Compare Directory Sync with GCDS

This page is for Directory Sync. If you’re using Google Cloud Directory Sync (GCDS), go to GCDS. Directory Sync is currently in public beta.

Directory Sync is a newer version of GCDS and contains different features.

Compare features

Feature GCDS Directory Sync
Hardware and software installation required Yes, requires on-premises software. No, Directory Sync is a cloud-based solution.
LDAP support Supports all LDAP-compliant directories, including Active Directory and OpenLDAP. Currently supports Active Directory only.
How it connects to the LDAP server Usually resides on the same network as your LDAP server. Uses Cloud VPN or Cloud Interconnect to access your on-premises LDAP server. Alternatively, you can host your LDAP server using Compute Engine.

For more information, go to Supported network connections.

Types of data synced Users, groups, calendar resources, external contacts, passwords.

Go to What is synced?

Users and groups.
Able to sync from multiple LDAP sources No Yes
Complexity of set up Can be highly complex, depending on your organization’s needs. Simplified setup using your Google Admin console.
Frequency of sync Configurable by admin. Requires third-party scheduling software to automate syncs. Full sync starts one hour after the previous sync finishes. This interval can’t be altered.
Troubleshooting and logging Might need to compile log files from multiple servers. Centralized reporting in the Google Admin console. You can filter, search, and set custom alerts.
Attribute mapping You can map:
  • Up to 35 system attributes.
  • Custom attributes.

You can map the following attributes:

  • First name.
  • Last name.
  • Email address.
  • Recovery phone number.
  • Recovery email address.
Organizational unit mapping Automatically places users in designated organizational units. Creates user accounts under the top-level organizational unit.

Move from GCDS to Directory Sync

If you are currently using GCDS, you can switch to Directory Sync using the following steps:

  1. Make sure that your LDAP server is accessible from Google Cloud

    How you manage your setup depends on whether your LDAP server is hosted directly on Google Cloud or whether you intend to connect to Google Cloud using Cloud VPN or Google Interconnect.

  2. Set up a VPC access connector in Google Cloud

    You need a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) access connector to use Directory Sync.

  3. Enable the Data Connector API

    Using the same project where you set up your VPC access connector, enable the Data Connector API.

  4. Add your LDAP directory to Directory Sync

    Use the Google Admin console to connect to your LDAP server using Directory Sync.

  5. Set up your user and group sync in Directory Sync

    Decide how you want your users and groups to sync to your Google cloud directory. You set this up in the Admin console. Check your setup by running a simulated sync.

  6. Turn off automatic syncs in GCDS

    If you use a scheduling software to automate syncs, turn off the schedule. Do not run a manual sync.

  7. Run a sync in Directory Sync

    You’re now ready to start syncing to your Google cloud directory with Directory Sync.

Related topic

About Google Cloud Directory Sync


Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

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