In this blog post I want to feature a few more of our enterprise customers who have graciously agreed to publicly share some of their experiences with Centrify DirectControl. The first Centrify customer I want to highlight is Wyse Technology. Wyse is riding the virtualization wave big-time and is a leader in thin computing, so it is not a surprise that Wyse is internally a big VMware shop. Faan DeSwardt is Wyse's Director of Enterprise Architecture, and Faan was kind enough to drive up from Wyse's headquarters in San Jose to San Francisco to be interviewed with me by InformationWeek on their experiences with DirectControl.
Recently I visited a large enterprise organization that has over 30 Network Information Services ("NIS") domains in their UNIX and Linux environment. Microsoft was kind enough to introduce us to this account, which is looking at integrating Windows with UNIX/Linux. The customer is now looking to deploy Centrify DirectControl to de-commission their NIS infrastructure and move to using Active Directory as the central directory identity store for not only their Windows environment but their thousands of UNIX and Linux systems as well. I have done a video chalktalk with our Director of Engineering, Mike Patnode, on how Centrify DirectControl delivers NIS Migration and Interoperability, and we have a nice whitepaper on Migrating UNIX Directories (e.g. /etc/passwd, NIS/NIS+, LDAP directories, etc.) to Active Directory, but I thought it would be nice to complement this material with this blog entry on how our customers are migrating NIS services to Active Directory with DirectControl.
This is the third and final installment of a set blog posts on some of the major new features of DirectControl 4, which shipped in early November. In this post I am going to highlight some of the enhancements we have made in the areas of extending Active Directory to additional non-Microsoft systems and applications, as well as discuss our new LDAP Proxy feature in DirectControl and improvements we have made to DirectControl's NIS support.
This is the second of a few blog posts on some of the highlights of DirectControl 4, which we shipped last week. In this post, I am going to highlight some of the enhancements we have made in the areas of Group Policy for UNIX, Linux and Mac, as well as improvements we have made to our DirectControl Report Center that delivers important compliance reporting capabilities.
On Nov. 6, Centrify shipped DirectControl 4, a major update to our flagship solution that delivers secure access control and centralized identity management by seamlessly integrating your UNIX, Linux, Mac, web and database platforms with Microsoft Active Directory.
Over the last few weeks we have made some enhancements to our customer support portal, including making the Knowledge Base easier to search and fine-tuning our great product download center. But the enhancement I am most excited about is the new Centrify Customer Forums. The forums provide a way for our customers to discuss issues with other customers and with Centrify staff. I encourage customers to use them to get advice, share your best practices, and make recommendations on product features.
On Tuesday October 9th at 1 pm EST we are doing a joint webinar with Apple on the topic of deploying Macs in the enterprise. Joining us from Apple is Joel Rennich, aka MacTroll, who runs the great website AFP548.com, and is the Consulting Engineering Manager in Apple's Enterprise group. So if there is anyone who can speak on this topic from Apple, Joel is the right guy. David McNeely, Director of Product Management, will be presenting on Centrify's behalf. We will be showing a lot of our unique Group Policy capability for the Mac environment.
Doug Barney and the folks at Redmond Magazine have been great to work with over the years. Last August in a feature spread on "Working with Microsoft" they were kind enough to run a sidebar article on Centrify and my approach to working with Microsoft entitled "Two-Time Winner." It is always great to see our ability to successfully execute a partner relationship with Microsoft recognized in a public forum. Fast forward a year or so, and I am depicted as one of the industry's "Windows Gurus" on the cover of the October 2007 issue of Redmond Magazine.
Last week I was at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass. participating in the launch of the Kerberos Consortium. Centrify is proud to be a founding sponsor of this consortium, joining fellow sponsors and supporters such as industry vendors Google, Sun and Apple; large financial firms are represented by the Financial Services Technology Consortium; as well as universities such as MIT, Stanford and the University of Michigan (my alma mater - Go Blue!) in supporting this important initiative.
Shortly on the heels of our shipment of DirectControl 3.0.7 (which adds over 20 new platforms and other features such as a bunch of new Mac Group Policies), today we released an update to DirectControl's web application support.
I just received the September issue of Windows IT Pro Magazine, and was pleased to see our very own Centrify DirectControl featured in a comparative review of "Cross-Platform Identity Management Solutions for Single Sign-On." Suffice to say, the in-depth review figured out the same thing that over enterprise customers have discovered in the last two years (including ) — DirectControl is the best solution on the market for integrating UNIX, Linux and Mac systems into Active Directory. DirectControl won the Editor's Choice award, and was the only solution awarded 5 of 5 stars.
Today Centrify released version 3.0.7 of DirectControl. New features include: support for 20+ additional platforms, additional Mac capabilities, new group policies to control our Centrify'd version of OpenSSH, and additional platform support for our console and tools. At the same time we are releasing DirectControl version 3.0.7, we are also releasing new versions of our PuTTY and OpenSSH support.
Centrify is very proud to be leading the innovation wave of integrating cross-platform systems and applications together leveraging Microsoft Active Directory. For example, Centrify was the first solution to offer Group Policies for the Mac environment and the first to offer Active Directory Federation Services web single sign-on agents for non-Microsoft web platforms, among many others.
Today we announced some results from our second full fiscal year of selling products on the market. We run a July 1 to June 30 fiscal year, so our crack accounting team is now done counting the numbers for our last fiscal year. Suffice to say we are very pleased with the results, having basically exceeded our expectations across the board. Some of the highlights from the last 12 months include...
