Thursday Jun 10, 2010

Register Today For Free Webinar: Identity Analytics ROI

Is your Identity Compliance project a GIANT Headache?  If so, then we have the little blue pill for your  compliance headache.  The reason why many organizations experience pain in the compliance programs they run is because of the lack of automated tools, impact to productivity and lack of ongoing actionable information.  I have seen this first hand.   Organizations usually rely upon project managers and excel spreadsheets collect information from business units and project teams.  This then leads to massive efforts to fill in information and send them back to the central team for documentation and reporting to the auditors.  Ultimately, this information is old before it is collated into the binders and the report is issued.  However, the real result is usually a GIANT HEADACHE for everyone involved.

As Identity theft outpaces any other theft and security challenges for organizations, the problem needs a more efficient solution with better processes and better tools.  Business leaders will believe in investment when they can see better utilization of key resources, better on-going information, proven segregation of duties, and ultimately better security. 

Niel Gandhi, has the "Advil" for your compliance headache with Oracle Identity Analytics.  Register here for the FREE webinar on the ROI of using Identity Analytics.  He is has years of experience solving these problems for organizations around the world.  Additionally, he has extensive experience as Principal Product Manager, Identity Analytics.  Here are a couple of the topics that he will cover in the event:

  • Automate critical identity-based controls such as attestation and segregation of duties
  • Analyze, mine, and correlate user roles for compliant and efficient user access
  • Build comprehensive reports for audit, compliance, and business purposes
  • Utilize business-friendly compliance dashboards and metrics
  • Give a 360-degree view of user’s access and achieve rapid compliance

However, the ultimate goal of his presentation is to make sure you have concrete ways to help you solve your Compliance Headache without breaking the bank.  Hope to see you there!

Live Webcast: Maximize Compliance ROI With Oracle Identity Analytics
Register Here

Date: Thursday, June 24, 2010
Time: 10:00 am PT / 1:00 pm ET


Tuesday May 25, 2010

Register Today For Webinar! Directory Services Improve Time-to-Market and Reduce Cost

"What is old is new again!"  The recent Burton Identity Management Market Profile 2010 which gives a good overview of the current state of the identity management market place also points to the resurgence of activity in directory services as a critical foundation of the identity management foundation.  This is driven by internal and external forces.  Some of these I will cover in our webinar this Thursday, May 27 at 10:00am PT (GMT -8:00).  Register here

Live Webcast: Improve Time-to-Market and Reduce Cost with Oracle Directory Services
Event Date: Thursday, May 27, 2010
Event Time: 10:00 AM Pacific Standard Time / 1:00 Eastern Standard Time

It is my view that a number of the internal forces driving the resurgence in directory services is driven at it's core by companies trying to maximize their IT investment (Doing more with less).  One of the ways companies have worked hard to do more with less is to create a central directory.  There are companies that have achieved success building central LDAP services allowing them control, increased security and reduced cost.   Additionally, this is also driven by organizations as they consolidate assets, move to virtual infrastructures, or reduce footprint to save power and become more "Green" in their business operations.   However, despite the success of some enterprises to create these foundations, the reality is that creating one central directory is very difficult.  This is not because of technical capabilities of directories but more because of business realities.  This is why virtual directories are critical to modern day identity architectures. The power of the virtual directory is also being proven by companies that are pursuing projects that involve federation. 

This is why having a comprehensive set of directory tool's is essential to organizations that want their identity management strategy built upon a sound foundation.  Oracle is uniquely positioned to do this as we are the only company to offer a complete set of directory tools.  We are the only company to offer all of the following in one license:

  • Directory Server 
  • Virtual Directory
  • Directory Integration (Active Directory Synch)
  • Management console
As companies want to reduce the cost of integrating different technologies, managing multiple vendors and hidden costs like training can come to one vendor.

Thursday Apr 29, 2010

Register Today for this Webinar! Improve Time-to-Market and Reduce Cost with Oracle Directory Services

In some studies, enterprises are spending up to 60% of their IT budgets on operational costs thus impacting the available budget to spend on innovation. The challenge we all face in the identity and IT departments is how to get the most out of our existing licenses and reduce cost where possible in delivering IT projects. One of the costly areas of projects is getting at identity data when it lives in legacy applications. This is especially true when you look at Federation projects, mergers and acquisitions or in data center consolidation projects.

