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.