Over 6 million organizations are leveraging G Suite™ (formerly Google Apps for Work) for their email and productivity solutions. These same organizations have shifted their on-premises email server—likely Microsoft® Exchange—to be served out of the cloud by Google. Popular apps such as Docs, Sheets, Drive, and more are a part of a user’s everyday workflow. For IT, the benefit is that there is very little that needs to be managed. What does need to be managed is who may access G Suite, which can be accomplished through G Suite Directory. The next question for an IT admin is whether G Suite Directory functions as an LDAP server.
Google LDAP Server?
The short answer is that it does not. What G Suite Directory can do is function as a contact database and an authentication service for Google’s cloud-based services. G Suite Directory, however, is not a directory service in the context that IT has come to know since it does not function as an identity provider for most systems, applications, and networks. Devices that are on-premises (such as Windows®, Linux®, and Macs®) and cloud-based servers may not be authenticated through G Suite Directory. Neither is there access to the WiFi infrastructure. And, lastly, G Suite Directory does not connect with LDAP-based applications and devices without assistance.
Why is LDAP Important?
To review, LDAP is a core authentication protocol leveraged by many devices and applications. An acronym that stands for the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, LDAP was invented in the early 1990s as a way to connect users to IT resources. Since then, open source OpenLDAP™ has become a standard in the industry, a well-known and commonly used on-premises directory service. The LDAP protocol is most often used with more technical solutions such as Linux and Linux-based applications.
Connecting Google Apps Identities with LDAP Critical
When IT admins are thinking about an Identity-as-a-Service platform to go with their cloud-based G Suite infrastructure, authenticating applications and devices via LDAP is a critical need. As discussed, Google’s directory service doesn’t provide this functionality. G Suite Directory (Read more...)