HP’s Trustgenix buy narrows identity market choice

Hewlett-Packard recently agreed acquisition of Trustgenix, a provider of federated identity solutions, will signal a reduction in choice for companies seeking best-of-breed ID management system, Gartner has warned.

The analytical firm noted that although the deal will reduce product choice, it will have limited impact on the overall vendor market because most other stack vendors already have federation capabilities.

Gartner analyst Ray Wagner said: "This planned acquisition is a good move for HP, because it will help the company round out its identity and access management (IAM) technology with federation capabilities. Gartner believes that federation technologies will be the basis for much more efficient IAM, and thus are a requirement for IAM vendors."

Prior to this announcement, HP had a licensing relationship with Trustgenix for the HP OpenView Select Federation product. Trustgenix, having released a version of its product that is compatible with version 2.0 of SAML (an XML-based mechanism that enables disparate enterprises to exchange identity-related security information), is one of only a few highly specialized vendors focused on federation, Gartner said.

"For enterprises seeking a best-of-breed federation provider, this deal will signal less choice. Among the few best-of-breed options that remain are PingID Network, Symlabs, the PingID-sponsored SourceID and the Shibboleth Initiative (the latter two are open-source-based)," explained Wagner. "But because most other stack vendors already have federation capabilities, this move will have limited impact on the overall vendor market."

The federated identity management sector has recently seen several key announcements, including Oracle's acquisitions of Phaos and Oblix, BMC Software's acquisition of OpenNetwork Technologies and the recent release of IBM's Federated Identity Manager. In addition, Microsoft is also expected to release its Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services in the first quarter of next year.

For Trustgenix customers, Gartner advises planning to move to fully supported HP Select Federation by the end of 2006 and recognizing that Trustgenix deployment will have reached the end of its useful life by the end of 2008.

Customers considering Trustgenix or HP Select Federation for deployment beyond 1Q06 should, according to Gartner, continue to consider HP Select Federation. But organizations currently starting deployment of Trustgenix products should consider switching to Select Federation now.

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