So now what? What to do with your Sun IAM stack (hint: start looking)

As Sun Identity and Access Management goes the way of the dodo it is time to move on. And by time, I mean right about now.

Legacy Sun Java System Identity and Access Management (IAM) customers have been calling us up often to ask about the state of the industry and their options with the Sun IAM stack moving forward.   The choices are many right now but one fact remains, Sun IDM and Open SSO’s days are numbered.  The products will be around for a while, years in fact, but eventually like that Saturn dealership on the corner, it will go away. Thus the grand migration is underway.  As an IAM enabled company the question of where to migrate to is paramount.  So let’s talk options.

Option 1) Stick with Sun As-Is

The old wait and see approach, but let’s be honest, the clock is ticking.  Like a legacy application your IT staff built in their garage it won’t keep up with the rest of market and the future of IDM.  There will never be a grand Cloud version of Sun IDM.  What is most interesting is that there are options to move away from Sun that pretty much expire by years end.

So let’s move away from Option 1 for now and take a look at the future.

Option 2) “Migrate” to Oracle IAM (as part of Oracle Fusion Middleware)

I say migrate because with any non-Sun tool (and Oracle IAM is a much different beast) there is NO upgrade path. Oracle is attempting to woo existing Sun implementations into the fold by offering license swaps in the short term. For those looking to definitively move into Oracle IAM then this is the best bet and should be done ASAP as the swap cycle is time limited.

Option 3) Migrate to Novell IAM

Similar to Oracle, Novell is offering a swap out of the Sun software and licenses.  This is a very interesting proposition.  Novell is willing to give the product up for free in order to build the relationship.  Basically from what the Novell Website states:

    • The Sun Identity Manager swap gives you Novell Identity Manager, roles based provisioning module and enterprise integration module.
    • The Sun Role Manager swap gives you Novell Access Governance Suite.
    • The Sun Open SSO swap gives you Novell Access Manager.
    • The Sun Directory Server EE swap gives you Novell eDirectory.
    • Sun subscription customers can opt in for equivalent Novell product subscriptions and will be considered for additional incentives on a case-by-case basis.

I think this is brilliant tactic that I am surprised a few other vendors haven’t tried.  To be straight, Novell has a great directory and SSO offering and is making huge strides in the Provisioning and Federation space.  At a minimum for a no-cost look I might suggest talking to a Novell rep.  But alas, much like Oracle, Novell’s offer is time-boxed.  Come Dec.31, 2010 a statement of interest (not a purchase mind you, this simply locks in Novell’s committment in 2011 for the swap) must be signed or that coach turns back into a pumpkin.

Option 4)  Migrate to CA IAM, IBM IAM, Microsoft IAM, etc. (there are many to chose from)

Choices, choices, choices.  I can say that CA is making a major push in the IAM space and IBM seems to be lagging a bit but has been a big player in the past.  Microsoft is also making strides to broaden their footprint in the IAM space.  And there are plenty more vendors to look at. My guess is there are deals to be had even if there is no published “sale” going on.

I wouldn’t keep any pre-conceived notions about any of the vendors right now and thanks to the Oracle-Sun purchase the alternative vendors are pumping time and money into getting your business.  We at IDMWorks are happy to work with you on any and all of the products in the market.  We can help to dissect and divide the various offerings and help you to understand the best choice that fits into your environment.

The point is NOW is the time to take the Pepsi challenge.  If you have a SUN IAM implementation you should be taking a look at the various vendors (including those not listed in Option 4) and line up a chat (or webcast, lunch-and-learn, email or phone call) with your local vendor representative because by 2011 a potential low cost update may go away.

Feel free to shoot us a note if you have questions.