From Directories to an Identity and Context Service
Directories rose out of the need to externalize identity and system configurations, before evolving into a key piece of any security infrastructure. With their hierarchical structure, specialized storage, and indexing capabilities, directories are fast and secure, allowing us to consume identities using an established standard. But directories are also very limited:
- They’re inflexible, imposing a single view of the world onto your security.
- They’re isolated and difficult to populate, lacking the tools to integrate easily with the rest of your application infrastructure.
It’s costly and time-consuming to build new directories or synchronize existing ones. As a result, directories have become increasingly isolated from the rest of your infrastructure, too expensive to evolve. But achieving new views into your identity data is critical for your initiatives, both in and outside the firewall.
Storage vs. Service: Using Virtualization as the Bridge
Directories—and your entire existing infrastructure—must continue to work for you. While you still need the performance and security that directories deliver, you also need more—a way to externalize not only identity, but also the context surrounding that identity, from across your application silos.
When Radiant invented virtual directory technology, it enabled you to unify user directories in a simpler and more flexible way. And now, with many years of experience with complex identity and profile information integration, we’ve evolved that technology into a complete identity service. With such a service, you can easily externalize both identity and its surrounding context from any given application silo and expose it as a “directory.” With this virtualization layer, you can create as many views as you need—on the fly, without expensive or brittle integrations.
Delivering Identity as a Service
Identity and context virtualization changes how directories are used. Now it’s not only about storage, it’s also about delivering a set of services that are essential to the identity stack, with the speed of a directory and the flexibility of a large-scale database. Our federated identity service is more than a point solution that remaps attributes and routes queries; it’s a sophisticated virtualization engine that creates a complete model of your system.
Our approach to virtualization is all about flexibility and scalability. By building a single global data model out of all your existing systems, you can create unlimited new views of your existing data as your applications require. And synchronization between the logical layer and the physical layer is auto-generated and model-driven. So you get a solution that scales, no matter how complex the integration, high the volumes, or heterogeneous the data sources composing the view.