G Suite for Education: Deployment Guide



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This guide serves as a resource for domain administrators in charge of moving their student and/or faculty/staff populations to G Suite 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. G Suite 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 G Suite 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.

Bookmarked task checklist

Relevant links

G Suite for Education Privacy Notice

Privacy Notice

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

Best Practices: Domain Setup Options 

Multiple Domains & Limitations

 2. Sign up your domain(s) for G Suite

 Sign Up for G Suite

 3. Decide on your organizational structure

 Create an Organizational Structure

 Turn Services On/Off for Orgs

 Set up a Walled Garden

 4. 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

 5. Provision users in G Suite

Choose a method for creating users in Apps

 Provisioning Options Overview

If performing a CSV upload:

 CSV Upload Help Center Article

  Create CSV file of users (500 users per file)

 CSV Upload How-To Video

  Upload via the control panel & wait for email stating the upload is complete

If using G Suite Directory Sync (GADS):

  Download GADS

 GADS General Info/Download Page

  Watch the GADS Technical Overview

 GADS How-To Video

  Read the GADS Admin Guide

 GADS Admin Guide

  Configure GADS

  Run simulation sync, correct any issues, run actual sync

 6. Google Classroom setup

 Manual creation of classes

 Creating a Class

 Classroom API

 Classroom API

 3rd Party Options


 7. Implement authentication - select an option below

Store passwords in G Suite

 Reset G Suite passwords

Enter Admin contact information for users

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

Domain Best Practices Guide

 Domain Best Practices

Take a look at YouTube settings for G Suite

 YouTube settings for G Suite

G Suite 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’d like additional assistance, you can find partners that are able to assist in the G Suite Marketplace.

If you are also interested in how you can pilot devices, specific information can be found in Google Devices for Education Pilot Guide.

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

G Suite for Education Privacy Notice

Please review the G Suite for Education Privacy Notice for information on how Google collects and uses information from G Suite for Education accounts specifically. You can also visit the Google for Education Trust site for answers to FAQ.

1. Domain Set-Up

There are many ways to setup your domains. Here are the more common setups we’ve seen. Please before making a decision, check Best Practices Guide (Domain Setup Options)

(NOTE: Signing your production domain up for G Suite will NOT affect your current mail flow).

A.  Managing one domain/G Suite instance  (Best option)

Register (example domain name) and provision both teacher, staff, and student accounts within this G Suite account. If contact sharing is turned on, all users will have access to contact information of users provisioned in the domain.

B.  Managing multiple domains in one G Suite instance (Recommended)

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

C.  Managing multiple G Suite instances (Not recommended, due to inability to collaborate seamlessly between separate G Suite instances)

Register for your teachers and staff and for your students as two separate G Suite instances. You’ll manage these 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 G Suite instance. If you’d like to add contact information of users outside of the G Suite instance, you’ll need to create contact objects using the Shared Contacts API, G Suite Directory Sync or a marketplace tool.

2. Sign Up for G Suite

Once you decide on the domain name(s) that’ll be associated with your production G Suite instance(s), you’ll sign up here. Please note that you must already own, or be able to purchase, these domain names. To take full advantage of G Suite for Education, domain verification is a required step. If verification sounds a little too technical for you, don’t worry, you now have access to 1:1, step-by-step domain verification support with the help of a Google Support specialist completely free of charge.

To get in touch, follow these instructions. Please note that you'll need to have already signed up for GAFE before calling Support.

3. 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 best practices, review best practices document.
For step-by-step instructions on how to do so, please see
this link.

4. 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 G Suite? 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 G Suite. 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 G Suite.

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 G Suite domain you’ll set up a domain alias (for example, with MX records pointing to G Suite. 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 G Suite 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 G Suite


In this scenario, your MX records will point to Google. You’ll then set up email routing in your G Suite 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.

5. 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. Please review best practices document to see what is the best option for you.

  1. Manual provisioning 
  2. CSV Upload

CSV uploads can be used to upload up to 500 users at a time. 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

  1. G Suite Directory Sync

G Suite 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. G Suite Directory Sync connects to your G Suite directory and adds/deletes user accounts to match your existing organizational schema. The G Suite Directory Sync configuration wizard guides you through customizing your synchronization and mapping of your LDAP user list to your G Suite 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 G Suite Directory Sync, you’ll want to take a look at the following:

  1. 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.

  1. Provisioning partner: please ask Google representatives to find the best partner for you needs.

6. Google Classroom Setup

Will you be prepopulating Google Classroom classes automatically or will you have teachers create their own classes?

Teachers creating their own classes

To manually create a class, a teacher can follow the instructions as noted here.

Classroom API

We’ve recently launched the Classroom API which allows developers to automatically create and populate classes. This can all be completed by the Google Administrator with no interaction from students or teachers. Developers will want to review the following:

3rd Party Options

With the new Classroom API, 3rd party developers, can easily integrate with Google Classroom to create and populate classes. Some great examples of this are:

The rosterSync tool is really easy to use as it's a Google Sheet Add-on and allows you to create and update Google Classroom rosters using Student Information System (SIS) CSV exports and data stored in Google Sheets. If you want a quick and easy way to create and populate Google Classroom, you can use this tool.

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:

We recommend that you enter the Admin or Help desk contact information for end user password recovery, so users can contact the right team in case of any login issues, it only takes 1minute! See this article for the specific steps.

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 G Suite via mail clients or mobile devices, they will need a password stored in G Suite.

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 G Suite more positive.

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

9. Additional Resources

YouTube settings for G Suite

This feature is integrated directly into the G Suite Admin console under YouTube settings [Apps > Additional Google services > YouTube]. In addition to restricting video content, admins will be able to delegate “approvers” to whitelist additional content for signed-in users on the domain. More information here.

G Suite Marketplace

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

Connect with other admins through our forums

You can use our G Suite for Education Community forums to connect with other G Suite 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 G Suite, please take a look at the resources in the Guide to Going Google. You’ll find professional development plans, ideas for starting to use G Suite in the classroom, and training resources.

Extra Credit: Here are some recommended resources to stay up to date after you’ve deployed G Suite