What is GCDS (Google Cloud Directory Sync)?

google cloud directory sync gcds

What is GCDS (Google Cloud Directory Sync)? Well, formerly known as Google Apps Directory Sync, GCDS is a core part of Google’s approach to integrating G Suite (formerly Google Apps) into an organization’s IT infrastructure. GCDS is an identity bridge between on-prem directory services solutions like Microsoft® Active Directory® / OpenLDAP and Google’s cloud platforms G Suite / Google Cloud Platform. The idea is to leverage identities housed within the on-prem identity provider and connect them with Google Apps.

While GCDS is a great tool for connecting on-prem identity providers with Google services, 72% of IT organizations using G Suite and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) are interested in shifting all of their infrastructure to the cloud by 2025. This includes the identity provider. Will Google introduce their own cloud version of Active Directory? How does GCDS fit into a cloud-forward strategy? Let’s answer these questions by taking a more in-depth look at Google’s agenda thus far.  

Google’s Strategy with GCDS

g suite contacts managerGoogle’s strategy is clearly tied to the success of their business cloud platforms, like GCP and Google Apps. For example, Google created Google Apps as a way to shift email and productivity platforms to the cloud. GApps, as it was known, quickly gained popularity and started to eliminate the need for Microsoft Exchange®, Office®, and Windows File Server®.

The leading on-prem identity provider at the time was Active Directory, and AD wasn’t built to connect with non-Microsoft cloud-based resources. However, IT still needed a way to control user access to these new Google cloud services. Google didn’t want to compete with Active Directory, so that is where GCDS comes in.

Connecting AD with Google

google cloud directory syncGoogle’s strategy was to leverage the entrenched identity provider, Active Directory, to feed user identities to their services. IT admins wouldn’t need to make a change with their core directory service, instead they would connect it to Google’s directory via an identity bridge. This was the workflow Google had in mind with Google Cloud Directory Sync.

The benefit for IT (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/what-is-gcds-google-cloud-directory-sync/

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.

natalie-bluhm has 158 posts and counting.See all posts by natalie-bluhm