Connect Google Cloud Identity with Linux®

Written by Vince Lujan on July 25, 2018

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Organizations all over the world are leveraging Google Cloud Identity to manage user access to G Suite, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and a select group of web applications. Yet, many of those same organizations are also leveraging Linux® servers via AWS® and Azure®, as well as Linux desktops on-prem. So, is it possible to connect Google Cloud Identity with Linux systems operating outside of Google’s walled gardens? Let’s take a closer look at their cloud identity management approach to find out.

A Closer Look at Google Cloud Identity Management

Google Cloud Identity Management

Historically, G Suite Directory has been the core identity platform that was used to manage user access to Google Apps (e.g., Gmail, Drive, Calendar). Recently, however, Google has modified their approach by detaching the core user identity from G Suite Directory so that it can be leveraged throughout the Google ecosystem, which includes G Suite, GCP, and a few web applications. This expanded approach, of course, is what they are calling Google Cloud Identity. And, essentially, it is an Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) platform for Google services, by Google.

What About Google Cloud Identity and Linux?

Linux System Authentication

Unfortunately, Google’s view of their IDaaS platform doesn’t include systems operating outside of GCP. So, with respect to this blog post, the concept of connecting Google Cloud Identity with Linux machines hosted at AWS, Azure, on-prem, or anywhere else that is outside of Google’s ecosystem simply doesn’t work with Google Cloud Identity alone. The good news is that if you are looking to connect Google Cloud Identity with Linux devices, you can leverage a third-party cloud directory that seamlessly integrates with G Suite and GCP. This third-party, cloud identity management platform is called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®. And, through an API integration, an identity within the JumpCloud platform can be synced with Google identities, and subsequently, the user has one identity for virtually all of their IT resources––including Linux servers and systems.

Why Choose JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service?

JumpCloud directory-as-a-service

JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service is a next generation IDaaS platform that brings the innovations of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions to directory services. The JumpCloud platform empowers IT organizations to manage user identities and virtually all of their IT resources via one web-based administrative console. Integrating with G Suite is a core function of the overall Directory-as-a-Service solution, which leverages an API integration to securely import a G Suite user identity into the JumpCloud cloud directory. A Google Cloud Identity can then be federated to systems (Windows®, Mac®, Linux), web and on-prem applications via LDAP and SAML, cloud or on-prem servers (e.g. AWS, Azure, on-prem data centers), physical and virtual file storage (Samba file servers and NAS devices), and wired and WiFi networks via RADIUS. In other words, IT organizations can leverage Google Cloud Identity for virtually any IT resource, rather than just Google applications and services via JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service.

Learn More About JumpCloud

Check out the whiteboard presentation above to learn more about the JumpCloud G Suite integration. You can also sign up for a free account and see how you can connect Google Cloud Identity with Linux and more for yourself. We offer 10 free users to help get you started, and you can contact JumpCloud or schedule a demo at anytime to answer any questions.

Vince Lujan

Vince is a writer and video specialist at JumpCloud. Originally from the horse capital of New Mexico, Corrales, he has lived in Boulder, Colorado for three years. When Vince is not developing content for JumpCloud, he can usually be found at the Boulder Creek.

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