Xceedium® Completes Hybrid-Cloud Portfolio with VMware® Release
  • Feb 18, 2013

Xceedium today announced the latest release of Xsuite®, delivering privileged identity and access management (PIAM) coverage for the entire hybrid cloud. You can now ensure consistent authentication, access control, monitoring, and management of privileged users and credentials across hybrid cloud platforms. Our new VMware® support extends existing capabilities for Amazon Web Services and the industry’s broadest support of traditional data center computing, database, and networking systems. Xsuite is the only PIAM product delivering native platform support for both infrastructure management consoles and operational systems for all environments.

This is the realization of Xceedium’s strategy to enable organizations to safely and easily manage privileged users across hybrid clouds. This allows you to more readily migrate applications and systems to the hybrid cloud, and realize the benefits that environment provides. Our strategy is based on two indisputable facts regarding today’s computing environment.

The first is a recognition that managing privileged users is a delicate balancing act. It’s essential trusted individuals have unfettered access to systems they’re responsible for maintaining and operating. It simply can’t work any other way. But the reality is trust can be misplaced. Trusted insiders and business partners are responsible for 43% of security breaches, according to Forrester Research. Consequently, security and risk management—reinforced by a growing number of compliance and audit requirements—are driving increased attention to privileged user and credential management.

The second is that information technology infrastructure is rapidly undergoing a complete metamorphosis. Traditional data centers remain an essential component of most organization’s IT portfolios. But the hybrid cloud–—systems and public/private clouds—has emerged as the first choice platform for all types of institutions. x86 server virtualization is expected to double from 40% in 2011 to 80% by 2016, according to Gartner. Total global spending on public cloud services is projected to reach $100 billion by 2016, up from $40 billion last year according to research firm IDC. IDC also estimates that at least 80% of the growth in the IT industry will come from cloud services by the end of the decade.

In contemplating PIAM support for the hybrid cloud, most vendors—to the extent they provide protection—have largely focused on simply porting their existing solutions to cloud-based platforms. Our research into both the underlying technologies and customer requirements leads us to believe this is a fundamentally flawed strategy. This approach fails to address several new requirements introduced by cloud computing.

Merely protecting resources running on these platforms overlooks a significant new attack surface. Management consoles, such as vCenter™ Server and the AWS Management Console (and underlying APIs), provide broad access to computing infrastructure. vCenter, for example, grants privileged users access to virtual hosts, which can easily be deleted or modified, as well as other critical resources and configuration settings. In the cloud, the AWS Management Console provides similar access. In order to provide protection from these risks, Xsuite has been extended to provide tight integration with these consoles.

A risk inherent in any identity and access management effort is the inadvertent creation of multiple “islands” of identity. You’ve already made significant investments in creating and managing identity and access controls via enterprise directories like Active Directory. New platforms introduce their own IAM requirements. Xsuite has been upgraded to support the bridging of identities for privileged users. This helps you eliminate both unproductive administrative overhead, and the security risks resulting from inconsistencies across the environment (such as deleting a user’s access to one platform but not another).

Lastly, there’s the issue of flexibility of deployment. One of the more compelling advantages of the hybrid cloud is flexibility and responsiveness. Architects and operations teams can quickly modify infrastructure to meet changing demands. An inflexible PIAM solution represents an unacceptable drag on that responsiveness. With this release, Xsuite gains an OVF-compliant virtual appliance for ease of deployment, joining existing AWS AMI and rack-mounted hardware appliance options. More importantly, Xsuite offers the ability to manage privileged user access and credentials from any platform to any platform. So you can implement the PIAM architecture that best satisfies your operational and security requirements.

In order to ensure continuing, in-depth access to hybrid cloud platforms, Xceedium has invested in both internal development resources and formal partnerships with infrastructure technology providers. Xceedium is now a member of VMware’s Elite Technology Alliance Partner (TAP) program, and has been a member of the AWS Partner Network (APN).