VMware has introduced an identity service aimed at delivering single sign-on user authentication for the modern IT environment, where the focus is on mobility and cloud services as much as on-premise applications.
It enables identity federation so that organisations can manage how their workers' corporate identity is linked with other identities they require to access software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications and other off-premise resources.
VMware Identity Manager is offered in cloud or on-premise versions, and provides the IT department with a central place to manage end-user provisioning, access and compliance, with Active Directory integration, identity federation and user analytics.
The move towards a more mobile workforce and the growing use of public cloud SaaS applications is revealing shortcomings in the traditional client-server architecture that was designed for workers sitting in front of a domain-joined computer in the office, VMware said.
However, there are new challenges in the cloud-mobile world, specifically around security, according to VMware's senior director for end-user computing, Kevin Strohmeyer.
"Perimeter security is still important for legacy systems, but the 'trust' afforded by physical networks, VPNs, badges and domain-joined devices no longer pertain to a growing list of business functions that live in the mobile cloud," he wrote on VMware's End-User Computing Blog.
"Each of these new business services carries another set of identities for users, requiring another set of credentials and authentications for access from browsers and directly from mobile apps."
A key feature of Identity Manager is conditional access, Strohmeyer said. This enables an administrator to set policies governing whether an end user device is managed or unmanaged.
If an application stores sensitive data locally on the device, for example, that will trigger the requirement for the device to come under management control so that information can be wiped if lost, stolen or otherwise compromised.
Meanwhile, Adaptive Access uses the combination of Identity Manager and AirWatch to associate a device with a user for authentication purposes. It builds on the fact that a device enrolled with AirWatch will already have authentication and security measures in place.
This enables a one-touch experience for authentication of a user against the enterprise directory without prompting for another password across iOS and Android device platforms, and without requiring code changes to applications, VMware said.
VMware Identity Manager is available as part of the AirWatch by VMware Blue and Yellow Management bundles. Licensing starts at $150 (£96) per user per year.
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