Google Apps for Education: Deployment Guide

This guide serves as a resource for domain administrators in charge of moving their student and/or faculty/staff populations to Google Apps for Education. Inside you’ll find a step-by-step outline for completing the technical aspects of your deployment, including relevant help center articles and videos. Google Apps deployments typically take between 1 day and 6 weeks. This material is targeted towards IT administrators (or others) looking to learn more about the technical aspects of a Google Apps deployment. If you wish to connect with other schools as you deploy, or if you have additional technical questions, please visit our community support forum. This forum is directly managed by our EDU team.

Task

Relevant Links

Done?

1. Watch the K-12 deployment webinar

Webinar on YouTube

2. Choose domain name(s) - select  an option below

One Google Apps account for faculty, staff and students using one domain (managing one domain/Google Apps instance)

One Google Apps account for faculty, staff and students, but have a separate student domain within the Google Apps account (managing multiple domains in one Google Apps instance)

Managing Multiple Domains

Multiple Domain Limitations

Two Google Apps accounts, one for faculty and staff and another for students (managing multiple Google Apps instances)

3. Sign up your domain(s) for Google Apps & request EDU upgrade

Sign Up for Google Apps

Request EDU Upgrade 

4. Decide on your organizational structure

Organizational Structures

Adding organization units

Turn Services On/Off for Orgs

Set up a Walled Garden

5. Decide on mail flow - select an option below

Configure dual delivery through legacy server

Dual Delivery through Legacy Server

Configure dual delivery through Google

Dual Delivery through Google

Configure split delivery through Google

Split Delivery through Google

6. Provision users in Google Apps

Choose a method for creating users in Apps

Provisioning Options Overview

If performing a CSV upload:

Create CSV file of users (500 users per file)

CSV Upload How-To Video

CSV Upload Help Center Article

Upload via the control panel

Wait for email stating that upload is complete

If using Google Apps Directory Sync (GADS):

Download GADS

GADS General Info/Download Page

Watch the GADS Technical Overview

GADS How-To Videos

Read the GADS Admin Guide

GADS Admin Guide

Configure GADS

Run simulation sync, correct any issues

Run actual sync

7. Implement authentication - select an option below

Store passwords in Google Apps

Reset Google Apps passwords

Configure Single Sign-on

Learn more about SSO

8. Data migration - select an option below

No data migration necessary

Migrate data for users (server side migration options)

Email Migration Options 

Let users migrate their own data (client side migration options)

Email Migration Options

9. Additional Resources

Take a look at YouTube for Schools

YouTube for Schools

Google Apps Marketplace & Chrome Web Store

Marketplace & Chrome Web Store

Connect with other admins through our forums

EDU Forums

Professional Development & Training Resources

Guide to Going Google Resources

If you’re interested in more detailed information about switching to Google Apps, please take a look at:

If you’d like additional assistance with your Google Apps deployment, you can find partners that are able to assist in the Google Apps Marketplace.

 

1. Watch the K-12 deployment webinar

This video is a great resource for learning more about the Google Apps control panel and the basics of a Google Apps deployment.

2. Domain Set-Up

There are many ways to set up your domains. Here are the more common setups we’ve seen. (NOTE: Signing your production domain up for Google Apps will NOT affect your current mail flow)

Managing one domain/Google Apps instance

Register mydistrict.org and provision both teacher, staff, and student accounts within this Google Apps account. If contact sharing is turned on, all users will have access to contact information of users provisioned in the domain.

Managing multiple domains in one Google Apps instance

Register your production domain in Google Apps. For example, if you currently use mydistrict.org for your teacher email accounts, register that as your primary domain. Then, add an additional domain for your students, like students.mydistrict.org, in the same Google Apps instance. If contact sharing is turned on, all users will have access to contact information of users provisioned in the domain.

Managing multiple Google Apps instances

Register mydistrict.org for your teachers and staff and students.mydistrict.org for your students as two separate

Google Apps instances. You’ll manage these Google Apps instances using two separate control panels. If contact sharing is turned on, by default users will only have access to contact information of users provisioned in their individual Google Apps instance. If you’d like to add contact information of users outside of the Google Apps instance, you’ll need to create contact objects in Google Apps using the Shared Contacts API, Google Apps Directory Sync or a marketplace tool.

3. Sign Up for Google Apps

Once you decide on the domain name(s) that’ll be associated with your production Google Apps instance(s), you’ll sign up here. Please note that you must already own, or be able to purchase, these domain names. After signing up for Google Apps, you’ll be required to verify domain ownership. You’ll also want to request an upgrade to Google Apps for Education by filling out our upgrade request form. Please note the upgrade process can take a few weeks to complete.

4. Decide on your organizational structure

Organizational units allow you to segment your user population (i.e. you can create an organization for students and another for faculty - you could further break down the student organization by grade). Administrators can turn services on or off for different organizational units. Organizational units also allow for email delivery to be restricted for certain populations. You configure email delivery settings so that some users can only email users within the domain (and receive emails from users within the domain). For step-by-step instructions on how to do so, please see this link.


