By Vince Lujan Posted January 16, 2018
G Suite Directory (also known as Google Identity Management Services) is a popular cloud identity management solution for IT organizations. However, G Suite Directory does not include system management capabilities. That is one reason why IT admins are interested in the JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service® platform – because it has the power to combine G Suite Directory and system management capabilities.
G Suite Directory and JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service create a dynamic duo. The combination of the two solutions enables IT admins to manage user access to virtually any IT resource with Google credentials. Before we explain how, let’s outline why IT organizations want to combine G Suite Directory and system management.
G Suite Directory and System Management
G Suite Directory is effectively a management platform for Google apps and services. In essence, Google Identity Management Services enable IT admins to manage Google user identities and authenticate user access to various Google resources and a select group of web applications.
G Suite Directory is a great tool for connecting Google user identities to Google services. The challenge is that Google identity management capabilities are almost entirely exclusive to Google services. In other words, IT admins are out of luck if they wish to manage IT resources that live outside of the Google ecosystem with G Suite Directory.
For example, one critical function that Google identity management services lack is the ability to manage the system itself. Systems are the conduit to an organization’s IT resources, including Google services. So it is easy to understand why the ability to manage user access to systems is critical in modern IT organizations.
Traditionally, IT admins have leveraged Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) for system management. AD pioneered the concept of system management in 1999, and has been the most dominant system management solution ever since.
The system management capabilities native to Active Directory come in the form of Group Policy Objects (otherwise known as GPOs). GPOs enable IT admins to manage a fleet of Windows systems from one central management platform. They can be used to configure a wide variety of system policies like screen lock timeout, disable USB ports, controlling guest access, and more.
GPOs have been a huge hit with IT admins. In fact, GPOs are one of the primary reason why IT organizations continue to leverage the legacy identity provider. The issue is that AD is a first generation directory service platform designed for on-prem IT environments. Further, while AD GPOs can provide system management capabilities, they are limited to Windows® systems.
The limitations of G Suite Directory and Active Directory, as it relates to system management, have IT admins caught between a rock and a hard place. IT admins know they would like to leverage G Suite Directory to manage Google services, but they do not want the headache and cost of implementing AD on-prem to manage systems. At the same time, IT needs the ability to manage systems, and they do not want to give up AD GPOs because at least they can streamline Windows system management.
Ideally, IT admins would be able to leverage G Suite Directory to manage Google services in addition to system management with GPO-like capabilities from a holistic cloud-based solution. The good news is that a next generation cloud directory service platform has emerged that seamlessly integrates with G Suite Directory. This hosted identity management solution also provides cross-platform system management capabilities that are akin to AD GPOs. The solution is called Directory-as-a-Service, from JumpCloud.
G Suite Directory and System Management with Directory-as-a-Service
JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service is a comprehensive cloud identity management platform that was built for modern IT networks. This hosted management solution enables IT admins to connect user identities to virtually any IT resource, regardless of platform, provider, protocol, or location. In essence, the JumpCloud hosted directory service is Active Directory and LDAP reimagined for the cloud era.
JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service seamlessly integrates with G Suite Directory, which enables IT admins to import Google user identities into the JumpCloud administrative console. Google user identities can then be federated to a comprehensive array of IT resources, including systems. IT admins can then leverage cross platform (e.g., Windows, Mac, Linux) GPO-like capabilities to help manage those systems from one central location. These capabilities are called Policies in JumpCloud parlance. JumpCloud Policies can be used to configure a wide variety of system policies like screen lock timeout, disable USB ports, control guest access, and more.
The end result is that IT admins can continue to leverage G Suite Directory to manage Google services, while gaining the ability to authenticate user access to systems (e.g, Windows, Mac, Linux), Samba file servers and NAS appliances (Synology, QNAP), on-prem applications (Docker, Jenkins), networks via RADIUS (wired, WiFi), web applications (Salesforce, Dropbox, Box), cloud productivity platforms (G Suite, Office 365), cloud infrastructure (AWS, GCP), and more. They can also manage cross platform system environments with AD GPO-like capabilities from a comprehensive cloud-based identity management platform.
Learn More about G Suite Directory and System Management with Directory-as-a-Service
JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service completes the circuit between G Suite Directory and System Management, without the headache or cost of AD on-prem. In doing so, IT admins can connect Google identities to virtually any IT resource and manage cross platform system environments with ease.
Contact the JumpCloud team for more information, or, sign up for a Directory-as-a-Service account and discover the benefits of combining G Suite Directory and system management today. Your first ten users are free forever to help you explore the full functionality of our platform at no cost.