eWEEK Labs examined two virtual directory products—OctetString Inc.s Virtual Directory Engine 3.0.2 and Radiant Logic Inc.s RadiantOne Virtual Directory Server 4.0—to see how they made identity information from directories, applications and databases available in a single virtual source.
Based on our tests, we believe now is the time for IT managers to put virtual directory technology on their list of strategic technology to investigate. One big difference we found between the two tools is that OctetStrings VDE 3.0.2 uses adapters and mapping rules to quickly fetch user data, while Radiants RadiantOne VDS 4.0 caches data to fulfill requests from applications.
In both cases, the authoritative data was left in the original source. This helps to minimize one of the biggest dilemmas facing directory consolidation projects: the political question of who gets to add and change identity data.
Both VDE and RadiantOne VDS neatly provide the identity information that would be needed by Web portals, federated identity management systems and internal applications, along with user provisioning systems and access audit products.
Both products worked well in tests, and we believe both should be evaluated along with competitors including Maxware AS Maxware Virtual Directory, BMC Software Inc.s Calendra Directory Management, Persistent Systems Pvt. Ltd.s EnQuire and Symlabs Inc.s Directory Extender.
Based on our testing and information we gleaned from the Digital ID World conference, held in San Francisco last month, we advise IT managers to start laying the groundwork now to convince CXO-level decision makers of the benefits of a virtual directory project in the next year or two. This length of time is advisable because of the political challenges (who will control and enforce data integration projects) and technical challenges the company will face when implementing a virtual directory.
In this same time frame, based on our tests and discussions with other industry analysts, we expect to see virtual directory products become a central part of application and Web-based security. Virtual directory products will also be a key factor in lowering operational costs associated with provisioning user access to systems both inside and outside the firewall.
Labs Technical Director Cameron Sturdevant can be contacted at [email protected].