ForgeRock Raises $30M for Open-Source Identity-Relationship Tech

ForgeRock's $30 million capital injection will help the company drive adoption of identity-relationship management technology.

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ForgeRock raises money

Open-source identity-relationship management (IRM) vendor ForgeRock today announced that it has raised $30 million in a new round of funding, bringing total funding to date up to $52 million.

The goal of the new $30 million funding round is to help the company expand globally and drive the adoption of IRM technology—technology developed by Sun Microsystems but left behind by Oracle, ForgeRock CEO Mike Ellis said. "Today, we're providing identity solutions for large enterprises and governments and have well over a half a billion identities that are managed using the ForgeRock platform," he told eWEEK.

Ellis explained that ForgeRock emerged from the open-source Sun Microsystems platform for identity, and ForgeRock over the last four years has extended the technology.

In the aftermath of Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems in 2010, Oracle did not continue to support a number of open-source efforts that Sun had been developing, including several identity-management technologies.

ForgeRock started in 2010 as a way to support and extend open-source identity technologies, including the OpenSSO (single sign-on) platform that Sun first began back in 2005.

Ellis considers open source a strategic advantage for his company and its customers. The original Sun Microsystems open-source identity projects also included the OpenAM access management and the OpenDJ directory projects, which are still being supported and worked on by ForgeRock. ForgeRock also started its own OpenIDM open-source project for identity management.

Oracle "missed the boat" on open-source identify potential, said ForgeRock Vice President of Marketing Daniel Raskin, who was at Sun Microsystems as the chief identity strategist prior to the Oracle acquisition.

"Our founders, the guys that started ForgeRock, not only kept the Sun projects alive, they expanded them," Raskin said.

The need for strong IRM technology is also now becoming increasingly important to help organizations with security. There is a trend toward having real-time visibility into the identity of users accessing and using an enterprise's network and applications, Ellis said.

In the case of the Target data breach in December, it was a stolen supplier identity that was used to get into the enterprise, Ellis said. "The question that needs to be asked is, why aren't the identity systems linked to the firewall system to provide a view into the usage of identity and where the user is going?" Ellis said.

Moving forward as a company, one of the biggest challenges that faces ForgeRock is not about technology but rather about marketing and awareness. "The biggest challenge for ForgeRock is brand recognition," Ellis said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.