Microsoft and VMware seem to be continuing on their collision course, and this time it's VMware's turn to take a shot. The company on Monday launched a new cloud service that helps companies manage passwords and identities.
VMware Identity Manager is being billed as ID as a Service (IDaaS) because it's offered as both a cloud service and on-premises. It combines several VMware acquisitions into one program that is equal parts Mobile Device Manager (MDM) and Active Directory.
At its heart, VMware Identity Manager is a single sign-on product supporting cloud, remote, and on-premises users. The product is based on TriCipher technology acquired by VMware in 2010, which is now a part of its AirWatch mobile device management system, which was also an acquisition.
The solution works with other VMware products, such as vCloud Air and vRealize Suite, to provide a single sign-on for administrators to work between management interfaces. The integration with AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management provides an extra factor of authentication rather than passwords.
It has a customizable and context-aware HTML5 application portal to assist employees with getting set up, automated app provisioning, and offers more secure access to applications across any device. It also federates existing on-premises Active Directory infrastructures to centralize end-user management.
VMware Horizon and AirWatch already supports iOS devices, but VMware announced that it will expand its iOS support with the development of application configuration templates and vertical solutions for industries like healthcare, airlines, education and others. It will provide users with a one-touch sign on for their specific enterprise.
VMware also announced 15 new members of its Application Configuration for Enterprise (ACE) standard, which it launched this year. They include Dropbox, Everbridge, Kony, MicroStrategy, ServiceMax, Showpad, Syncplicity by EMC, and Webalo.
Finally, VMware announced its AirWatch systems now support the AT&T Work Platform, a voice, data, and messaging service for businesses that offers split billing so end-users can split the cost of their business and personal use in a BYOD program.
So it seems VMware and Microsoft are duking it out in the cloud and the data center. Microsoft crept into VMware's domain with Hyper-V, and VMware comes back with a direct competitor to Active Directory. It will be interesting to see Microsoft's next move.