5. Mail Architecture

Will you be changing your MX records to point to Google? Will some users remain on your legacy server, while other users will start using Google Apps? You’ll want to consider your current mail architecture/flow and think about the best way to adjust moving forward so that mail can be delivered to users within Google Apps. You’ll also want to consider how your legacy server will handle emails sent from within the legacy server to user who may be on Google Apps.

General information on mail delivery options can be found here.

Dual Delivery through Legacy Server

 

In this scenario, your MX records will not change - they’ll continue to point to your legacy server. On your Google Apps domain you’ll set up a domain alias (for example, g.school.edu) with MX records pointing to Google Apps. You’ll then forward from your legacy server to the domain alias that you’ve set up.

Dual Delivery through Google

 

In this scenario, your MX records will point to Google. You’ll then set up email routing in your Google Apps control panel to send mail back to your legacy server for all accounts. Instructions on configuring email routing can be found here.

Split delivery through Google Apps

 

In this scenario, your MX records will point to Google. You’ll then set up email routing in your Google Apps control panel to send mail back to your legacy server for accounts that are not found in Google. Instructions on configuring email routing can be found here.

6. Provisioning

There are a few different options when it comes to creating users and you’ll want to choose the one that works best for your institution. General information on provisioning options can be found here.

CSV Upload

CSV uploads can be used to upload up to 500 users at a time. This is the simplest way to provision users, but you’ll want to take into account the size of your school/district when deciding whether this is the correct route to go. If you choose a CSV upload, you’ll format your file as a table and include headers to define each field, like this:

Cell A1: Email Address | Cell B1: First Name | Cell C1: Last Name | Cell D1: Password

Google Apps Directory Sync

Google Apps Directory Sync allows you to automatically provision users, groups, and contacts based on the user data in your LDAP server, such as Microsoft Active Directory. Google Apps Directory Sync connects to your Google Apps directory and adds/deletes user accounts to match your existing organizational schema. The Google Apps Directory Sync configuration wizard guides you through customizing your synchronization and mapping of your LDAP user list to your Google Apps users, nicknames, shared contacts, and groups. To manage your synchronization, you can perform test synchronizations, and configure change limits, notifications, and scheduled synchronizations.

If you’re interested in using Google Apps Directory Sync, you’ll want to take a look at the following:

Provisioning API

The Provisioning API allows for users to be created programmatically. If you’re interested in learning more, take a look at the Provisioning API documentation.

7. Authentication

Will your users be authenticating straight to Google (using the default Google login page)? Or are you looking to integrate login with other services that you have at your school?

If your users will have passwords stored in Google, then you will need to either sync passwords from an existing campus system or create new passwords for users in Apps. If you’re looking to sync passwords from Active Directory, you’ll want to take a look at the following:

If you’re interested in integrating logins with other services at your institution, you should take a look at our Single Sign-On articles/resources. NOTE: Single Sign-On works for browser based interactions. If your users will be interacting with Google Apps via mail clients or mobile devices, they will need a password stored in Google Apps.


8. Data Migration

Data migrations can be performed server side (run by IT) or client side (run by the end user). The data that can be migrated from your legacy server will depend on the legacy server you’re looking to migrate from. More information on migration options can be found here.

No migration

Pros: Reduces overall time/complexity of deployment as there is no need for IT admins to migrate data.

Cons: Users may want some of their legacy account data and may not know how to keep it.

Client side

Pros: Reduces overall time/complexity of deployment as there is no need for IT admins to migrate data.

Cons: Help Desk/IT admins may be contacted by users for help, since users run these migrations on their own.

Server Side

Pros: Since user data is transferred without user intervention, it can make the transition to Google Apps more positive.

Cons: Can increase overall time/complexity of deployment as IT admins need to migrate data.

9. Additional Resources

YouTube for Schools

YouTube for Schools gives you a way to access educational videos from inside your school network. By enabling the feature, schools gain access to a broad set of educational videos on YouTube EDU and the ability to select the specific videos that are accessible from within the school network. Schools can sign up at YouTube.com/schools and learn more by visiting our YouTube for Schools FAQs or Product Forum.

Google Apps Marketplace

If you’re interested additional applications or are looking for someone to assist you with your Google Apps deployment, please take a look at the Google Apps Marketplace.

Connect with other admins through our forums

You can use our Google Apps for Education Community forums to connect with other Google Apps domain administrators, ask for tips, and share best practices.

Chrome Web Store

Take a look at additional web applications that you can install on your Chrome browser.

Professional Development & Training Resources

If you’re looking for professional development and training resources to assist your user population in your move to Google Apps, please take a look at the resources in the Guide to Going Google. You’ll find professional development plans, ideas for starting to use Google Apps in the classroom, and training resources.

Extra Credit

Here are some recommended resources to stay up to date after you’ve deployed Google Apps:

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