By Zach DeMeyer Posted October 11, 2018
IT admins are looking for a way to extend their Google Cloud Identity credentials further to resources such as systems, applications, file servers, and networks. To bridge the gap between the Google Cloud and certain on-prem resources, Google recently introduced Google Cloud Identity LDAP services.
What is Google Cloud Identity LDAP?
While it is a very early release, Google’s intentions with their Cloud Identity LDAP are to help IT admins connect to a wider range of applications using their Google credentials. Of course, Google Cloud Identity is already a user management system for Google apps and a few, select web applications. With their new release, the tech giant is looking to extend their Cloud Identity back down to on-prem resources. Since Google is a cloud first company, this is a curious move for the tech titan.
This functionality presents an interesting possibility to organizations that are still leveraging on-prem applications and servers. Traditionally, these sorts of resources were managed by either a local LDAP instance (i.e. OpenLDAP™) or by a directory service, such as Microsoft® Active Directory®. Given that many of today’s businesses are utilizing Google tools like G Suite™ or Office 365™ for productivity and email, it seems good to be able to combine their cloud identities with their on-prem ones. Google Cloud Identity LDAP, however, is no silver bullet.
A Problem of Identity
The challenge for IT admins is that their goal is to securely manage user identities and connect them to virtually all of a user’s IT resources. These resources include systems (Windows®, Mac®, Linux®), on-prem and web applications, cloud and on-prem servers (e.g. AWS, Azure, collocated data centers, etc.), physical and virtual file servers (NAS appliances, Samba, Box, etc.), and wired and WiFi networks. Ideally, an IT organization could do this regardless of platform, provider, protocol, and location. Practically speaking, that means Google would need their identities to cooperate with Microsoft, Amazon, and others under one, unified identity.
Of course, we know that’s not possible with Google. Like in any other industry, market share is king in IT. Due to this, virtually all of the tech titans are looking to hold organizations captive to their products and services, just as Google is doing with their Cloud Identity solution. Google has a disincentive to connect with Office 365 and AWS, for instance, due to their competitive solutions, G Suite and Google Compute Engine. Innovative IT organizations know that the best identity provider is a neutral one, not restricted to any one particular platform, provider, or protocol.
A Unified Cloud Identity
The result of this is that, while Google Cloud Identity LDAP services are a step in the right direction, IT organizations are searching for a broader cloud identity management platform to connect to a wider range of IT resources. It seems like a big ask, but many enterprising IT admins have been on the search for such an identity provider solution.
This search leads to JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® (DaaS), which is a third party cloud directory service. With JumpCloud DaaS, IT admins can get centralized user management, cloud LDAP services, RADIUS-as-a-Service, Samba file server support, systems management capabilities, cloud server user and system management, True Single Sign-On™, multi-factor authentication, and more.
While Google Cloud Identity LDAP may be a step in the right direction, JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service is a giant leap towards unifying your user identities under one solution. To learn more about JumpCloud DaaS, consider signing up for the Directory-as-a-Service product. Not only is signing up completely free, it requires no credit card and includes your first ten users to get you started. And, best of all, you won’t be captive to any one vendor’s solutions, but instead, capable of leveraging One Identity to Rule Them All™. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty with the product right away, you can schedule a demo to still see the product first hand or contact us with questions.