By Greg Keller Posted November 10, 2015
Many IT admins want the ability to federate their Google Apps identities to other services. More so, most IT organizations that currently leverage Google Apps are interested in having Google Apps be their central directory service. The desire to use Google Apps as a central directory service isn’t new. In fact, the desire is rooted in the history of IT and how it has evolved over the last two decades.
The reasons IT admins want to use Google Apps as their central directory service are clear: Google Apps is in the cloud and accessible from anywhere. Google Apps likely has created and stored all of an organization’s users, because Google Apps is a core solution that just about everyone in the company already utilizes. Yet, it’s not the simple.
Years Past: Microsoft Active Directory & Exchange
Microsoft has dominated the productivity applications space for decades with its two major solutions: Active Directory and Exchange. The two solutions combined have, for years, provided users with their credentials into the network and their email account. For IT admins, the two solutions were the core infrastructure for an organization. User management was controlled by Active Directory, and Exchange was the email application. But, when cloud-based services were inGootroduced, the Microsoft combination became outdated, due to its on-premises limitations.
Modern IT: Google Apps & Directory-as-a-Service
When Google Apps started to replace Microsoft Exchange, IT admins looked forward to also replacing Active Directory. After all, their goal was to move as much of their infrastructure to the cloud as possible, to enable users to access what they needed when they needed it.
Many people thought that the Google Apps directory would be the Active Directory alternative, that Google Apps would replace Active Directory altogether. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Google Apps’ directory service is not the next central user store for an organization, because it doesn’t authenticate devices, servers, web and legacy applications, WiFi networks, and other IT resources. Google Apps Directory is mainly a database for accessing Google services.
But IT admins need a cloud-based directory service that is complementary to and integrates with Google Apps. As over half of the Microsoft Active Directory and Exchange combination has been replaced by cloud-based solutions, IT admins have searched for a solution that is from the cloud, but for both on-premises and cloud-based IT resources. Not just one or the other. Both on-premise and cloud-based is needed in today’s working environment. IT admins can stop their searching and fully migrate to cloud-based solutions, because there is a solution that is cross-platform and integrates tightly with Google Apps: Directory-as-a-Service.
DaaS, as Directory-as-a-Service is often called, is a cloud-based user management system that tightly integrates with Google Apps. In fact, the identities stored within the Directory-as-a-Service platform are federated with Google Apps and the other IT resources within an organization. As a result, users leverage their Google Apps identities for virtually all of their device, application, and network access. What’s more, IT admins have one central spot to provision, deprovision, and modify user access to a variety of IT resources.
A cloud-based directory coupled with Google Apps gives IT admins the full replacement for both Microsoft Exchange and Active Directory, the solution of yesteryear.
Want to learn more about how you can federate your Google Apps identities to other services? Give Directory-as-a-Service a try for free. It may be the solution that you are looking for to sync your Google Apps identities with your Macs, AWS servers, legacy applications, and WiFi networks. Contact the JumpCloud team if you have any questions.