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Novell unveils new version of Identity Manager

Version 4 unifies identity management across physical and virtual servers as well as cloud-based environments, both public and private.

Security Identity Management Alert By Dave Kearns, Network World
May 21, 2010 02:05 PM ET
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Last week Novell brought BrainShare back to Europe after a four year absence. But the gathering in Amsterdam almost didn't happen, as the Icelandic ash cloud closed Amsterdam's Schiphol airport two days before the conference was to begin. I heard lots of stories about people scrambling for ways to get to the city. But it did get going on time and, I'm really happy to say, it looks like Novell is back.

Before getting to the nitty-gritty of Novell's new offering, though, a correction is needed. Last issue I told you about the new cloud-computing identity offering from Symplified. I referred to it as "SinglePoint Trust Cloud," which was how it was listed in the early version of the press release that I saw. It's actually called "Symplified Trust Cloud," so that's the product you should look for.

Novell chose BrainShare Europe (or, more correctly, BrainShare EMEA - Europe, Middle East, Africa) to reveal the next version of it's Identity Manager product -- now at version 4.

Of course, it isn't really a single product but a collection of technologies and services useful for implementing identity management for your organization. The company wanted to emphasize that this release unifies identity management across physical and virtual servers as well as cloud-based environments, both public and private.

While it's true that everyone, it seems, is touting their software as cloud-enabled (or cloud-enabling), in this instance Novell makes a strong case for their commitment to the cloud model. In fact, after listening to people use a lack of security as the excuse for why organizations aren't utilizing the many advantages that cloud-based services can offer (lower cost, efficient management, better control, improved ease of use, etc.) it was refreshing to hear Novell executives affirm that Identity Manager 4 offers the same level of trust in the cloud that it offers in the data center.

I want to get into more detail about Identity Manager 4 and what Jim Ebzery (senior vice president and general manager for Security, Management and Operating System Platforms) had to tell me about their product and its future but I'll save that for the next issue. For now, I just want to note that I'm impressed that John Dragoon is still CMO at Novell, after more than five years in the job. It's the longest I can remember anyone filling that role in the 25 years I've covered the company. Maybe their marketing is finally coming around.

Read more about security in Network World's Security section.

Dave Kearns is a consultant and editor of IdM, the Journal of Identity Management.

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