Microsoft has unveiled two new additions to its Entra product family, a suite of cloud-based solutions for enterprise customers. The new services, Entra AI and Entra Data, aim to provide users with powerful and flexible tools for artificial intelligence and data management. Both tools come after Microsoft revealed Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) will be renamed Microsoft Entra ID.
Entra AI is an artificial intelligence platform that allows users to create, deploy and manage AI applications across various domains and industries. Users can leverage Microsoft's pre-built AI models or build their own custom models using Entra Studio, a visual development environment. Entra AI also supports integration with other Entra products, such as Entra Connect, which enables users to connect their AI applications with various data sources and services, and Entra Edge, which allows users to run their AI applications on edge devices.
Entra Data is a data management and analytics service that enables users to store, process and analyze large volumes of structured and unstructured data in the cloud. Users can access their data using SQL or NoSQL queries, as well as use Entra Data's built-in analytics tools for data exploration and visualization. Entra Data also integrates with other Entra products, such as Entra Studio, which allows users to design and execute data pipelines and workflows, and Entra AI, which allows users to apply AI models to their data.
Both Entra AI and Entra Data are built on Microsoft Azure, the company's cloud computing platform, and offer high performance, scalability, security and reliability. Microsoft also claims that the new services offer low cost and easy access, as users only pay for what they use and can access the services from any device and location.
Rebranding Active Directory into the Entra Family
Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) rebranding as Microsoft Entra ID is a major update for the platform. The change is part of Microsoft's broader effort to rebrand its identity and access management (IAM) portfolio under the Microsoft Entra brand.
Microsoft Entra ID will continue to offer the same features and functionality as Azure AD, but it will also include new features and capabilities that are designed to make it easier for organizations to manage and secure their identities. For example, Microsoft Entra ID will include support for federated identities, which will make it easier for organizations to connect with other organizations and cloud services.
The renaming of Azure AD to Microsoft Entra ID is part of Microsoft's ongoing effort to simplify its product portfolio and make it easier for customers to find the right products for their needs. The Microsoft Entra brand will also help to unify Microsoft's IAM portfolio and make it easier for customers to manage their identities across different Microsoft products and services.
The new Entra AI and Entra Data services are expected to launch in late 2023, with a preview version available in early 2023 for select customers and partners. Microsoft hopes that the new services will help its enterprise customers accelerate their digital transformation and innovation with cloud-based AI and data solutions.
In July 2021, Microsoft acquired cloud security firm CloudKnox to bolster protection on the Microsoft Azure platform. Microsoft Entra then arrived in May as a bundle of security products from Azure Active Directory and CloudKnox.