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Okta Debuts Access Management For Servers, More Platform Flexibility

Okta Advanced Server Access is the company's first attempt to extend its identity capabilities from SaaS and custom applications down the stack to infrastructure.

Okta has introduced a new product to manage and secure access to servers as well as greater customization and integration options around the company's platform.

The San Francisco, Calif.-based enterprise identity vendor said Okta Advanced Server Access is the company's first attempt to extend its identity capabilities from SaaS and custom applications down the stack to infrastructure, said Alex Salazar, vice president of product strategy. The company is starting its protection push with servers since they are the most important infrastructure asset, Salazar said.

As servers migrate off the corporate network onto AWS, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure, Salazar said organizations have struggled to find a more comprehensive way to add and remove remote administrators from systems. Okta Advanced Server Access will allow customers to plug into existing identity investments and security tools to ensure that a user's access changes as their role evolves.

[Related: Okta To Buy Workflow Automation Startup Azuqua For $52.5 Million]

"Our mission is to connect everything," Salazar said.

Pricing for Advanced Server Access will be based on the size of the customer's server fleet, but Okta declined to provide exact figures. The product is currently available to customers.

Okta Advanced Server Access will help solution providers migrate their customer's infrastructure from traditional on-premise rack and stack into the cloud, Salazar said. Specifically, Salazar said the product will make it easier for partners and customers to securely manage workloads located in cloud infrastructure.

The Okta Identity Engine, meanwhile, will provide customers with more flexibility to customize how they handle authentication and registration as part of the workflow, according to Salazar. Okta's pre-defined workflow works for 80 percent of customers in 80 percent of use cases, Salazar said, but needed to make its engine more composable to better serve the remaining 20 percent of customers.

Prior to the new feature, Salazar said customers with more custom needs have to take the raw APIs and build out their own registration workflows from end-to-end. Organizations with custom workflows can save anywhere from a week to a few months by using Okta Identity Engine, he said.

Okta Identity Engine will be included in all of the company's existing products, and customers will start being upgraded in the second half of 2019.

The company had been manually attempting to add more use cases and enable more integrations on the Okta Identity Cloud, but Salazar said the company was unable to keep up with all the inbound requests. So instead of adding new use cases one by one, Salazar said Okta broke apart the Lego blocks of the process and invested in building a more composable and extensible platform from the ground up.

Larger organization with more complex business processes will benefit most from Okta Identity Engine since they typically need more customization than smaller customers, according to Salazar.

Finally, Salazar said Okta Hooks will make it easier for customers to integrate more and more systems together as part of their business process. Inserting a third-party piece of logic into an existing workflow has been a very common need for Okta customers, but until the introduction of Okta Hooks, customers were having to write custom scripts and tickets and do this on their own.

Okta Hooks will make it possible for clients to simply add additional third-party logic to their workflow for critical use cases without jumping through hoops, according to Salazar. Hooks is available for Early Access at no additional cost starting April 2 as a core function of the Okta Identity Cloud.

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