Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Directory Synchronization to Office 365 w/ Azure Active Directory Connect

Hello everyone! It's been a while - sorry about that. Life has been extremely busy for me the past couple months and I haven't posted in some time. Something that has been reaffirmed to me lately is the fact that life, just like IT, is constantly changing. Since my last post, I've left my old employer (along with almost a dozen of my old co-workers), an organization that had an "old school" mentality in regards to IT.

I'm now with an organization that is much more forward-thinking in regards to embracing cloud technologies, automation, and scripting. Interestingly enough, my title has transitioned from Senior Cloud Analyst to the much more common Senior Systems Engineer, and yet, I'm doing more with the Cloud in this role than the former. How ironic.

My wife and I are also expecting the arrival of our third child in the next several days. Much time has been spent over the past months and weeks preparing for this huge life event once again. My two children can't wait to meet the new baby, especially my son as he is ready to become a "big brother" at long last.

Transitioning to a new job and preparing for a new child - that pretty much explains where my time has been sunk for the past two months. As I step back into blogging, I wanted to write a post about cloud technologies that I'm now working with, particularly Office 365. I inherited a partially working directory synchronization setup that I've been working to fix. In order to better understand the process and what's happening, I wanted to start from scratch and build from the ground up.

The architecture of directory sync to Azure AD - graphic courtesy of Microsoft.
Thankfully, Microsoft offers a free 30-day trial of Office 365 that's perfect for a home lab environment. I'll be demonstrating how to use the Azure Active Directory Connect (AAD Connect from this point forward) tool to synchronize your on-premise Active Directory with Office 365. As usual with my guides, this post will be screenshot heavy - you've been forewarned!