Can I Replace AD with Google IDaaS?

replace active directory google idaas

As more organizations shift to Google’s G Suite and Google Cloud Platform, IT organizations are searching for ways to leverage the platform more, and reduce their dependence on Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD). Especially with Google’s latest play in the identity management space, many can’t help but ask, “Can I replace AD with Google IDaaS?”

To answer that question, we need to understand Microsoft and Google’s approach to identity and access management (IAM).

IAM with Microsoft Active Directory

Over the last twenty years, most IT organizations have leveraged the legacy, on-prem identity management platform Microsoft Active Directory. Historically, this made a great deal of sense because their IT infrastructure was located on-prem and was largely Microsoft Windows®-based. For a while, IT admins had really effective user and system management in this Microsoft ecosystem. Then, IT resources significantly changed, and Google played a significant role.

Almost every major Microsoft offering started having an adequate competitor: Microsoft Windows was competing with Mac® and Linux® systems, Microsoft Office® had a match in G Suite (formerly known as Google Apps), and Gmail challenged Exchange®. Not only were these new, modern IT resources non-Microsoft based, but they were also moving to the cloud.

As IT networks utilize on-prem resources less and less, there is a desire for the on-prem identity provider to shift to the cloud as well. Could Google IDaaS be the cloud identity management solution IT admins are looking for? With G Suite having over 4 million paying customers, a cloud identity management solution from Google would be an interesting alternative.

The Facts about Google IDaaS

Unfortunately, though, Google IDaaS isn’t a replacement to AD. Google’s identity management services platform is an excellent user management system for Google Apps and a few, select web applications. Very recently, they also started offering some management capabilities for Android, iOS, and Chrome Browser devices through Google Cloud Identity. However, Google IDaaS doesn’t integrate with macOS, Windows, or Linux systems, networks, physical file storage, or LDAP-based applications – resources that are still widely used.

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

Natalie Bluhm

Natalie is a writer for JumpCloud, an Identity and Access Management solution designed for the cloud era. Natalie graduated with a degree in professional and technical writing, and she loves learning about cloud infrastructure, identity security, and IT protocols.

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