Sun Releases New Identity Server

Success of Sun ONE Software sales still in question

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As promised, Sun Microsystems Monday released a new version of its Sun ONE Identity Server with support for the Liberty specification, company officials said.

CRN previously reported that Sun would offer a new version of the product in the first half of this year.

Sun ONE Identity Server 6.0, which is built atop Sun's directory product, is available now starting at $10 per user, with a tiered volume discount that lowers the price as more users are added to the license, according to Sun.

In addition to the Liberty spec for authenticating users across the firewall, Sun ONE Identity Server also supports security assertion markup language (SAML), which is becoming broadly adopted as a standard for exchanging security information for Web services.

The new product covers three areas of identity management: access management, identity administration and federation, Sun officials said.

Using the product, solution providers can deliver single sign-on for Web-based resources and services; provide centralized administration of identities, policies and services; and enable customers to share user authentication with trading partners.

Sun's identity server is a core part of the company's stand-alone software strategy, the success of which is still in question, observers said. Sun also plans to build its entire Sun ONE product line into its Solaris OS.

Last week, Barbara Gordon, vice president of worldwide software sales for Sun, reported that Sun has seen an increase in its software sales in the past six months since her organization has become integrated with Sun's global sales organization. Previously, Sun ONE software sales operated as a separate group, which hindered its success, she said.

"There is a level of friction and conflict that no longer exists in the sales organization," Gordon says. "I didn't know how hard it was to get my job done until [the groups joined forces]."

However, a solution provider who requested anonymity said Sun ONE iForce partners are suffering in part because sales of Sun ONE software are lagging.

"I get the sense that a lot of partners aren't doing well because the Sun ONE stack isn't doing well," the solution provider said after attending a meeting of the Sun ONE VAR council in Dallas.

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