Google Cloud Directory Sync™ Alternative

What was once Google Apps Directory Sync (GADS) is now Google Cloud Directory Sync (GCDS), and it is a significant focus as IT admins decide how to integrate their identity management infrastructure with G Suite and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Yet, because GCDS forces IT admins to keep their identity and access management (IAM) infrastructure on-prem, IT organizations are searching for a Google Cloud Directory Sync alternative. Before we dig into GCDS replacements, however, we should broaden the conversation to understand the reasoning behind the overall solution.

What is Google Cloud Directory Sync?

Google Cloud Directory Sync, or GCDS for short, is an on-prem directory services extension created by Google. It has traditionally been used to sync on-prem user identities, typically from Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD), to Google Apps (now called G Suite). Hence the original name, Google Apps Directory Sync.

Why is Google Cloud Directory Sync Important?

Google introduced G Suite over a decade ago, under the name of Google Apps, to compete directly with Microsoft Office®, Exchange®, and Windows Server®. The idea was to enable IT admins to shift a portion of their IT infrastructure to the cloud, and deliver services via a browser rather than a thick client.

There were tremendous benefits to this approach including cost savings and giving IT organizations the chance to switch their systems and applications infrastructure from Microsoft to other platforms (e.g. Mac and Linux). Yet, while Google focused on the productivity suite, one area they didn’t focus on was the directory service.

Google realized that Active Directory was too entrenched in the enterprise, so they opted to provide an identity bridge from AD to Google Apps via GCDS instead. In doing so, IT admins could effectively manage access to G Suite using Active Directory credentials. Without GCDS, IT admins would have to manage Google offerings separately from AD.

Issues with Google Cloud Directory Sync

GCDS has been an essential tool for IT admins. The issue has been this solution requires another server that IT needs to (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by Vince Lujan. Read the original post at:

Vince Lujan

Vince is a documentation and blog writer at JumpCloud, the world’s first cloud-based directory service. Vince recently graduated with a degree in professional and technical writing from the University of New Mexico, and enjoys researching new innovations in cloud architecture and infrastructure.

vince-lujan has 168 posts and counting.See all posts by vince-lujan