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Novell's ID Manager 4 In The Cloud

Novell has enhanced its Identity Manager software in an attempt to provide a consistent set of identity, security and compliance tools to let users manage physical networks, virtual networks and the cloud. Identity Manager 4 now features integrated modules for functions such as role-based management that used to be added on. In addition, the company announced an advanced version that incorporates workflow-based tools such as data cleansing, policy design and the ability to define roles using drag-and-drop functionality.

Features such as role provisioning and management are central to successful, secure identity-driven applications both within the enterprise and out in the cloud, says Sally Hudson, an IDC analyst. In addition, the enhanced reporting functions will help customers meet the continually growing list of compliance requirements. "Over the past several years, IDC research has shown that Novell has consistently ranked in the top tier of Identity and Access Management software providers, and I believe that the latest enhancements provide it with the opportunity to expand its market position."

With the advent of virtualization and cloud computing, more users are having to look at identity management as a broader problem at a more fundamental level. For example, if user or supplier access to particular data or feature is rescinded, the user or supplier continues to have access for a period of time due to network latency. Consequently, with some hosted applications, those users could drag and drop data into a folder and mail it to themselves before leaving the premises.  In addition, with more companies using contractors, it's important to be able to define roles and access based on whether a particular user is an employee or a contractor. The software has also been enhanced to ensure that enterprise security policies are consistent across different systems.

Support for the cloud means that the software provides functionality such as provisioning/deprovisioning, request/approval processes, password changes, identity profile updates and reporting, as well as support for specific SaaS cloud applications such as and Google Applications. It also supports software such as Microsoft SharePoint and SAP ERP systems with potential support for additional applications in the future. The reporting features make it easier for users to meet compliance requirements.

Novell Identity Manager 4 is currently in beta through July with more than 50 customers and partners, the company says. The basic software includes reporting, as well as tools for data cleansing and policy framework design. The Advanced Edition provides roles management, advanced workflow capabilities and intelligent reporting, as well as including tools for data cleansing, policy framework design and the ability to define roles and entitlements using drag and drop. The software is expected to be available in the third quarter and is priced at $30 per seat for the basic version and $50 per seat for the advanced version.