As you know, Centrify DirectControl provides secure access control and centralized identity management by seamlessly integrating UNIX, Linux, and Macintosh OS X computers, and J2EE and web platforms, with Microsoft Active Directory. Just recently Centrify shipped our DirectControl DB2 Agent, which extends this capability to IBM DB2, allowing users to access DB2 databases using their Active Directory user identity. Hence, you gain the benefits of centralized authentication and access control with a well established, secure solution.
Just recently we announced the shipment of an updated version of our Centrify DirectControl for Mac OS X solution. I wanted to use this blog post to provide some color commentary on what actually is in this new release, discuss what Computerworld had to say about it, and give a concrete real-world example of how one our customers is using our product to lock down their Macs.
As an aside from my regular discussion of identity management, I wanted to mention that Centrify was a proud co-sponsor of this year's Palo Alto High School Robotics team. From building control systems for quadriplegics to designing and constructing award-winning robots that use teamwork to play a complicated game, Paly Robotics tries it all. Winning the 2006 Las Vegas Regional competition, they fought their way to the top this year as well, making the semi-finals and defeating NASA Engineering.
On April 18 we announced another major company milestone: the raising of $15 million in Series C funding. To date, Centrify has raised $36 million in venture funding from some of the leading venture capitalists in the world. This makes Centrify the most well funded company focused on delivering cross-platform interoperability and integration of Windows systems with non-Microsoft platforms such as Linux, and I believe it makes us the most well funded identity and access management software vendor in the market since Oblix.
Recently a number of Centrify customers have been featured in press articles from publications such as NetworkWorld, SearchEnterpriseLinux and ComputerWorld. It is really neat to see customers talking to the press about the positive experiences they are having with our products, and we really appreciate these customers taking the time to publicly talk about our company and products. As a company, we like to back our products with records of deployments that demonstrate our solutions' ability to scale across a diverse set of environments. It is always nice to be able to see press articles that offer proof to potential new customers of our large deployment base of satisfied enterprise customers.
OK, I admit it, I like the Payment Card Industry ("PCI") compliance standard. Now when I say the word "audit" or "compliance" and the expression "I like" I know a whole host of reactions will emanate from IT personnel, most of which are probably negative. So before I tell you why I like PCI, I am going to step back and give you my thoughts on the pros and cons of compliance in general.
Today we are really excited to announce a major new product, Centrify DirectAudit. In a nutshell, Centrify DirectAudit addresses regulatory compliance requirements for auditing, logging and reporting on user activity within your UNIX/Linux environment in an easy-to-use, secure and reliable manner. DirectAudit helps you detect suspicious activity and lets you granularly track activity down to which users accessed what systems, what commands were executed and what changes were made to key files and data. DirectAudit also provides in-depth diagnostic troubleshooting capabilities by letting you replay and report on user activity that may have contributed to system failures, as well as lets you perform real-time monitoring of who is currently accessing all of your UNIX/Linux systems.
It has been quite gratifying to hear the positive responses we get from customers regarding our current product offerings, and sometimes this will lead to the question of "What's next from Centrify?" or "Where are you going with your products?" So I thought I would spend some time painting a high-level picture of our vision that can help answer those questions. Obviously I am going to hold myself back a good deal because this is a public forum and I don't want to tip our hat too much, but suffice to say we have a lot of great stuff coming down the pike, including some really cool new innovative products. In this blog post I will mention one such new innovative product that is now in beta called DirectAudit, which will ship in May. Given that we won't publicly announce DirectAudit until mid-March I will not publish this blog entry that I am now writing in February until we announce it.
I recently came upon a survey authored a few months ago by Sarah Friar over at Goldman Sachs entitled "Security Spending Survey: Security Spending on the Offensive." In this particular survey Sarah had surveyed "50 managers with decision-making authority for security spending at multi-national Fortune 1000 companies."
At the RSA show on February 5 we announced DirectControl for Mac OS X, SmartCard Login Option, which enables Mac OS X users to join Microsoft Active Directory environments that require two-factor authentication via smart cards. The first smart card standard that we are supporting is for Department of Defense Common Access Cards (CAC), used pervasively throughout the DoD and related agencies to authenticate both military personnel and contractors to systems around the world.
In Part 1 of "Why was Centrify formed?" I discussed how I and my fellow co-founders identified a need for Identity Management for the growing Linux market, and in Part 2 I described how we translated that need into a solution we thought customers would want — the ability embrace and extend Active Directory to non-Microsoft systems, applications, databases, etc. to address their identity and access management needs. But would customers buy it?
In Part 1 of "Why was Centrify formed?" I discussed how I and my fellow co-founders identified a need for Identity Management as well as policy and configuration management for the growing Linux market. Yet as we looked at what we could do in this market we were worried that we did not want to offer yet another directory that a customer would have to manage. Even if we built the best directory for Linux and beyond (e.g. UNIX), the reality was, and still is, that at least half of most organizations' infrastructure runs on Windows and, by default, they would have to be using Microsoft Active Directory.
As CEO and a co-founder of Centrify, I am sometimes asked what the inspiration was behind the formation of Centrify. So I figured that would be a good topic for my first blog entry. Like many entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and beyond, I really love working with a great bunch of people and building something from scratch that delivers lasting value to employees, customers and shareholders. There is nothing cooler than having your startup company and its product just suddenly appear in the market after being in stealth mode, and then if you execute and hit a sweet spot in the market, having in a relatively short span of time 100s of customers.
Hello, this is Tom Kemp, and welcome to my Centrify blog. This is my first blog and my first blog posting ever. So "hello world"! Please excuse the training wheels, and my apologies in advance if I am not following proper blogoquette. I have had a few weeks to think about what topics I would blog on and how I would go about writing the posts, and I would like to start off by sharing those thoughts with you.