By Ryan Squires Posted November 6, 2018
It would stand to reason that in order to manage G Suite™ users you could simply use Google™’s tools to complete the tasks you need to. Identity management is rarely so simple though. Unfortunately, when it comes to G Suite user management and taking G Suite identities to the next level, you’ll have to leverage third-party solutions to get the robust user and system management capabilities you may be used to with a tool like Microsoft® Active Directory® (MAD or AD).
Identity Management and Email
Many IT organizations have utilized G Suite as their productivity platform of choice with Gmail™ being the foundational element as to why people flocked to G Suite initially. While there are of course other applications within G Suite like Docs and Sheets, Gmail was really the tool that got people to start using G Suite to begin with. It’s interesting because historically, the identity used in email was extended to other IT resources that a user needed to access over the course of their work day.
This is exactly how Microsoft® Exchange and Active Directory worked. But, with IT organizations forgoing Exchange for G Suite, the challenge then shifts to how to replace Active Directory when thinking about G Suite user management. Those two resources, AD and Exchange respectively, were Microsoft tools that integrated nicely with one another and IT admins learned how to manage them. But, now that organizations moved their email into the cloud, identity management has fragmented.
G Suite’s Original Purpose
Google’s intention all along was solely to compete with Microsoft’s productivity platform tools like Office and Office 365, not their directory service. The result is that G Suite Directory is a simple user management solution for G Suite, but doesn’t extend Google Cloud Identities to on-prem systems like Windows®, Mac®, and Linux® systems. Nor do Google Cloud identities extend to non-Google cloud and on-prem servers (AWS, Azure), on-prem and some cloud file servers (Samba, NAS devices), a wide range of applications, or wired and WiFi networks through the RADIUS protocol.
If you are itching to return to the days of a singular email identity to control access to virtually any IT resource in your shop, you’ll need to leverage a third-party management tool called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®. With True Single Sign-On™, user’s access all of their resources, not just those under the umbrella of G Suite, with a single set of credentials.
As a result, this cloud identity management platform is an excellent complement to G Suite and it enables IT admins to completely shift to the cloud and eliminate not only Exchange and Office with G Suite, but also Active Directory with a new, modern directory. And as a modern directory, you’ll be able to manage the systems (Windows, Mac, or Linux) those G Suite users are on, meaning you can deploy Policies to control password complexity, set screen locks, and disable USB ports. Simply managing users is not enough, you need to manage their systems as well. Plus, when you go all cloud, you won’t need to manage cumbersome on-prem servers any more. Somebody else does that for you—you just pay for what you need.
Learn More About JumpCloud
Ready to manage G Suite users from a single pane of glass and without on-prem compromises? Sign up today for a free account and see how G Suite provisioning can help to streamline your authentication processes and provide your users a simplified identity and access management solution. Our free account doesn’t require you to input a credit card and you can manage up to 10 users with it for free, forever. Please, drop us a line with any additional questions and check out our YouTube page for best practices, helpful tutorial videos, and whiteboard explainer videos.