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Microsoft Entra is a comprehensive identity and access management solution designed to address the complexities of securing enterprise environments in the cloud era. With its framework, Entra enables businesses to efficiently manage who has access to their systems and data across various platforms, ensuring secure and streamlined operations.

This service simplifies identity management by enabling seamless integration of Azure virtual machines into a managed domain and facilitating the migration of legacy applications to the cloud.

In this article, we’ll explore how Microsoft Entra Domain Services enhances operational efficiency and security, and we will provide a detailed overview of its pricing structure to help users understand the potential costs associated with its implementation.

How Does Microsoft Entra Work?

Microsoft Entra functions as an identity and access management solution, streamlining security protocols across cloud, multi-cloud, and hybrid environments. At the heart of Entra’s functionality is its ability to manage and secure identities and access seamlessly, ensuring that only authorized users and devices can access sensitive company resources. It can also facilitate automatic access level lifecycles depending on customization of access control policies.

Microsoft Entra, Diagram, Framework, Structure,

What are Domain Services in Microsoft Entra?

Microsoft Entra Domain Services further extends this capability by offering managed domain services traditionally associated with active domain controllers but without the overhead of maintaining physical hardware. This service allows Azure virtual machines and other Azure-based services to join a managed domain effortlessly. It integrates deep within Entra to provide features like:

  • Windows Domain Join: Facilitates the integration of Azure services into your managed domain, maintaining organizational structure and management.
  • LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol): Offers an approach to managing directory information across internet protocols.
  • Kerberos Authentication: Ensures secure and seamless sign-on capabilities, crucial for large-scale enterprises.

This managed domain service simplifies the lift-and-shift migration of legacy applications, ensuring that organizations can bring their existing infrastructures into the cloud without rearchitecting them. The ability to manage both modern and legacy applications through a single identity framework not only reduces complexity but also cuts down operational costs and enhances security.

Entra’s Role in Identity and Access Management

Microsoft Entra (formerly known as Azure Active Directory) plays a critical role in identity and access management (IAM) by providing robust tools and features designed to protect organizational assets while facilitating smooth operations:

Microsoft Entra, Dashboard, Identity and Access Management, Azure Active Directory, Domain Services,

Unified Identity Security

Entra consolidates various identity and access management functions into a single platform. This unification helps streamline the administration of identities, enhancing both efficiency and security.

Compliance and Risk Management

With its comprehensive monitoring and reporting capabilities, Entra helps organizations comply with regulatory requirements and manage risks more effectively. By keeping a vigilant eye on who accesses what, when, and how, Entra allows for immediate action against potential security breaches or non-compliance issues.

Scalable Access Management

As organizations grow, so does the complexity of their access management needs. Entra scales to meet these demands without the need for additional physical infrastructure, facilitating the management of thousands of identities and access rules across global operations.

Microsoft Entra (Azure AD) Pricing Structure

Microsoft Entra offers a structured pricing model that caters to diverse organizational needs, ranging from basic identity management functions to advanced governance capabilities. Below, we explore the different plans and their pricing to give you a clear understanding of what to expect and how to budget for your identity management solutions.

Microsoft Entra ID Plans and Pricing

PlanFeaturesPricingIncluded in
Entra ID FreeBasic identity and access managementFreeIncluded with Microsoft cloud subscriptions like Azure, Microsoft 365
Entra ID P1Advanced identity management, including Hybrid users$6.00/user/monthStandalone or included in Microsoft 365 E3 and Business Premium
Entra ID P2Premium identity protection and governance$9.00/user/monthStandalone or included in Microsoft 365 E5
Entra ID GovernanceAdvanced identity governance$7.00/user/monthAdditional for P1 and P2 users

Additional Services in MS Entra Pricing

Microsoft Entra Verified IDManages and verifies identity credentialsFree (included with any Entra ID subscription)
Microsoft Entra Permissions ManagementAutomates policy enforcement across multi-cloud infrastructures$10.40/resource/month
Microsoft Entra Workload IDManages workload identity access with adaptive policies$3.00/workload identity/month

Whether you are looking for basic identity management or advanced governance, Microsoft Entra provides flexible and robust solutions at competitive price points.

Microsoft Entra FAQs

What are the main differences between the Basic and Premium plans of Microsoft Entra?

The Basic plan of Microsoft Entra offers core identity and access management functionalities suitable for smaller businesses or those just starting with identity solutions. In contrast, the Premium plans, including Entra ID P1 and P2, provide more advanced features. These include conditional access, identity protection, and advanced group management capabilities, which are crucial for larger organizations or those with complex security needs. The Premium plans also support more sophisticated scenarios, such as managing identities across hybrid environments and integrating with Azure Kubernetes Service to secure containerized applications.

Can Microsoft Entra work in multi-cloud and hybrid environments?

Yes, Microsoft Entra is well-equipped to handle multi-cloud and hybrid environments. It offers robust support for integrating various cloud services, including Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud, using Azure Cost Allocation & Tagging to ensure that identity management policies are consistently applied across all platforms. This capability ensures that security and compliance policies are maintained without interruption, regardless of the cloud environment being used.

How does Microsoft Entra contribute to regulatory compliance?

Microsoft Entra contributes to regulatory compliance by providing comprehensive tools for identity governance, risk management, and access control. It helps enforce policies that are compliant with global standards such as GDPR, HIPAA, and SOC 2. For example, Entra’s advanced audit and reporting features can be utilized to track and monitor access and activities across Azure environments, including those managed through Azure Budgets, ensuring that all actions are logged and transparent for audit purposes.


Microsoft Entra enhances security and simplifies identity management across your Azure environments. To optimize Azure resources and ensure cost efficiency, it is crucial to implement best practices such as regular reviews of service usage, utilizing Azure Budgets, and applying Azure Cost Allocation & Tagging. By adopting these strategies, you can maintain high security and performance while managing costs effectively, ensuring your cloud investments deliver optimal value and robust protection.

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Adarsh Rai

Adarsh Rai, author and growth specialist at Economize. He holds a FinOps Certified Practitioner License (FOCP), and has a passion for explaining complex topics to a rapt audience.

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