Google Cloud Directory Sync (GCDS) Tutorial – G Suite

G Suite video tutorial

General tutorial video for Google Cloud Directory Sync

I just published a 1 hour tutorial on Youtube that is talking about Google Cloud Directory Sync or GCDS. This tutorial is light an easy to follow. I used a scenario based approach to explain the steps and tasks that you need to do to configure it. The scenario is about syncing 8 user accounts to G Suite along with an OU structure form my AD to G Suite as well. The steps basically are the same for other object types such as groups. All you have to do is create the search rule and you are all set.

Here is the link for the video

Here also are the links that are mentioned in the video. You’ll find them also in the video description on Youtube:

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How to effectively manage your email with G Suite and Gmail

Today I needed to find some email in my Gmail… I usually either look for the email using search or if I know where it is I just go there. However when I was doing that, I monitored myself how I was getting to the email I want. At the same time I remembered few years ago before I start using G Suite and Gmail how long it will take me to do a search like this. Usually I’d have to wait for Outlook to index my messages, then do the search, then wait for the computer and Outlook to respond again! So it was really a very annoying process…

Within few seconds I was able to find what I wanted and move on to the next task. Gmail offers a lot of great features and flexibility. Once you know how to get the most out of your Gmail, you’ll … Read the rest “How to effectively manage your email with G Suite and Gmail”

Don’t Start a G Suite Project in the Wrong Time

sample image for g suite project board

So you finally got the deal of a new G Suite project and you are preparing to star the work! You are in the middle of making the plans and time tables… As well as well getting the details that you need from the customer. This phase is one of the most critical phases in your project. Because once the preparations are complete, the project implementation will begin.

When to start the G Suite project?

Well, you can start it any time you want! Except not in the following times:

When the customer’s IT team are going into their holidays…

Trust me this is the worst time to have such a project initiated. Even if the customer IT team are handing over the tasks to each other. You don’t want to start the project with someone, and then struggle with a new face in the middle of the work. You … Read the rest “Don’t Start a G Suite Project in the Wrong Time”

How the IT team can make your G Suite project fail!

What is the IT role in a G Suite project?

First of all, the IT has nothing to do with making the decision of going G Suite… They may influence the decision but they don’t make it. Simply because this type of decisions is a business decision in the first place. The more critical job of the IT department is to facilitate this shift and transfer to a new philosophy and technology. The business management will see the product functions and usability through end users who are getting the support they need from IT.

So how are the IT going to affect our project?

End users will complain to IT for issues they face daily. And here comes the core problem. If the IT team are reluctant to work on this, or if they are incompetent in communications with the G Suite deployment team, the issue will sit unresolved for … Read the rest “How the IT team can make your G Suite project fail!”

Steps you can take to secure your mail in G Suite

It is obvious that security is the number one issue in the cyber world these days… Email is being one of the widest and most critical fronts that is often a gateway to massive corporate breaches and leaks. Because of the nature of email usage these days, having a good email security practices and environment is very critical and essential for any organization to survive in the current era of technology and advancement.

G Suite offers a lot in the security of email. There are plenty of rules and activities that you can take to make sure your mail flow is secured and is not a wide open door for attacks and risks.

The Gmail settings in G Suite Admin Console offer multiple levels of email security. And if you are using Google Vault you can even do more in securing your environment. Google Vault is a long topic I’d … Read the rest “Steps you can take to secure your mail in G Suite”

A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days! – Day 8: Changing MX records

Day summary

We have come to the point where we are completely ready to change the MX records for all the domains. The process involved a lot of manual work but we split up the domains and managed to do it in a short amount of time. When we finished we ended up with all domains pointed to G Suite.

Once we completed the MX records change, we moved then to fixing all SPF records. Started with the primary domain there was not a lot to do. We just added the Google part of the SPF record to the existing one and we were all set.

After changing the MX records we found out about some issues in group permissions and other issues about bad forwarding settings between G Suite and Office 365 and managed to fix them all.

We also took a quick look about the progress of the … Read the rest “A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days! – Day 8: Changing MX records”

A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days! – Day 7: Completing the coexistence setup

Day summary

After getting the migration going, we moved to the next objective which is to complete the setup of the coexistence scenario between G Suite and Office 365. All what’s left was to setup the MX records and activate the forwarding from G Suite to Office 365.

I started with preparing a table for all the customer’s domains and then put all the required MX records in that table for each domain. And to be honest.. That was the most annoying thing I ever did! Once I completed the table, we agreed to do a change for one domain to test the delivery.

Prior to changing the MX records as we agreed, I had to enable the domain wide forwarding rule which was created earlier on the Admin Console. Then we were able to change the MX records.

I made sure we get all the old MX records documented … Read the rest “A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days! – Day 7: Completing the coexistence setup”

An important item to check before starting data migration to Gmail

Intro

I was working recently on a project who required data migration from Office 365 to Gmail. Everything went well and we had no issues at all except for a single problem that occurred because of a sort of strange cause…

One of the users has a very large mailbox size, about 70 GB. He uses sub-folders heavily in his Outlook client. And he is not using any sort of rules! He sorts his email manually. When I saw the data migration completed, the IT contact who is working with me from the customer side reported a strange problem in this particular mailbox. He said the user complained about having some of his folders split into two…

Funny problem!

After some funny troubleshooting process, I found out the more funnier reason for this problem. The user because he create a folder for everything, has some folders include the character ‘/’. … Read the rest “An important item to check before starting data migration to Gmail”

How a G Suite coexistence scenario can become a project killer

A little introduction

I have been working on a G Suite migration project for one organization for a while now. In the beginning of the project few months ago I sensed a problem would arise later on. That problem is about a long time co-existence setup.

You would ask why that is a problem? Well, I’ll start with their current communication and collaboration system… They are using Office 365, having integrated it with multiple third-party solutions and applications.  Among these third-party solutions are meeting room manager, and an SSO application.

When building the project plan and during the initial discussions, I made sure to stress that the long time co-existence scenario is a really bad idea. The customer initially wanted to have that long time setup because they have a semi-slow change process, which seemed little problematic at that time… In order to finalize the project plan and start with … Read the rest “How a G Suite coexistence scenario can become a project killer”

What I think a G Suite administrator should have to effectively manage his domain

A little comparison introduction

I’m not giving a straight statement on what a G Suite administrator should have to be able to manage his domain… Instead I will do a comparison then go to the conclusion.

When we work with G Suite products, both on the sales side and the technical side, we tend not to compare G Suite to other competitor products (Aka. Office 365, Microsoft Exchange Server…), the reason is because G Suite is a totally different product with its own idea, features, work-flow, and thinking… So it is not right to compare two different things that has nothing in common other than some functionality. But for the sake of the title of this post, I’ll start it with a comparison.

Microsoft Exchange Server is a great thing.. It made our lives easier with the great features it has (some can argue this, but I’d say it is … Read the rest “What I think a G Suite administrator should have to effectively manage his domain”