RealTime IT News

Sun Upgrades Network Identity Platform

Sun Microsystems took the next step toward realizing its vision of federated identity services by upgrading the Sun ONE Platform for Network Identity with new identity and directory servers, the Solaris 9 operating environment and a portfolio of services intended to allow organizations to establish an open, end-to-end network identity infrastructure.

The company's strategy is to mix hardware, software and services in order to help customers create an infrastructure backbone for a network identity system which runs an open identity service with authorization and authentication. Sun's offerings would allow customers to run and manage their own identity management systems, rather than outsourcing the task to third parties.

The company established the foundation for the strategy in March, with the release hardware for the platform consisting of an Enterprise Edition designed to manage up to 10,000 online identities inside the firewall, and an Internet Edition designed to manage up to 250,000 online identities outside the firewall.

Both editions feature pre-installed and configured software, hardware and storage -- including iPlanet Directory Server Access Management Edition 5 and the Solaris 8 Operating Environment running on Sun Fire 280R Ultra SPARC III servers and Sun StorEdge D2 storage arrays (72 Gbyte or 145 Gbyte) -- and 10 days of technical consulting from Sun Professional Services.

With Tuesday's announcement, Sun upgraded the offerings with Sun ONE Identity Server 6.0, Sun One Directory Server 5.2, Solaris 9 OE, and two new security services: the Security Hardening Service and the Security Assessment Service for Firewall DMZ.

The upgrade also supports the new Liberty Alliance 1.0 specifications for identity management systems, which the Liberty Alliance unveiled Monday.

Identity Server 6.0 is intended to provide out-of-the-box policy, administration and identity repository. The company said this will give customers the ability to centrally enforce secure access and provide single sign-on for Web-based resources, while also providing centralized administration of identities, policies and services.

Meanwhile, the Directory Server 5.2 software provides the identity repository for Identity Server. It's a central repository for storing and managing identity profiles, access privileges and application and network resource information.

Also, the upgrade from Solaris 8 to Solaris 9 provides core security services for protecting network identity-related services, including SunScreen 3.2, an enterprise class firewall that enables system-level access control in addition to stealth mode perimeter security.

Finally, the Security Hardening Service uses Solaris OE controls for identification, authentication and access controls while the Security Assessment Service for Firewall DMZ is intended to help establish a strong perimeter defense.