Centrify Suite 2012
Strengths: Ease of deployment and feature-rich solutions
Weaknesses: No online forums were found to offer ideas for creativity; support cost was high
Verdict: Outstanding product and excellent support staff
Centrify Suite 2012 provides user provisioning and access control across the enterprise. The company's approach to identity management and protection of user accounts, as well as system resources, made reviewing this product interesting and engaging. In a security market flooded with contenders, Centrify's ID management approach is creative and practical. It is easy to install and configuration takes the sting out of centralising various identity stores.
Key to Centrify's ability to aggregate the management of identities is the graphic interface. The easy-to-navigate screens help the IT and security administrators quickly and easily manage the network resources. The evaluation included the integration of Linux into Microsoft's Active Directory. This took just minutes to complete and we were on our way to controlling user creation, authorisation and permissions.
Reporting was very intuitive and easy to read. We did not see a group of cryptic details that required a security engineer to interpret. Centrify enhanced central control extends to mobile devices and applications.
Centrify Suite provides a true single sign-on architecture for centralised access and privilege management for more than 375 platforms across Windows, Unix, Linux and Mac OS X operating systems. For those that are concerned about agent-managed systems, the product can operate with or without the use of agents. Centrify postures itself as an essential prerequisite for secure access and data leak prevention strategies by managing privileges and encrypting communication between systems to protect sensitive information.
It is important to have an installer that understands Windows, Linux, Unix and/or Mac (depending on the customer's environment). Our basic setup included a Windows workstation for administration, Microsoft Active Directory, a DNS Server configured to allow dynamic updates for Active Directory services, and a Linux system hosted on both virtual and traditional hardware environments.
Centrify provided a simple installation application along with scripts that helped set up the Linux environment. The tool automated the entire process of deployment, so it was not necessary to manually touch the SQL server at any time. Complete documentation was included on a CD provided by Centrify. This was rich with instructions, pictures and diagrams. Once the initial setup was complete, the intuitive user interface made the job of enrolling systems simple. Where there was a need for specific agents, tools and instructions, Centrify provided access to the customer support portal, as well as access to friendly and knowledgeable support staff.
The company offers a basic, no-cost support service in addition to its standard and premium options. Standard provides eight-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week phone assistance. Premium provides 24/7 phone aid. Both options provide email support. In addition, Centrify offers a fairly comprehensive knowledgebase and an FAQ section on its website. Basic cost for the product is c£238.50 per server and c£40 per workstation.
Support costs are based on a percentage of the list price: 20 per cent for standard and 25 per cent for premium support.