Azure Active Directory connect (AAD Connect) is the Microsoft technology which is used to link an on-premises Active Directory with Microsoft’s cloud-based Azure Active Directory within your Microsoft tenant. It is a technology which is largely ubiquitous across organisations who are using Microsoft 365 solutions, Dynamics 365 solutions and some Azure solutions.
Microsoft has announced an update to AAD Connect. This update will not be delivered as part of the usual in-band updates that this application receives. Therefore, clients using AAD Connect today, need to plan to upgrade to AAD Connect v2.0. Microsoft has documented key information about the changes introduced as part of the upgrade through the Microsoft Docs pages.
Clients looking to upgrade should take this opportunity to also consider an upgrade to the underlying server operating system that runs this application. A good upgrade path is to export the configuration from the existing AAD Connect server and import it into the new AAD Connect v2.0 server. This side-by-side migration provides an opportunity to upgrade the operating system to the latest supported version thereby ensuring that the server and service has the longest possible lifespan.
Timeline and actions
Clients should upgrade AAD Connect as soon as possible. Currently Microsoft are saying the first deprecated service that AAD Connect relies on will not be deprecated until January 2022. However, I would recommend completing this upgrade well before then to ensure stability of services.
You can find information on the migration process at the Microsoft Docs link above. Given the criticality of the AAD Connect application on most Microsoft 365 applications, I would recommend acquainting yourself with the upgrade process in a lab before managing the upgrade in your live environment through change control.
Naturally, our teams are available to provide support or complete this work on your behalf as needed. Contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org or via your risual Account Manager if you want to discuss how we can help.