If you are running a Federation project and have to access identity data in legacy or disparate data sources and feel like you are herding cats then this webcast is for you! Virtual directories provide a critical tool for Federation projects as they allow you to expose identity attributes without changing code in legacy applications. Additionally, you have control over how the data is accessed allowing you to manage sensitive service level agreements which can cause difficult political battles in organizations when discussing access.

If you have worked on a data center consolidation project either driven by a merger, acquisition or as part of a cost control exercise you need to have a full bag of tools.  The tools you bring to the project provide the critical agility needed to meet time-lines but also to minimize impact on business operations.  Virtual Directories allow you the ability to connect to data sources without having to alter the application code.  This reduces resource requirements, increases speed but most importantly maximizes business continuity.   

Register here for this webinar and we will look at ways virtual directories can help you become an identity hero in your organization.

Tuesday Apr 27, 2010

Iron Man, Identity Security and the Cloud

If you are a security expert and you have not been to the new Oracle Iron Man 2 website you have to take a look at the cool demo site listed under "Stark Expo".  The intro has a great security questionnaire on Security in the cloud in an cutting edge interface.  If you read yesterday's blog, and went to the Iron-Clad Cloud: Secure Cloud Computing article in the new Security Newsletter, you were able to get an insight into way's Oracle can help secure the cloud.  You will also do well on the questionnaire at "Stark Expo".

 Go Check it out!

In Iron Man 2, Oracle is a proud sponsor of Stark Expo, a world-class tradeshow that depends on a cloud computing architecture to ensure that all systems are free from overload. And that’s where you come in: by becoming a Master Cloud Operative, you’ll help keep Stark Expo up and running. Complete your training, test your troubleshooting skills, and get certified in the Oracle Pavilion.

Monday Apr 26, 2010

Iron-Clad Cloud: Secure Cloud Computing

As organizations continue to leverage the cloud for essential business applications and services the provisioning and security of identity data becomes an essential compliance requirement.  Oracle's new Security Newsletter  has an article that provides information on critical approaches to security in the cloud.

One solution to the security problem with cloud services can be overcome using Service Oriented Security.  The Oracle approach to using Service Oriented Security allows developers to pull from a centralized, authoritative source of identity services.  This allows developers to build security into every application from the inside-out.   This is critical to ensuring this is done in a standardized manner and most importantly it allows developers to develop without being security experts.

The "Iron-Clad Cloud:  Secure Cloud Computing" article in this quarter's Security Newsletter is a great place to start when looking for information on how to use these tools to improve the security for your organizations cloud services.  You will also find articles on database security and other bloggers who are sharing data about the security industry and Oracle's thought-leadership.

Friday Apr 23, 2010

New Oracle Security Newsletter

Oracle Identity and Database Security Teams have created a new Security Newsletter. The Newsletter launches this week and will be distributed to customer's who have signed up for the Newsletter via Oracle.com.

In each edition, you'll find news, blog posts, events, webcasts, and much more covering Oracle's Security Solutions. Whether your focus is on identity management or database security, each issue will be filled with the information you need to secure your database, middleware, and applications, and meet IT compliance requirements.

In this inaugural version of the newsletter you will find content on:

You can see the entire newsletter here

Register for future versions of the newsletter by following the directions here.  You can also see samples of all the different newsletter content that is available to stay current and aware of the latest leading news from Oracle.

Wednesday Mar 03, 2010

Register Today! Webinar on Smart Strategies for Securing Extranet Access

Are you pursuing changes to your Directory Services or Access Management infrastructure this year?  If so, there are two resources that you want to be aware of to help understand the opportunity and impact on your organization.  Eric Leach, will be presenting a webinar next week as part of the SANS Institute's Webinar series on Security.  You can register for the webinar here.

Title:  Smart Strategies for Securing Extranet Access
When:  Tuesday, March 09 at 1:00 PM EST (1800 UTC/GMT)
Presenter: Eric Leach & Dave Shackleford
Register here

 

 Additionally, there was a new training course that was launched for resources interested in building a solid foundation for managing Directory Services.  The course also offers an insight into the essential building blocks of access management.  Additionally, it covers the use of virtual directories which is a crucial component of an enterprise identity architecture.  The virtual directory can help consolidate legacy directories when companies want to reduce cost.  Additionally, when time is critical for federation projects or mergers and acquisitions a virtual directory can help connect necessary identity attributes without changing code. 

This foundational course on Directory Services can be found here.  The course covers the following topics:

  • Discuss the importance, features, benefits, and functional aspects of identity management and Oracle Identity Management products
  • Describe concepts associated with directories and the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
  • Compare Oracle Internet Directory 11.1.1.1.0 and Oracle Virtual Directory 11.1.1.1.0: two Oracle Identity Management products

The course can be accessed here.

