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Security & Identity

Now in beta: Managed Service for Microsoft Active Directory (AD)

August 29, 2019
Siddharth Bhai

Product Manager, Google Cloud

In April at Google Cloud Next ’19, we announced Managed Service for Microsoft Active Directory (AD) to help you manage AD-dependent workloads that run in the cloud, automate AD server maintenance and security configuration, and connect your on-premises AD domain to the cloud. Managed Service for Microsoft AD is now available in public beta. 

Simplifying Active Directory management

As more AD-dependent apps and servers move to the cloud, IT and security teams face heightened challenges to meet latency and security goals, on top of the typical maintenance challenges of configuring and securing AD Domain Controllers. While you can deploy a fault-tolerant AD environment in GCP on your own, we believe there’s an easier way that gives you time to focus on more impactful projects.


Managed Service for Microsoft AD is a highly available, hardened Google Cloud service that delivers the following benefits:

  • Actual Microsoft AD. The service runs real Microsoft AD Domain Controllers, so you don’t have to worry about application compatibility. You can use standard Active Directory features such as Group Policy, and familiar administration tools such as Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT), to manage the domain. 

  • Virtually maintenance-free. The service is highly available, automatically patched, configured with secure defaults, and protected by appropriate network firewall rules.

  • Seamless multi-region deployment. You can deploy the service in a specific region to allow your apps and VMs in the same or other regions access the domain over a low-latency Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). As your infrastructure needs grow, you can simply expand the service to additional regions while continuing to use the same managed AD domain.

Hybrid identity. You can connect your on-premises AD domain to Google Cloud or deploy a standalone domain for your cloud-based workloads.

Managed Service for Microsoft AD admin experience

Customers and partners have already been using Managed Service for Microsoft AD for their AD-dependent applications and VMs. Use cases include automatically “domain joining” new Windows VMs by integrating the service with Cloud DNS, hardening Windows VMs by applying Group Policy Objects (GPOs), and controlling Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) access through GPOs. 

dunnhumby, a customer data science platform, has been evaluating the service over the last few months. "We have been helping customers to better understand their customers for over 30 years," said Andrew Baird, Infrastructure Engineer, dunnhumby. "With Managed Service for Microsoft AD, we can now offload some of the AD management and security tasks, so we can focus on our main job—our customers."

Citrix has also been evaluating the service to reduce the management overhead for their services that run on GCP. "Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service orchestrates customer workloads which run on a managed fleet of “VDA” instances on GCP. For the AD-related operations of these Citrix products, we found infrastructure deployment was significantly simplified with Google Cloud's managed services, especially Managed Service for Microsoft Active Directory," said Harsh Gupta, Director Product Management, Citrix.

Getting started

Managed Service for Microsoft AD is available in public beta. To get started, check out the product page to sign up for beta, read the documentation, and watch the latest webinar.

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