GADS vs DaaS

Written by Greg Keller on December 31, 2015

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We are often asked the question, how does Google Apps Directory compare with JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service platform? It’s a good question, especially so given that the language surrounding directory services can be confusing. Google Apps and JumpCloud define directory quite differently. Historically, Google Apps has provided a user directory to manage access to Google for Work applications such as email, documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. They have since added cloud application access control mainly through the OAuth protocol, and most recently, through SAML. The goal being to enable access to some third-party web applications through Google Apps credentials.

Two Directories, Diverse Directions

Google Apps Directory doesn’t aim to be your central directory service for all your devices, applications, and networks. Google Apps Directory largely centers around Google’s productivity suite and associated applications. In contrast, JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service is aimed at being the central, authoritative identity source for an organization. While the goal of DaaS is to provide users with access to the IT resources they need, the objective of admins is to secure a central location to manage user access and devices. Both of these things are achieved with DaaS.

In general, the two solutions are quite different. The reality, though, is that they can be used quite effectively together. Many organizations have opted to leverage Google Apps; over six million organizations with over sixty million users are on the Google Apps platform. These are largely cloud-forward organizations that are also leveraging platforms such as Macs and Linux machines, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, and web applications. In essence, they are progressive, modern companies.

The challenges they face are that they don’t have either a central way to manage user access to all of their IT resources nor a way to manage devices. In previous generations, these types of organizations would be required to install the on-premises Microsoft solution Active Directory. However, AD isn’t a viable solution because these organizations are shifting all of their infrastructure to the cloud. As they start to leverage Google Apps, it becomes apparent that while it is an excellent directory to store their employee’s contact information and manage access to Google applications, it is lacking in its ability to fully manage users.

Traveling the Cloud with the Perfect Partner

And, that’s where JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service comes in. DaaS complements Google Apps, by providing the user management and device control that IT admins are seeking. JumpCloud’s cloud-based directory service can be seamlessly integrated with Google Apps to import, provision, and de-provision users on all of your devices, including servers and applications. JumpCloud provides that central user data store that IT organizations are looking for.

If you would like to learn more about the differences between Google Apps Directory and JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service – and how they can work together – drop us a note. Or, feel free to sign-up for a free account and see for yourself. Your first 10 users are free forever.

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