Okta® vs Centrify® used to be a heavyweight fight in the identity and access management (IAM) space. But, with the changes at Centrify, it seems as though the two no longer heavily compete in that arena. With that said, let’s take a look at what makes this comparison useful today, even as Centrify has seemed to shift its focus.
Okta and Single Sign-On
As you’re probably aware, Okta is a web application single sign-on (SSO) company, but what they do may also be referred to Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS). Their goal is to ultimately enable their customers to access web applications through a browser plug-in or via a user customizable web portal. But, while Okta’s focus is ultimately on cloud-based web applications, Okta’s customers often rely on Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) as their source of truth for user identities. Clearly, for organizations that want to have their infrastructure based in the cloud, having one foot on-prem and the other in the cloud may be considered less than ideal. So, what is Centrify all about?
Centrify—Linux® and Mac®
Centrify had a similar start in that they built their solution on top of AD. But, instead of facilitating access to web applications, they focused their attention on enabling access to macOS® and Linux® devices. Essentially, Centrify acted as an identity bridge to help IT admins manage Mac and Linux-based user identities using Active Directory. In fact, for a long time Centrify’s on-prem, enterprise-class system was the product of choice to extend AD identities to Mac and Linux devices.
As the need to extend Active Directory-based identities to web applications started to rise to the top of the priority list, Okta became a much more popular solution. Of course, Centrify didn’t sit on their hands; they too created their own SSO solution. This move, in turn, resulted in the two companies being put in direct competition with one another. So while the individual focal point of each company started in different aspects of IAM, the rise of web applications ultimately cemented Okta’s Identity-as-a-Service (Read more...)