Earlier this month on the Active Directory Blog it was announced that the public preview of Azure AD Connect is available. This new tool is the way going forward to sync on-premises Active Directory with Azure Active Directory. This new tool will install and configure the new Azure AD Synchronization Services (AAD Sync) and also the ability to deploy, install and configure AD Federated Services for authentication as well as Password Sync. As the blog announce states, Microsoft plans to GA AD Connect in the next 90 days. Going forward there will not be separate releases of AAD Sync and Azure AD Connect, the Connect tool will be the single source for syncing and authentication from now on.

Here is the download for the Public Preview of Azure AD Connect.

To ensure I don’t become a brainless sales executive, I am going to install and configure Azure AD Connect in my lab and you are welcome to read and watch along!

I am installing it on my Windows 2012 R2 Domain Controller. My lab servers are hosted in Azure IaaS and I am very happy with the performance of the servers.

  1. Running the Install (after a couple confirmation dialog boxes)

  1. Clicking Continue, it did a quick check of the computer I am running on and noted the prerequisites needed:

  1. Clicking Install

  1. Prerequisites being installed

  1. After the install of the prerequisites, it asks for Office 365 Tenant Credentials:

  1. Clicking Next, Credentials verified

  1. Now I have the option for Express or Customized settings, I choose Customize

  1. I then choose my sign-in Experience, I selected Password Sync (Single Sign On would have setup and installed ADFS) Then clicked on Next

  1. I then added my local on-premises AD Domain by providing the credentials and clicking on Add Domain:

  1. Once added, I have the option to add additional AD domains

  1. Clicking Next gets me to more options, Hybrid and Password write-back, I enabled both and clicked Next

  1. I then selected that all my Users are represented only once and clicked Next

  1. I kept the defaults for Source Anchor and User Principal Name and clicked Next

  1. I then reviewed and clicked on Install

  1. Install in progress

  1. Another screen of the install working

  1. All Done

I will cover the administration and other items of AAD Sync in a future blog post, but if you want to jump into this now, here is the MSDN site for AAD Sync, http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/dn790204.aspx