Collaborate in the Cloud

SaaS/PaaS conversations are coming up more and more in my customer meetings. I think it is important to understand the difference between authentication and authorization and what fits a cloud model and what does not. This post does a great job of outlining some of the strengths F5 Access Policy Manager provides in regards to authentication as well as APM’s ability to help you consolidate solutions/infrastructure.

psilva's prophecies

Employee collaboration and access to communication tools are essential for workplace productivity. Organizations are increasing their use of Microsoft Office 365, a subscription-based service that provides hosted versions of familiar Microsoft applications. Most businesses choose Exchange Online as the first app in Office 365 they adopt.

The challenge with any SaaS application such as Office 365 is that user authentication is usually handled by the application itself, so user credentials are typically stored and managed in the cloud by the provider. The challenge for IT is to properly authenticate the employee (whether located inside or outside the corporate network) to a highly available identity provider (such as Active Directory).

Authentication without complexity

DIAG-PMAP-AVAIL-24708-app-avail-between-hybrid-data-centers

Even though Office 365 runs in a Microsoft-hosted cloud environment, user authentication and authorization are often accomplished by federating on premises Active Directory with Office 365. Organizations subscribing to Office 365 may deploy Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)…

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