Monday Jan 25, 2010

DSEE 7 Improves Import Speeds by 5X: What will Engineers Do With The Extra Time?

Importing an ldif file is a common task that every engineer needs to create a directory service.  This is also a task that some engineers need to perform when restoring an instance in their topology.  DSEE 7 has introduced new innovations into the code has resulted in 5x improvements in performance. 

Wajih Ahmed, this Wednesday, will detail how he used the new F-20's to improve import times using DSEE 7.  This improvement results in real measurable time/cost savings.  Since these tasks sometimes take place over weekends or during maintenance periods this means engineers will have more time to do other things.  We want to know what are they doing with that time?  

Here is a potential list of activities they might be doing with that extra time:
  1. Spending time with their families
  2. Downloading and creating a POC for OpenSSO
  3. Attending a soccer game for their daughter
  4. Setting up their Super Bowl pool favoring their favorite team
  5. Finding cheats to get promoted in HALO ODST.
  6. Arranging a family movie night
  7. Learn about Fine Grained Access Control with OpenSSO here
  8. Writing a blog post on why they should allow dedicated server versions of Modern Warfare 2
  9. Checking out the IT platform that will manage, capture and deliver the Vancouver Winter Olympics
  10. Perusing Facebook to find out what is going on with their friends today.

If you have other creative ideas on what engineers should be doing with this extra time that DSEE 7 has given back, please share below.  I think everyone should be getting ready for the Olympics so I have included the latest video on the Torch Relay from the Vacouver Winter Olympics site.

Friday Jan 22, 2010

Proven Performance: OpenDS or DSEE 7 plus Solaris ZFS plus F-20's is Amazing

This week we have been sharing the different ways customer's can use compression to improve performance and reduce cost within your Directory Server Enterprise Edition environment.  On Wednesday, Brad Diggs, shared how customer's can use compression to reduce their storage footprint by 60%. Today, Ludo Poitou, Community Manager for OpenDS, wrote a great blog post on how to use compression in your OpenDS 2.2 instance.  Ludo shows how OpenDS can reduce the overall size of your directory instance.  He also gives pointers to how to configure in your directory environment.

Next week, Wajih Ahmed will be talking about how customer's can "Improving Import Speed Through ZFS Caching of LDIF import file".  He will show import rate of ds7 and opends with and without primary and secondary cache disabled vs. enabled.  This is another great example of the proven performance that Sun on Sun provides.  

Wednesday Jan 20, 2010

Oracle + Sun Strategy Update Webcast

Oracle + Sun Strategy Update Webcast

When:  Wednesday, January 27, 2010
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. PT

Live Webcast which you can register here



According to the Oracle events page located here the following is going to be covered at the event.

Transforming the Way You Buy, Run, and Manage Your Business Systems

Only Oracle + Sun will be able to:
  • Offer a broad range of products including servers, storage, networking, and software
  • Integrate all the components–hardware, operating system, database, middleware, and applications–for unmatched performance, reliability, and security
  • Simplify IT management and reduce system deployment and integration costs
  • Continue to drive innovation in SPARC, Solaris, the Java platform, and many other technologies

Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about how this powerful combination will transform the IT industry. Register today for this live Webcast. 

Tuesday Jan 19, 2010

DSEE 7 Proven Performance Also Reduces Cost

DSEE 7 launched in November and just after Christmas a couple of our Directory experts in the community at Sun took it for a test drive on the new F-20 PCIe flash drives at Sun.  The results confirmed the internal testing we did in the improved performance in import times, the reduction in Directory footprint due to compression and the overall performance improvements for DSEE 7.   This is critical for our customers because it will allow them to take advantage of growth in their business while bending the operational cost curve for their system. In some organizations, their operational budget is their biggest line-item so being able to meet growth targets while also addressing the time, cost and complexity of servicing the environment can release capital for investment in new product development.  

The team that did this great work has agreed to share the results of their testing in a series of blog articles over the next week.  The first article will be presented tomorrow by Brad Diggs, Principal Field Technologist.  Here are just a few highlights from the results that Brad will share tomorrow on compression:

  • The storage footprint was reduced by as much as 66%.
  • We were able to cache greater than 50% more entries into the filesystem cache.
  • Compression almost completely negated average entry growth that is due to the natural addition of operational attributes and replication metadata over time.
  • The nsslapd-db-page-size could be smaller and more consistent with entry growth over time. 

