It has been quiet around Sun Microsystems at least in the IAM space for some time. Being one of the companies pushing the market some four years ago, especially with their Waveset acquisition, there hasn't been that much news for some time. For sure there were still a lot of improvements in the product. But other vendors like Oracle and SAP have had much more attention - especially due to their acquisitions. And some interesting things Sun has done like their early entry into the audit space or their virtual directory technology never obtained much attention, for different reasons.
The audit capabilities, for some time now part of the Sun Identity Manager, probably came a little bit to early. The virtual directory technology, on the other hand, is part of the Sun Directory Server and thus not a real competitive product to the standalone solutions in the market. From my perspective, Sun should decouple these products.
But back to the silence around Sun - it ended yesterday. Or, to be honest, it ended some days ago when the rumors around the planned acquisition of Vaau became more frequent. Yesterday the official information about that deal was released. Sun invests in the IAM space - and aquiring in the role management space for sure is a good thing today in these days because role management is one of the most important areas of the IAM space. Sun increases its competitive positioning with Vaau. That's a good signal - for Sun as well as for the market, because more competition is always positive for the customers.
For sure we will have to observe the integration of Vaau technology into the Sun IAM portfolio. But with its audit capabilities, with Vaau and with being amongst the first vendors to support the new web service interfaces of SAP GRC Access control, Sun is definitely back and working on its positioning in the IAM space. So they are not only one of the early innovators, but they appear to be back in track for a leading position in the market also for the next years.