REVIEWER: Bill Claycomb, systems analyst at Sandia National Laboratories.
BACKGROUND: Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Livermore, California, Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness. Sandia has 9,200 employees.
PLATFORMS: Windows Server 2003.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Sandia routinely shares identity information with more than 20,000 internal and external scientists, contractors, customers and staff. Because data is often duplicated and stored in multiple databases and directories, simple requests were daunting and time-consuming. For example, retrieving contact information for a remote employee required either a Web-based search or contacting an employee at the remote site, verifying their identity and requesting the information verbally. This problem was aggravated by the fact that Sandia maintains a global messaging address book that could not be leveraged to communicate with remote employees or anyone outside the organization. Sandia Labs needed the ability to synchronize data and also customize what data was exposed in internal and external information requests. The RadiantOne Platform from Radiant Logic helped Sandia solve the challenges of retrieving information located in different data sources, managing identities and securely sharing information with internal and external users.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Sandia is using the RadiantOne Platform, which includes the Identity Correlation and Synchronization Server (ICS) and the Virtual Directory Server (VDS). RadiantOne ICS is used to synchronize contact information from several external LDAP data sources into the global messaging address book based on Active Directory. This real-time solution allows Sandia employees to instantly communicate messages to employees at remote sites. ICS also greatly improved account provisioning at Sandia. What was once largely dependent on automated scripts, flat files and several data repositories is now being synchronized directly in real time. Sandia has incorporated ICS in the provisioning process since it allows for the easy collection and sharing of identity data across disparate data sources. RadiantOne VDS acts as an identity firewall by presenting identity data to applications without giving those applications access to the authoritative data source. The benefit of using VDS is that Sandia can share limited information with external sources while allowing internal groups access to more detailed information without having to duplicate data or require multiple sources. Another benefit of VDS is that it allows client applications to consume data stored in Microsoft SQL databases via LDAP.
STRENGTHS: The RadiantOne Platform interacts with and synchronizes many systems running on different platforms and containing data in various formats without having to manipulate or modify the existing systems. Another significant strength is that the RadiantOne Platform delivers not only a tactical deployment for current needs but also includes capabilities that Sandia can leverage as new requirements arise in the future.
WEAKNESSES: The interface to configure synchronization is not quite as intuitive as it could be. When a change is required (although this is rare), it is difficult to remember where to go to make the change and this information can sometimes be difficult to find in the documentation. The capability to automatically verify data correctness between two synchronized sources is not inherent in a basic configuration. Although RadiantOne provides a solution, it requires additional configuration to deploy. Error reporting is log based and does not include email-based notification to administrators.
SELECTION CRITERIA: The Sandia team was impressed with Radiant Logic’s data integration and customization capabilities. The RadiantOne Platform offered both the ability to synchronize and integrate data in real time as well as customize views to expose data for both internal and external information requests. In addition, the RadiantOne Platform offered functionality that expanded beyond the current requirements.
DELIVERABLES: RadiantOne ICS synchronizes data from remote labs to populate the local address list at Sandia.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Radiant Logic offered amazing service both prior to and after deployment. Before deployment, they sent a knowledgeable system engineer on site to assist with configuration and to demonstrate the product capabilities. Post-deployment response times are rapid and accurate, and if patches are required, they have also been provided quickly. The best part about working with Radiant Logic has been the personalized level of support Sandia receives. All support personnel are knowledgeable about the product and the configuration at Sandia. They understand the challenges faced in Sandia’s environment and always offer relevant advice and best practices.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is complete, and Sandia can run the product with the documentation provided.
Radiant Logic, Inc.
1682 Novato Blvd, Suite 300
Novato, CA 94947
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