Difference between Azure AD and Office 365: Perfect Answer

Difference between Azure AD and Office 365

Ashish Ratan Singh | Published: August 18, 2017 | General, Office 365 | 4 Minutes Reading

Nowadays, one of the most frequent questions coming up is that what is the difference between Azure AD and Office 365? Inevitably, many users or organizations want to know this thing for business purposes. They want to know that who is ahead in the race when it comes to the management and security of the data. However, unluckily there are only few platforms, which explain the actual dissimilarities between Microsoft Azure AD & Office 365.

Today is 21st Century, which is an era of digital world. Nowadays, there are many cloud-based applications available in the online market. Availability of the various platforms often creates confusion and makes it tough for users to opt for any particular platform. Office 365 and Azure are two such platforms. Both the applications bring forth different facilities making it easy for users to cross-interact. Nevertheless, there is some dissimilarity between both. Here, we are going to enlighten users about these differences in the upcoming part of the blog.

Microsoft Office 365 vs Azure AD

Microsoft Azure vs. Office 365

Both Windows Azure & Office 365 are cloud-based services. Office 365 components depend on Active Directory services of Windows Azure on the back-end. However, it is also the fact that Azure is a lot more than an Active Directory Services. Before proceeding towards the difference between Windows Azure and Office 365, let us know different categories of cloud services present in the digital world. These are some cloud services as mentioned below:

Various Cloud Services

Software as a Service (SaaS):
Under this model, users are provided access to cloud-based program services, software, & databases on pay-per-use or on subscription basis. The providers maintain the infrastructure, which results in less dependence & requirement for an on-premises infrastructure. This automatically reduces the costs for customers and makes the maintenance as well as support of the service, applications or database simple. At times SaaS is also refer as “on-demand software”.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):
Another model is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). This cloud comes up with the facility of computing resources quite often built on the pools of hypervisors, which includes Hyper-V or KVM or Xen or VMWare. Without any doubt, they can also come as physical resources. Apart from this, some more resources that are provided in this model such as raw (block) & file-based storage, IP address, Virtual-machine disk image libraries, firewalls, virtual local area networks (VLANs), load balancers, & software bundles.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)
In Platform as a Service model, the providers deliver a platform for computing including operating system, database, web server & programming language execution environment, etc. The developers of application can develop & run their program solutions on a cloud-based application devoid of cost & complexity of managing as well as buying underlying software & hardware layers. Moreover, in some PaaS offers such as Windows Azure, the storage resources & underlying computer scale in an automatic manner to fulfill the demand. With this, users are not required to allocate the resources manually.

Main Difference between Azure AD and Office 365

Now, if we talk about Microsoft Office 365 it comes under SaaS model. As it provides an online version of a cloud-based Office suite, which includes so many useful applications such as Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, Lync, One Note, Access, etc. along with Exchange Online and SharePoint.

On the other hand, Windows Azure comes under IaaS & PaaS category. Windows Azure application is simply divided into Compute, App Services, Networking, Data Services, and Store.

  • Data Services:
    • Storage
    • SQL Reporting
    • SQL Data Sync
    • SQL Database
    • HDInsight
  • Compute:
    • Mobile Services
    • Virtual Machines
    • Web Sites
    • Cloud Services
  • App Services:
    • Media Services
    • Caching
    • Windows Azure Active Directory
    • Service Bus
    • Access Control Service (ACS)
    • Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Networking:
    • Virtual Network
    • Traffic Manager
  • Store

Now, it is clear that Windows Azure is not just an Active Directory backbone and supports the components of Microsoft Office 365. Microsoft has now come up with a Windows Azure Poster, which easily describes each of the above-discussed section in detail & is very useful for different purposes apart from finding the difference between Office 365 and Azure. One such purpose is describing the entire components as well as offerings of Windows Azure.

The Bottom Line

After considering that Office 365 and Azure are two major platforms for the management of data, we have discussed the difference between Azure AD and Office 365 in the above section. This blog also clarifies all the major dissimilarities between both the platforms and helps users to choose better applications according to their work or business requirements.