What is a Virtual Directory?
A Virtual Directory (VD) or a Virtual Directory Server (VDS) is an architectural component that delivers a single access point to identity for consuming applications for the purpose primarily of access. It is a software layer that consolidates disparate sources of identity into a central virtual namespace acting as an enterprise directory. A virtual directory routes queries to the correct data sources by virtualizing data into a common namespace. It abstracts identity data out of various heterogeneous data stores and presents it as though it were coming from one source. Aggregate data stored across a dispersed environment enables a streamlined IAM process particularly for authentication and authorization.
How is a Virtual Directory different from an Intelligent Identity Data Platform?
Fun Fact: Radiant Logic pioneered the virtual directory! A “traditional” virtual directory relies on proxy virtualization to delegate queries to the authoritative underlying identity source. This approach lacks the ability to scale and perform more sophisticated capabilities that meet the needs of complex and high-volume identity infrastructures (like real-time change detection and synchronization, identity correlation and building of the global profile, directory storage and others)—which is why we evolved the platform.