Azure Active Directory official Microsoft video screenshot

In an official blog post, Microsoft announced an update for Azure AD Domain Services that also includes administer DNS and custom OUs.

Microsoft has added new features to its Azure AD Domain Services (AAD DS), which lets customers join Azure virtual machines to a domain without domain controllers.

The upgrade has added a few new features to the service, including custom OU support, secure LDAP access, domain join for Linux virtual machines, and administer DNS for a managed domain.

The features were announced by Mahesh Unnikrishnan, a Program Manager in the Identity division at Microsoft, who also confirmed that ADD DS is now also available in Australia.

Secure LDAP is important as LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) is commonly used by directory-connected apps to authenticate user information through Active Directory. Microsoft says Azure AD Domain Services says the secure LDAP means such sensitive information is not visible on a network, important for remote external connections:

You can now connect over secure LDAP from any virtual machine within the virtual network in which you’ve enabled Azure AD Domain Services. You can also configure your managed domain to allow Secure LDAP connections over the internet. This is useful if you need to connect to your directory from another network or from a different location.

Another new feature in Azure AD Domain Services is the ability to create custom organizational units (OUs), which can be used to can manage OUs how a customer wants. Microsoft cites configuring account passwords to never expire or placing all web servers on a single OU.

Azure Active Directory Domain Services provide DNS resolution for your managed domain within the virtual network in which you’ve enabled the service. Occasionally, it may be necessary to configure DNS on the managed domain in order to create records for machines that are not joined to the domain, create virtual IP addresses for load-balancers or configure external DNS forwarders. Members of the ‘AAD DC Administrators’ group can now administer DNS on the managed domain using DNS administration tools.

Domain join for Linux machines has also been rolled out in the latest update, offering a simpler way to connect Azure Infrastructure Services virtual machines with a domain.