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Azure Active Directory Domain Services (Azure AD DS)

Manage your domain controllers in the cloud.


Save costs and operate more efficiently with managed domain services


Azure Active Directory Domain Services (Azure AD DS), part of Microsoft Entra, enables you to use managed domain services—such as Windows Domain Join, group policy, LDAP, and Kerberos authentication—without having to deploy, manage, or patch domain controllers.


Access to managed domain services such as Windows Domain Join, group policy, LDAP, and Kerberos authentication

Ability to join Azure virtual machines to a managed domain without domain controllers

Simple sign-in to apps connected to your managed domain with Azure AD credentials

Lift-and-shift migration of legacy applications from your on-premises environment to a managed domain

Increase operational efficiency

Enable managed domain services for virtual machines and directory-aware applications deployed in Azure with a click of a button. Reduce operational and maintenance costs associated with managing identity infrastructure for your virtual machines and legacy applications.

An overview of a domain in Azure AD Domain Services
Security settings for a domain in Azure AD Domain Services

Run legacy applications in the cloud

Easily migrate on-premises apps to a managed domain. Streamline management of all applications from your legacy, directory-aware apps alongside your modern cloud apps with a single identity solution.

Rely on a managed, highly available service

Azure AD Domain Services includes multiple domain controllers to provide high availability for your managed domain. Ensure business continuity with guaranteed service uptime and resilience to failures.

Replica sets for a domain in Azure AD Domain Services
The homepage for Microsoft Entra

Unify your identity infrastructure management

Simplify the experience of managing and securing your entire identity infrastructure including Azure AD DS with the Microsoft Entra admin center.

Comprehensive security and compliance, built in

  • Microsoft invests more than $1 billion annually on cybersecurity research and development.

  • We employ more than 3,500 security experts who are dedicated to data security and privacy.

Get started with an Azure free account


Start free. Get $200 credit to use within 30 days. While you have your credit, get free amounts of many of our most popular services, plus free amounts of 55+ other services that are always free.


After your credit, move to pay as you go to keep building with the same free services. Pay only if you use more than your free monthly amounts.


After 12 months, you'll keep getting 55+ always-free services—and still pay only for what you use beyond your free monthly amounts.

Frequently asked questions about Azure AD DS

  • Azure AD DS is a part of Microsoft Entra, the new product family for multicloud identity and access solutions.

  • No. You can create a single managed domain serviced by Azure AD Domain Services for a single Azure AD directory.

  • Yes. Azure AD Domain Services can be enabled in an Azure Resource Manager virtual network. Classic Azure virtual networks are no longer available when you create a managed domain.

  • No. Guest users invited to your Azure AD directory using the Azure AD B2B invite process are synchronized to your Azure AD Domain Services managed domain. However, as passwords for these users aren't stored in your Azure AD directory, Azure AD Domain Services has no way to synchronize NTLM and Kerberos hashes for these users to your managed domain, so they can't sign in or join computers to the managed domain.

  • Yes. Each Azure AD Domain Services managed domain includes two domain controllers. You don't manage or connect to these domain controllers—they're part of the managed service. If you deploy Azure AD Domain Services into a region that supports availability zones, the domain controllers are distributed across zones. In regions that don't support availability zones, the domain controllers are distributed across availability sets. Learn more about availability options for virtual machines in Azure.

  • Changes made in your Azure AD directory using either the Azure AD UI or PowerShell are automatically synchronized to your managed domain. This synchronization process runs in the background. There's no defined time period for this synchronization to complete all the object changes.

  • No. Once you've enabled an Azure AD Domain Services managed domain, the service is available within your selected virtual network until you delete the managed domain. There's no way to pause the service. Billing continues on an hourly basis until you delete the managed domain.

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