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Google Releases a Managed Service for Microsoft Active Directory (AD) in Beta

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In a recent blog post, Google announced the beta release of the Managed Service for Microsoft Active Directory (AD). With this cloud-based service, Google acts as a managed provider for any customer requiring Microsoft AD, and this includes the patching and maintenance of Microsoft's identity and access management service.

The managed service for Microsoft AD was first announced as an alpha release at Google Cloud Next ’19 in April. The service aimed to help customers manage AD-dependent workloads that run in the cloud, automate AD server maintenance and security configuration, and connect their on-premises AD domain to the cloud. Now the managed service is in public beta.

With Managed Service for Microsoft AD, customers can create a domain using the GCP console. This can take up to 60 minutes to become available. Next, they can do perform operations like connecting to a managed Microsoft AD domain, or create and manage trusts between a managed AD and their on-premises domain.


According to the announcement blog post by Siddharth Bhai, product manager, Google Cloud, the managed service for Microsoft AD will deliver the following benefits for the customers:

  • The service runs real Microsoft AD Domain Controllers, which means that customers do not have to worry about application compatibility. Furthermore, they can use standard AD features such as Group Policy, and familiar administration tools such as Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT), to manage the domain. 
  • Furthermore, the service is highly available, automatically patched, configured with secure defaults, and protected by appropriate network firewall rules.
  • Customers can deploy the service in a specific region to allow their apps and VMs in the same or other regions access the domain over a low-latency Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). As customer infrastructure needs grow, they can expand the service to additional regions, while continuing to use the same managed AD domain.

Constellation Research Inc. analyst Holger Mueller said in a Silicon Angle article:

It was important for Google to support Microsoft Active Directory on its public cloud as a majority of enterprises continue to use the service for managing users and user access. This makes user administration and management easy, as it means there’s no need to map to other user management or access management systems. It’s a great example of how Google is implementing an "embrace to extend" strategy, going the extra mile to make it easier to attract workloads to Google Cloud.

With the service in public beta, customers can sign up for it via the product page and access the available documentation. Furthermore, Google is planning to add a service-level agreement governing service uptime when the product reaches general availability.

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