As IT organizations look to connect their non-Windows® resources to Microsoft® Active Directory®, one question comes up quite often: what is Centrify®? In web searches targeted at discovering a way to extend AD, Centrify comes up quite a bit, so it’s important to understand what their product does.
In short, Centrify was an identity bridge. We use the past tense to say that Centrify was an identity bridge because the product recently faced EOL and Centrify split into two companies—Idaptive® and Centify. Previously, the Centrify Express product extended legacy, on-prem Microsoft Active Directory identities to non-Windows resources such as Mac® and Linux® systems as well as web applications. Centrify was essentially an add-on to on-prem Active Directory infrastructure.
So what is Centrify now? It seems as though the current incarnation of Centrify will keep the privileged access management components (Linux and network infrastructure authentication). Idaptive, on the other hand, looks to follow the traditional first generation IDaaS path that has been paved by companies such as Okta® and OneLogin™.
Instead of Asking What Centrify Is, Ask What It Isn’t
What we should really be asking when we attempt to define Centrify’s now defunct role is more of a question about the right approach to identity management in the cloud era. Do we want to continue to leverage on-prem hardware and its expenses when the industry is shifting to the cloud? No longer are IT networks based on just Microsoft Windows®. They’re an amalgamation of different types of solutions including G Suite™, Office 365™, AWS® and GCP™, Mac® and Linux® machines, web applications such as Slack, Github, Salesforce®, cloud and physical file servers (NAS devices, Samba file servers, and Box™) and many other types of IT resources. So, with all of these IT changes, why must the directory remain on-prem and require add ons like Centrify to work with all these resources?
Resulting from the shift of IT resources in most environments (Windows-based workstations, wired networks, (Read more...)