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Novell identity management marries event monitoring

At its annual BrainShare conference, Novell announced it would combine its Identity Manager 3.5 application with the company's existing network monitoring and login tools.

Novell Inc. has announced an update to its user-provisioning and identity management application, called Identity Manager 3.5, that includes integration with its existing suite of monitoring and secure login tools.

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On its own, Identity Manager will now feature authentication, single sign-on and security information as well as event monitoring components. It will also feature a new tool set that includes advanced visual modeling, workflow and self-service capabilities to reduce the administrative burden of entering, updating and deleting user information across heterogeneous Linux, Solaris, IBM AIX and Windows servers.

Speaking at the BrainShare conference in Salt Lake City, Novell executives said Identity Manager had also been integrated to work with Sentinel, Novell's automated monitoring tool. The integration gives Identity Manager 3.5 the capability to provide real-time feedback of system, network and application event activity.

Customers can choose to integrate Identity Manager with Novell's Access Manager and SecureLogin for credential provisioning and single-sign on purposes. This will allow Identity Manager 3.5 to automatically provision users with the required credentials for single sign-on, and it will reduce the amount of time organizations spend equipping users with network access and streamline user access to network resources.

In a statement, Kent Erickson, vice president and general manager for identity and security management at Novell, said Identity Manager now includes support for virtual teams, task forces, dotted-line reporting structures and ad-hoc workgroups. This allows IT administrators to model unique business processes -- quorum approval, for example -- for provisioning requests and digital signing of approvals for non-repudiation.

Identity management, authentication and interoperability across disparate systems like Linux and Windows are an important arena for Novell, especially with the high-profile defection of several Samba team members from its ranks in the aftermath of its partnership with Microsoft in October. Those team members later joined with Red Hat, which has just announced Samba would be the "linchpin" of its future interoperability plans.

The burden of managing identity on Linux systems is quite real, especially compared to Windows counterparts using Active Directory's Group Policy. In the event of employee turnover, administrators are oftentimes tasked with scrubbing each Linux box server-by-server. For users overseeing hundreds of Linux servers, like Automated Trading Desk's Carlos O'Ryan, the burden can be so great that they'll do nothing rather than attempt to manage all those user IDs. But doing nothing is unacceptable for organizations subject to Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), PCI-DSS, HIPAA, GLBA and FISMA regulations.

Future enhancements to Identity Manager 3.5 will include a functional roles module. The roles module will give customers the ability to organize and report on provisioning according to business and technical roles. Based on the ANSI/NIST RBAC standard (a fingerprint, facial, scar mark and tattoo data format), the roles module is expected to provide multi-level role management, reporting and segregation of duties. Novell will also focus on supporting additional application server platforms and on giving organizations or system integrators the ability to translate user interfaces and customize the way information is displayed in the product.

Novell Identity Manager 3.5 will be generally available in April. Pricing was not yet available.

Have a question or comment about this article? Email Jack Loftus, News Writer or visit our blog at the Enterprise Linux Log.

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