entra ID seamlessly integrates with on-premises Azure Active Directory, extending identity management capabilities to cloud and on-premises resources.

This hybrid approach ensures organizations can leverage their existing investments in on-premises infrastructure while gradually transitioning to the cloud.

Can we use Azure Active Directory 100% cloud?

Yes, organizations can opt for a 100% cloud-based Entra ID deployment.

This approach eliminates the need for on-premises infrastructure, making it entirely suitable for organizations embracing the cloud.

However, many organizations prefer a hybrid model, leveraging both on-premises and cloud-based Entra ID for greater flexibility and continuity.

Password Sync, Passthrough, and Federation

Password Sync

This option allows users to have a consistent password across on-premises and cloud environments. Changes made in either location are synchronized automatically.

Passthrough Authentication

Passthrough Authentication authenticates users directly against on-premises Active Directory, providing a seamless experience without storing passwords in the cloud.


The federation establishes a trust relationship between Entra ID and the on-premises Active Directory. It allows for more advanced scenarios, including single sign-on across various applications.


Microsoft Entra ID, formerly Azure Active Directory, is a versatile and powerful enterprise identity service that plays a pivotal role in modern identity and access management.

Its robust feature set, security capabilities, and scalability make it a top choice for organizations looking to enhance security, streamline user access, and embrace the cloud.

Whether you opt for a 100% cloud-based approach or a hybrid deployment, Entra ID offers the flexibility and tools to meet your identity management needs.

Entra ID remains a crucial ally in ensuring secure and seamless access to resources as organizations navigate the complex digital landscape.