Google IdP and Mac User Management

google idp mac user management

Macs have become a mainstay in just about every corporate environment. Whether IT admins are leveraging Microsoft® Active Directory® or Google as an identity provider (IdP), the main challenge is figuring out how to manage those Mac® users and systems. With Google’s cloud services growing and evolving, a common question is whether Google IdP and Mac user management is possible.

To understand whether this is possible or not, we need to dig into how the IT network has changed over the years.

Microsoft Dominated the IT Network

identity management active directory
A decade plus ago, the IT environment was all Windows® and located on-prem. Because of this structure, the identity provider was Microsoft Active Directory, and AD was optimized for on-prem Windows environments. This worked okay for a while, but then challenges started to pop up when the IT landscape experienced some major changes. Users wanted Mac laptops and desktops. The server environment shifted to Linux® servers hosted at AWS®. Web applications started to become more popular with G Suite (formerly Google Apps) leading the way in many respects.

These changes made IT admins think about shifting their entire IT infrastructure to the cloud. G Suite and AWS eliminated a large part of the on-prem IT management infrastructure. But, Active Directory remained.

As a result, Google’s approach is starting to shift. Google IdP, or G Suite Directory, has been introduced along with Google Cloud Identity. Now, the question becomes whether IT admins can leverage Google IdP as a replacement to Active Directory, and use Google IdP for Mac user management. While this may sound like an appealing solution, unfortunately, the short answer is no.

Managing IT Networks Requires More than Google IdP

G Suite Google Identity Management Challenges

Google IdP doesn’t enable Mac user management, and more importantly, it doesn’t operate as a core directory service either. Google’s intention has never been to compete with Active Directory, but rather to be a complement in the identity management space. However, there is an alternative to Google IdP that can replace Active Directory and offers Mac user management as well. This modern cloud (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by Natalie Bluhm. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/google-idp-and-mac-user-management/

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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