Saturday, March 24, 2007

Novell joins Identity monitoring scrum

I mentioned IBM, CA and Oracle's forays into the monitoring of their Identity Management products here, here, here and here. Now Novell's adding to the scrum, but their focus is different from the other vendors mentioned above. In their announcement, Novell says that:
"Tight integration with Sentinel from Novell gives Identity Manager 3.5 the capability to provide critical feedback of system, network and application event activity within the context of an identity."

What this means is that Novell's definition of monitoring here is more along the lines of the business context monitoring I talk about in this post...which does not seem to be explicitly being addressed by IBM, CA or Oracle in their Identity monitoring offerings. I also mentioned in this post that each vendor has taken a different approach with their respective offerings. Novell looks to have taken yet another different approach to the others by focusing on compliance and identity based monitoring rather than infrastructure monitoring. If you combine all the focus areas of these 4 vendors, you have a pretty complete identity monitoring offering. Unfortunately, no single vendor has a satisfactory solution that covers all the important parts of monitoring their Identity Management suite.

To get a better understanding of what Novell seems to be doing with their monitoring integration between Sentinel and their Identity Manager, have a look at the solutions from SailPoint Technologies and IBM Consul. These focus very much on the identity centric compliance of enterprise systems. IBM only acquired Consul late last year so they're still "blue-rinsing" the products. Once that is done, they'll be placed into the Tivoli software portfolio and no doubt integrated with the IBM Tivoli Security products to give the business context identity centric functionality so sorely lacking at the moment in all the identity suites (although Novell looks to be addressing this now). Of course, once "blue-rinsed", IBM will claim that the Consul products integrate natively with the Identity Management portfolio. Perhaps this will be partially true, but I don't expect this to be 100% until the next release of the Consul products (probably renamed and properly released under the Tivoli banner by then).

The identity monitoring scrum is getting more crowded, but this is simply in reaction to what the market has been asking for in the past few years. It's about time the vendors started listening. What about Sun and BMC and HP? They're behind the 8 ball at this stage. To be fair, BMC has started to move in this direction with their announcement of having their systems management solutions line up with ITIL and COBIT, but these aren't identity centric. They are systems management and infrastructure centric.

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