The other team members will be sharing insights that they learned during the testing so I encourage you to bookmark these blog's and take a look over the next couple of weeks.  The team will be sharing not only the results but the lessons learned.  One of the blog articles will discuss tuning to get better import times as well as how to set-up your own SLAMD environment to test your Directory infrastructure.  Please bookmark the following blog locations to see the results:

Brad Diggs, Principal Field Technologist, here
Ludo Poitou,  OpenDS Community Manager, here
Mark Craig, Directory Integration Team Manager, here
Wajih Ahmed,  Principal Field Technologist, here
Nick Wooler, Directory Server Product Line Manager, here

As you look at your business goals for 2010 and are looking for ways to meet your growth goals while keeping your costs under control then take another look at Directory Server 7.  Does your Directory Server provide you with the proven performance and continued innovation as Sun Directory Server Enterprise Edition 7? 

Wednesday Jan 06, 2010

37 Days to Go--Vancouver 2010

One of the great things to look forward to this year is the Winter Olympics which will be held in one of the worlds most beautiful cities Vancouver, Canada.  I am a huge sports fan and enjoyed the coverage via the web from China in 2008.  The internet has revolutionized the way that people watch and participate in the Olympics.  It was not that long ago that sports fans were only allowed to watch the content that was presented by the major network that had the rights to the event.  Now users can choose to watch almost any event that occurs at the Winter Olympics either live or when their schedule permits.   Sun technology sits behind the infrastructure that makes this possible.  I am proud to work for Sun Microsystems!  Here is a quick video where Ward Chapin, CIO for Vancouver Olympics Committee (VANOC) and Barry Caswell, Directory of IT Security for VANOC take you through what stands behind this incredible event.

Wednesday Nov 18, 2009

Twitter, Facebook Hacks Last Week Good Reminders Of Socialmedia Identity Security--Ugggh not Ugg Boots

Taken from CIO Ugggh....last week we were reminded of how social media platforms are vulnerable to identity security problems. Two colleagues of mine were hacked in the twitter and an add was posted to my facebook account via cross-posting feature in Facebook (I love uggh boots, I just didn't plan on advertising them on my Facebook account.  More about this later).  One of the powerful aspects of social media sites is the extended conversation that users can have with their friends, colleagues and communities that participate.  However, if social media sites don't work more aggressively to thwart security holes in their platforms they will undermine the credibility and trust they have worked hard to gain with the mobile IT generation.  This is not a new problem. 

The twitter hack is not a new one and in the short term can be rectified by changing one's password immediately.  However, with the simplicity of being able to acquire the password there seems to be a problem that the twitter team needs to plug immediately.  I have severely restricted my link clicking activities as a result of these vulnerabilities and tell family members not to click links when possible.  However, this takes the fun out of getting access to content quickly or participating in events that are happening immediately (e.g. conferences, concerts, etc.).  

As for the cross posting via Facebook, first let's talk about what constitutes cross-posting.  Cross-posting is a great feature if used properly.  It is a way for you to post to wider groups of people and this is useful as communities sometimes do not always overlap. Simply put, it is where a bot or user puts a comment in a blog that has been posted to Facebook or other social media site. Because a trust relationship has been established between the post and social media site comments are "retweeted" to the social media site it has been published. 

I have three options to ensure that this does not happen in the future.  One, do not post/share blog entries on Facebook; two, remove the trust relationship from Facebook to my blog; three, review all comments before allowing to be published to my blog. All of them are not good options.   I will probably choose the third because it allows me to still share my blogs with my friends on Facebook but yet maintain some level of control over what is "retweeted" to my friends.  Each of the blogging platforms allows a different level of control and easy access to the social media platforms so investigate and determine which is best for you.

Lastly, here is a quick overview of the top 8 social media hacks as of August, 2009 by Michael Eggebrecht from CIO Zone (thanks for the great picture top left).  He outlines the top 8 social media hacks so far (e.g. Koobface, Twittercut, Best Video, etc.).  If you are not reading Mashable  already then I suggest taking a peruse as they have great coverage of different events and issues associated with this emerging space.

Tuesday Nov 17, 2009

NEW!! DSEE 7 Download, Documentation and Upgrade Guide Available Today

DSEE 7.0 is available for download today here with new documentation here.  The critical document you want to look at is the upgrade and migration guide here.

