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Feeding the identity management turkey

Nov 21, 20053 mins
Access ControlNetworking

* Tidying up new product and acquisition news before Thanksgiving

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. this week, there’ll only be one newsletter. I could have used it to predict the outcome of all the “big game” college football games over the long weekend (USC beats UCLA, CAL beats Stanford, Texas obliterates A&M) but I think I’ll use the time to try to catch up on all the products and mergers that didn’t fit in last week’s edition – or in the week before!

Yes, it appears there’s a rush to tidy up new products and acquisitions before the year runs out.

The big news last week was that Juniper Networks announced its intention to acquire Funk Software. Funk has what I consider one of the top 5 software products by name: Steel-belted RADIUS. Surprisingly, as protocols come and go, RADIUS (which is an acronym for Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service) continues to be a growth area. No longer primarily for dial-up users (since remote users are rarely dial-up these days), the technology continues to be the leading method of authenticating remote users wishing to access our networks. If you aren’t familiar with Juniper, the company is in the hardware business offering routers, firewalls, accelerators, etc. A “blessed event” in the form of a RADIUS appliance is probably in the offing sometime next year.

Also in appliance news, A10 Networks last week announced its entry into the identity and access management (IAM) market with the launch of a new “black box” that combines authentication, centralized data store management and strong security features in a hardened, drop-in appliance called the IDSentrie 1000. The idea is to unite as many related IAM products as possible in one appliance to ease the burden on IT managers. At least, that’s what Director of Product Marketing Phil Kwan told me. And he should know, he used to be an IT manager himself.

Another IAM company delivered last week on a promise it made to me last spring, when Avatier CEO Nelson Cicchitto told me the company would add enterprise single sign-on to its Avatier Identity Management Server (AIMS). That’s now available through a partnership to resell Version3’s Simple Sign-On product along with the suite. The Version3 offerings are among the most complete and wide-ranging in the industry and should provide a significant benefit to AIMS users.

Last, but not least, Ping Identity Founder Andre Durand announced the availability of PingFederate Version 3, the first identity federation server built, as he said, “from the ground up to provide best-in-class SAML 2.0 functionality for Web single sign-on, single logout and attribute exchange.” Quite a boast, but also quite probably absolutely true. Read more at Ping’s Web site where you can also download a copy.

It does look like a lot of people have a lot to be happy about this Thanksgiving!