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New Blog | Microsoft Entra resilience update: workload identity authentication

Microsoft

By nadimabdo

 

Microsoft Entra is not only the identity system for users; it’s also the identity and access management (IAM) system for Azure-based services, all internal infrastructure services at Microsoft, and our customers’ workload identities. This is why our 99.99% service-level promise extends to workload identity authentication, and why we continue to improve our service’s resilience through a multilayered approach that includes the backup authentication system. 

 

In 2021, we introduced the backup authentication system, as an industry-first innovation that automatically and transparently handles authentications for supported workloads when the primary Microsoft Entra ID service is degraded or unavailable. Through 2022 and 2023, we continued to expand the coverage of the backup service across clouds and application types. 

 

Today, we’ll build on our resilience blogpost series by going further in sharing how workload identities gain resilience from the regionally isolated authentication endpoints as well as from the backup authentication system. We’ll explore two complementary methods that best fit our regional-global infrastructure. One example of workload identity authentication is when an Azure virtual machine (VM) authenticates its identity to Azure Storage. Another example is when one of our customers’ workloads authenticates to application programming interfaces (APIs).  

 

Regionally isolated authentication endpoints 

 

Regionally isolated authentication endpoints provide region-isolated authentication services to an Azure region. All frequently used identities will authenticate successfully without dependencies on other Azure regions. Essentially, they are the primary endpoints for Azure infrastructure services as well as the primary endpoints for managed identities in Azure (Managed identities for Azure resources - Microsoft Entra ID | Microsoft Learn). Managed identities help prevent out-of-region failures by consolidating service dependencies, and improving resilience by handling certificate expiry, rotation, and trust.  

 

This layer of protection and isolation does not need any configuration changes from Azure customers. Key Azure infrastructure services have already adopted it, and it’s integrated with the managed identities service to protect the customer workloads that depend on it. 


Read full blog here: Microsoft Entra resilience update: workload identity authentication
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