Directory Server Enterprise Edition 7.0 Boosts Speed and Performance: 

Considered one of the best extranet LDAP Directory Servers in the market today, the latest version of Directory Server Enterprise Edition allows enterprises to accelerate growth in a simplified way, improve performance and lower total cost of ownership. Directory Server Enterprise Edition 7.0 has been optimized to improve performance by more than three times when compared to its predecessor. In addition, this release provides innovations that improve authentication and modification performance by 60 percent, allowing customers to accelerate their applications without changing one line of code. 

What's New with Directory Server EE 7.0

Boosts speed and performance: DSEE 7.0 has been optimized to improve performance of some operations by more than 3x the current version. In addition, this release provides hardware optimization with up to 60% improvement in authentications and modifications. 
Reduces Total Cost of Ownership– Reduce cost by using the only solution in the market that provides customers with a directory server, virtual directory, proxy server, web console and Active Directory synchronization tool-kit under a single license. 
Hassle Free Upgrade – DSEE 7.0 provides a simple upgrade path and provides 5x performance improvement in data import times, thereby reducing migration costs. 

You can see a webinar we did recently on DSEE 7 and Role Manager 5 on why this release is important to your business and how this can help your company meet growth goals and reduce your total cost of ownership.

Monday Nov 16, 2009

Directory Server Performance and Cloud Computing

I recently attended Gartner IAM in San Diego and the topic of Cloud Computing permeated the titles of presentations throughout the conference.  Eric Sachs, from Google gave a good presentation on applying IAM principles to applications in the cloud.  RSA talked about network based security detection for companies leveraging the cloud.  You might even argue, depending on your definition of the cloud, that Matthew Modica's talk on using Sun Role Manager at Express Scripts was about using role management to help provide better security to cloud based services.  However, despite the good content and dialogue it seems that there is still some room for clarification as this space evolves.  The one thing that seemed obvious was that performance requirements for IAM infrastructure is going to continue to grow and be tested by this evolving space.  

At Sun, we worry about performance requirements every day as our customers push our existing technologies with demanding performance requirements.  Directory Server Enterprise Edition with it's more than 10 years of experience in the market has had to deal with cloud based architectures in a number of ways.  However, before we talk about how they intersect it is prudent for us to define the different types of clouds (prudent because there is still controversy over the definition of clouds). According to Wikipedia there are three different types of clouds: Public, Hybrid and Private.  

Directory Server Enterprise Edition (DSEE) provides infrastructure for companies that primarily use private and hybrid clouds.  In both the private and hybrid environments, these cloud based architectures reside in large enterprises using Directory Server to provide an authentication service for a portal and collaboration platforms for customer, employees and partner's. Additionally, Telco's and service providers have used DSEE to provide the identity backbone for private and hybrid clouds.  In these deployments DSEE is used as the access and authentication layer and OpenSSO as the single-sign-on, federation or web services security layer. However, the most common use case that we see today is enterprises using DSEE as the identity backbone for the hybrid cloud environment.  This is where companies are using federation or web services security on top of Directory Services to leverage Public Cloud services to extend the services they offer customers, employees and partners.   

At the very least these architectures in cloud computing are pushing performance beyond traditional levels.  This is also why we have seen a resurgence in interest in Directory Services.  The Directory Server and specifically Sun's Directory Server Enterprise Edition provides proven performance that enterprises can rely on as they build, experiment and deploy these new services.  We continue to push our existing products and new versions of the product to get the best performance out of the platform.  Terry Gardner, building off the great work Brad Diggs has done, recently published an example of this in his blog post to report performance results on a 13,800,000 user Directory using DSEE 5.2, Solaris 10 Update 7 using ZFS and Sun Netra x4250.  The deployment provided some impressive performance results below (taken from Terry's Blog here):

  • 8,000 searches per second with simultaneous updates
  • maximum 800 milliseconds for any single search
  • minimum 70% CPU utilization (usr+sys)
As DSEE 7 is available for download today (here) with 3x performance improvements it is worth remembering the strong foundation and history DSEE 7 follows.  I look forward to sharing with you over the next several months the performance figures of proven deployments as customers use DSEE 7.   These future architectures that drive performance whether they be to serve private or hybrid clouds or critical enterprise collaboration platforms will continue to drive us at Sun to produce the best proven performance directory server on the planet.

About

Sharing 12 years of technology experience as developer, product and program manager, and marketing director. Identity Management, Security, and Product Management issues occupy my mind during the working day. Water Polo keeps me healthy.

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