Friday, August 15, 2008

Red Hat's push into identity management

I just finished reading Steve Coplan's (The 451 Group) impact report on "Red Hat identity management push takes shape" which was published on 24 July 2008 (Quest is a client of The 451 Group). It was a real interesting read and here are some of my thoughts and commentary...

I think that Steve is the first analyst who I've seen state that "identity consolidation" is a market.

Centralization is essentially the first step toward applying a uniform set of controls on all users and establishing the foundation for defining and enforcing identity management policies in an automated fashion.

For obvious reasons (i.e., Vintela) I clearly agree with this statement and Steve's (and the market's) drivers for this: compliance, compliance and compliance. The bulk of Steve's report talks about Red Hat's recent release of their IPA (Identity, Policy, Audit) software (you thought I meant beer, right?). The more interesting parts of the report to me is the fact that Red Hat is coming out in the identity consolidation/management market and this release coincided with Red Hat's acquisition of Identyx and their Penrose product:

Penrose is an open source identity integration platform which enables you to have a single, consolidated view of, and easy access to, all available attributes of an identity, regardless of location.

Sounds like a virtual directory, eh? In v2 of IPA the plan is to incorporate roles, consolidation of audit (log) information and incorporate machine identities for resource-based policy definitions. This practically sounds like a 10,000 foot description of Active Directory, Group Policy and the benefits of domain membership except it is Red Hat's IPA, Fedora Directory Server, Identyx and magic pixie dust (Kerberos) which is going to make it all happen. Interesting. Kudos to Red Hat.

Is this a strategic move for Red Hat or a tactical effort - as Steve paraphrases it - at "AD (Active Directory) containment"? My answer to this question in my next post.

P.S. My thanks to Steve and The 451 Group for allowing me to quote from their report.

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