With Quest's acquisition of Symlabs and their virtual directory server (VDS), it appears there's one less choice for customers wishing to only buy a VDS as Quest has given no indication that they will continue to sell the Symlabs product as a stand-alone.

That means the pickings are slim.

BACKGROUND: Quest expands virtualization

There's always the pater familias of virtual directories, Michel Prompt, and his Radiant Logic product. But there is at least one other.

Three veterans of the industry -- Lawrence Aucoin, Michael Brengs and John Maring -- met while at OpenNetwork Technologies (acquired by BMC) then stayed together at Oblix until it was acquired by Oracle. They then got reacquainted with software guru Nada Jumper who they'd known at OpenNetwork and forged a new organization called Optimal IdM.

They created the Virtual Identity Server (VIS), which they claim is the fastest, most comprehensive LDAP virtual directory available. As a virtual directory, VIS presents a single joined real-time view of multiple data stores such as multiple Active Directory forests, other LDAP directories and even databases.

But simply creating a virtual directory wasn't enough for these overachievers. They then leveraged that technology to create a series of product offerings:

• Virtual Identity Server for SharePoint 2007 / SharePoint 2010 -- extends and enhances the authorization and security model, reducing SharePoint configuration and administration.

• Virtual Identity Server Federation Services -- an Identity Provider (IP) Security Token Service (STS) that can authenticate users wherever they reside such as LDAP directories, SQL databases and multiple Active Directories (without forest trusts) as well as in data stores other than Active Directory such as Sun, eDirectory or even a database.

• Virtual Identity Server for Identity Lifecycle Manager & Forefront Identity Manager.

• Optimal People Picker for SharePoint -- Administrators can enhance security by filtering results and searches, while end users can find users and groups faster and more efficiently.

• Virtual Identity Server for Enterprise Group Management -- provides the real-time automated group compliance needs for an organization.

• Virtual Identity Server for Automated Compliance Management -- Provides a codeless point and click solution for performing automated compliance within an Active Directory environment.

• Virtual Identity Server Reports for Active Directory -- A real-time compliance and audit reporting solution for Active Directory.

What's your virtual directory doing for you? Check out Optimal IdM and see if they can help you.

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