By Vince Lujan Posted March 22, 2018
Google Apps Directory Sync (GADS), now called Google Cloud Directory Sync (GCDS), is a critical component of the G Suite™ solution. GADS is used to sync on-prem directory services platforms such as Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) and LDAP with Google applications. Yet, as more IT resources shift to the cloud, IT admins have realized they need more than just a cloud identity bridge to Google apps. They also want to shift the majority of their on-prem identity management infrastructure to the cloud.
The good news is that the JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® platform can not only serve as a more powerful GADS replacement, but also a comprehensive Active Directory replacement in the cloud. However, before we discuss the advantages of the JumpCloud platform in either context, we should talk about the role GADS has played through the years.
Why is GADS Important?
When Google Apps (now called G Suite) first came to market, IT admins had a really hard time managing user access. This was primarily because most IT organizations leveraged on-prem directory services platforms like Active Directory as the core identity provider (IdP).
While AD was great at connecting on-prem user identities to Windows® based IT resources, it was never designed to support non-Windows solutions living in the cloud. Consequently, IT organizations had to manage user access in two places – the on-prem directory service and then within G Suite as well.
Google realized they would need a way to connect on-prem user identities to their productivity suite to gain widespread adoption. That was the reasoning behind GADS, which is essentially a cloud identity bridge used to extend on-prem identities to Google applications and services. The result was that IT admins could leverage AD identities to manage access to G Suite via GADS.
Understanding Google’s Strategy
It’s interesting to note that, while Google is competing with Microsoft solutions like the Windows operating system, Office®, Exchange®, and Windows Server® to name a few, one solution that Google isn’t trying to attack is Active Directory. In fact, Google is assuming that IT organizations will continue to leverage an on-prem AD implementation, while using G Suite for their productivity platform.
The GADS approach has proven to be effective. After all, Google’s cloud offerings currently brings in one billion dollars per quarter, according to a CNBC report. The challenge with this approach, however, is that IT admins then have one foot in the cloud and one on-prem, with GADS as the conduit between the two. While IT admins can manage user access to G Suite in this way, as mentioned, modern IT organizations would like to eliminate the majority of their on-prem identity management infrastructure in favor of a comprehensive cloud alternative.
GADS Replacement: Directory-as-a-Service
JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service is a powerful new cloud directory services platform that empowers IT organizations with the option to shift their entire infrastructure to the cloud. In doing so, IT organizations can eliminate the cost of procuring and maintaining on-prem identity management infrastructure, all the while retaining the ability to manage user access to G Suite.
The best part is that managing access to G Suite is only one aspect of the JumpCloud offering. In fact, IT admins can securely manage and connect users to their systems, applications, files, and networks with the cloud-based directory. The end result is that IT admins are free to choose the best resources for the organization, knowing they can leverage One Identity to Rule Them All®.
Replace GADS Today
Check out our whiteboard presentation to gain an in-depth understanding of the JumpCloud G Suite Integration. You can also contact JumpCloud or schedule a demo to answer any remaining questions. If you’re ready to implement a GADS replacement, don’t hesitate to join the JumpCloud family today. We offer ten free users to help you explore the various use cases of our platform for as long as you see fit – and we don’t even require a credit card to sign up! The real question is, what are you waiting for?