Google IDaaS Windows Authentication

Written by Greg Keller on March 8, 2017

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Authenticating Windows devices is a core part of any directory service. In fact, Microsoft Active Directory® built a monopoly on the capability.

While Windows devices aren’t at the same market share they once were, controlling access to Windows systems is a critical capability. As first-generation IDaaS vendors start to think about extending beyond web application single sign-on, controlling access to systems should be on their list.

The question for G Suite customers becomes, “Are Google IDaaS Windows authentication capabilities a reality?”

The short answer is, “No.” The long answer is a little bit more complicated, but it has a “Yes” at the end. We’ll explain below, but first let’s take a broader look at the IDaaS landscape.

Microsoft Has Owned the Identity Management Space

active directory windows authentication

Over the past two decades, Microsoft Active Directory has been a virtual monopoly in the space. Networks at the turn of the century were largely homogeneous. They were Microsoft Windows-based and on-prem. As a result, it made sense for IT organizations to leverage AD as their user management system.

modern windows authentication

As the IT landscape has evolved with the introduction of G Suite and AWS, the resurgence of Macs, and dominance of Linux machines, Active Directory is no longer managing a bulk of the IT infrastructure. In fact, only one in five devices is Windows. While G Suite has over five million business customers, AWS has over one million business customers. Active Directory also struggles with connecting to cloud-hosted system and applications.

Does Google Identity Management Capitalize on AD’s Limitations?

google directory identity management

Ideally, Google would like to replace Active Directory. Google has been targeting Microsoft Exchange and Office with their G Suite productivity platform. Unfortunately, their G Suite Directory or Identity Management Services is a long way from being a competitor to Active Directory.

Google IDaaS isn’t able to authenticate Windows systems – obviously a core piece of functionality for any Active Directory alternative. Further, Google’s approach to IDaaS isn’t really focused on handling on-prem IT resources, including systems, applications, or WiFi. G Suite Directory is a Google Apps user management platform and a web application SSO solution for a select few web apps.

JumpCloud® and Google IDaaS Windows Authentication

The good news is that there is a complementary solution to G Suite that can handle Windows authentication from the cloud. As a next-generation IDaaS platform, Directory-as-a-Service® securely manages and connects user identities with IT resources, such as systems, applications, and networks. Those IT resources can consist of a wide variety of cloud and on-prem platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, G Suite, Office 365, AWS, and web applications, among others.

If you would like to learn more about Google IDaaS Windows authentication, drop us a note. Alternatively, sign up for our cloud identity management platform and integrate it with your G Suite instance. Your first 10 users are free forever.

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