By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2005-06-06 Print this article Print

Radiant Logics RadiantOne VDS uses schema discovery and adapters that connect to directories, databases and applications to build a cache of identity information. RadiantOne VDS also provides an optional data synchronization service.

As such, RadiantOne VDS license costs, which start at $25,000, are higher than those for OctetStrings VDE. However, we caution IT managers not to set too much store on the license costs of these products, since the real operational costs—which will presumably lead to cost savings—are in the day-to-day effort needed to maintain the product.

Click here to read Labs review of OctetStrings VDE.
RadiantOne VDS harnesses multiple consoles first to connect to data sources and then to design the virtual directory view.

RadiantOne VDS, available now, installs on the same platforms as VDE, except that it does not support Mac OS—which we dont see as a major miss for most organizations. We installed RadiantOne VDS server on the same test environment as VDE.

RadiantOne VDS 4.0 comes with a powerhouse of consultative data that even IT managers with little directory design experience will be able to use to effectively implement the product. The chapter devoted to deployment concepts was quite useful when we implemented our test environment. We encourage IT managers to look at the documentation early in any virtual directory evaluation to understand how directory namespaces can be best set up to accommodate applications.

In tests, RadiantOne VDS enabled us to expertly aggregate user information and present it to an application as if that user data were coming from an authoritative source, not from a virtual directory. RadiantOne VDS acts as a proxy for the actual data sources and made it a straightforward task for us to provide just the information required by each application.

RadiantOne VDS, VDE and other virtual directory products can deliver accurate user data from a variety of sources throughout the enterprise, and this capability should be factored into the potential cost savings made possible by using these products.

In other words, IT managers should carefully consider the savings from not having to implement yet another directory or database instance to store user information if current but disparate sources already hold that information.

Implementing RadiantOne VDS effectively requires extensive knowledge of the types of user identity already stored by the organization. We also found that data must be cleaned, with extraneous entries cleared out and data entry mistakes fixed, for the product to work correctly.

Far from being a weakness of RadiantOne VDS (the adage "garbage in, garbage out" certainly applies to virtual directory products), IT managers should use the opportunity to thoroughly purge unneeded or incorrectly entered data.

Not only will the virtual directory project flow more smoothly as a result, but audits for regulatory compliance will also be much less difficult if erroneous user information is purged from source directories and databases.

Next page: Evaluation Shortlist: Related Products.

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant has been with the Labs since 1997, and before that paid his IT management dues at a software publishing firm working with several Fortune 100 companies. Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility, with a focus on Android in the enterprise. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his reviews and analysis are grounded in real-world concern. Cameron is a regular speaker at Ziff-Davis Enterprise online and face-to-face events. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at csturdevant@eweek.com.

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