VMware is still primarily perceived as vendor of virtualization solutions. However, with the acquisition of Airwatch early 2014, the company has gone well-beyond virtualization and is increasingly targeting the field of secure application delivery to users.
With their VMware Identity Manager offering, they build on securing both the device via Airwatch technology, and the user with additional identity and SSO (Single Sign-On) services. The solution seamlessly integrates with VMware WorkspaceOne and provides a user experience based on the user’s identity and context. This is combined with broad support for a variety of application delivery models, providing seamless, secure access with SSO to these applications.
Despite the fact that the offering is also available as an on-premise solution, VMware significantly becomes a player in the emerging Cloud IAM market and therefore for Cloud User and Access Management.
Both Cloud computing and Identity and Access Management (IAM) can trace their beginnings to the late 1990’s. Cloud computing began as “web services” then developed into Software as a Service (SaaS) later expanding to cover areas such as Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) even, within the last couple of years, Identity (Management) as a Service (IDaaS/IDMaaS).
Kuppinger-Cole believes that in the future there will be at least two distinct approaches to Cloud IAM that overlap in their core functionality. One is Cloud-based IAM/IAG that provides Identity Provisioning and Access Governance capabilities as a Cloud service. These services in fact are a direct counterpart to established on-premise Identity Provisioning and Access Governance solutions. These types of solutions also provide good out-of-the-box integration with on-premise systems, allowing management and governance for identities and access to these services.
The second group of solutions primarily focuses on managing what we call the “new ABC: Agile Businesses Connected”. They focus on both providing access for internal users to cloud services as well as managing external users, such as business partners and customers, and their access to Cloud services and on-premise web-based applications. Commonly, these services are a combination of identity federation, self-service registration, directory services, and access management solutions, all provided as a Cloud service. While both groups of solutions might converge in the long run, both provide far more functionality than just Cloud Single Sign-On, which will not remain sufficient for success in business.
VMware Identity Manager focuses primarily on the access of internal users to all types of applications, from all types of devices. Thus they fit into another emerging area of Cloud User and Access Management, where mobile support becomes an integrated feature, merging Mobile Security and Identity Management. This is relevant to all organizations today, which are facing a multitude of deployment models and devices in use – having one place to access these applications with integrated SSO obviously is beneficial for both administration and the convenience of users.