On-Premise. Federated Identity


An on-premise federated identity management system that provides seamless and secure access to thousands of applications using Single Sign-On technology. Integrated with our Virtual Identity Server (VIS), OFIS provides multi-factor authentication and authorization from any data store.

About OFIS

OFIS is an on-premise federated identity management system that provides seamless and secure access to thousands of applications using Single Sign-On technology. Integrated with our Virtual Identity Server (VIS), OFIS provides multi-factor authentication and authorization from any data store.

sign on

OFIS is an on-premise offering from Optimal IdM that provides everything you need in a federated single sign-on solution.

With it, users — whether on-premise, cloud hosted or federated — have seamless access to applications in the cloud and/or on-premise.

OFIS is much more than just a self-service password reset tool for Active Directory. The application’s built-in entitlements framework engine provides an easy to use and powerful claims based authorization solution. Application administrators define entitlements and specify both who can request access to them, and who can approve/deny access. Using the web interface, users’ requests are routed via email and delegated to administrators to approve or deny. As users authenticate, these additional entitlement/claims are added to the claims sent to the application.


Increased Security and Control

Eliminate Deployment Barriers

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The Virtual Identity Server provides an enhanced application environment. VIS allows organizations to rapidly and easily deploy applications to users existing in multiple Active Directory forests or directories.

– The VIS Schema Manager™ eliminates the need to extend the Active Directory schema for third party LDAP applications.

– VIS allows you to rapidly deploy applications to users existing in multiple Active Directory Forests without any forest trusts.

– VIS simplifies your identity management deployment by accessing data at its source directly.

– VIS provides multiple views of data, allowing for easy discreet application views of enterprise data.


Reduced IT Costs

[wpex more= “Read more” less= “Read less”]By providing a federated single sign-on for your users, OFIS increase the value of your existing Microsoft environment. Both applications:

– Leverage the existing investment in Microsoft technology, extending it with increased functionality.

– Are developed in .NET technology and is designed to seamless integrate with your Microsoft environment.

– Continue to grow with an organization’s needs.

– Are proven solutions for Microsoft applications such as SharePoint and MIIS/ILM.


Meet Audit and Compliance Initiatives

[wpex more= “Read more” less= “Read less”]A complete federated identity provider, OFIS can help you answer questions such as:

– Who has logged in and when?

– What changes were made to data and when?

– Who was added to the Administrators group today?

– What changes did “Bob” make?


Cloud vs. OFIS Comparison

Understanding costs differences between Identity as a Service (IDaaS) and On Premise Deployments


Usage of the cloud has become more and more prevalent, even for areas that were classically on premise deployments.  For example, the cloud Identity as a Service (IDaaS) market has grown substantially over the last few years.  A major reason for the cloud adoption is that organizations have started to understand the true costs of maintaining an on premise identity deployment.

Historically organizations didn’t realize the true cost of maintaining the solution until after it was purchased and deployed.   Once deployed, employees needed to be trained and become “experts” to be able to fully support and maintain the environment and unfortunately many identity management deployments are complicated. Over time organizations have started to realize that by leveraging cloud solutions they can effectively outsource these deployments to organizations that specialize in certain areas.

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For example, Optimal IdM’s cloud solution (TheOptimalCloud.com) is being leveraged by our clients who recognize that we are federation experts and can more easily deploy, maintain and monitor their federation infrastructure. This allows their staff to focus on what they are doing now and not have to become Federation experts.

Optimal IdM has created federation connections to hundreds of applications (relying parties) and we have had to make many tweaks along the ways.  For example, one cloud application that we have integrated with is case sensitive in their URL’s, even though the federation specifications call for case insensitivity.  Another application did not properly deflate their SAML2 authentication request[1].

It is difficult to identify the actual cost in terms of man hours that your staff will deal with each and every one of the applications that you integrate with, but in our experience, there will be many hours spent troubleshooting and debugging. Using The OptimalCloud means that your staff spends no time on configuring or troubleshooting any of these applications.

[1] “SAML requests or responses transmitted via HTTP Redirect have a SAMLRequest or SAMLResponse query string parameter, respectively. Before it’s sent, the message is deflated, base64-encoded, and URL-encoded, in that order. Upon receipt, the process is reversed to recover the original message.”

Cost Comparison – Cloud vs On Premise

Up Front – One Time Costs

SERVER HARDWARE$60,000$0Cost of the server (hardware) (10,000 per server @ 6 servers)
SERVER SOFTWARE$9,000$0Typical cost of Windows Server OS and Client Access Licenses ($1,500 X 6 )
BACKUP HARDWARE & SOFTWARE$2,000$0Typical cost of a backup solutions and backup software
ANCILLARY SERVER EQUIPMENT$1,500$0UPS (battery backup), Switch, Rack, etc.
SSL Certificates$400IncludedSSL Certificates*
On premise identity management software$100,000IncludedNo need to purchase on premise software.
TOTAL UP-FRONT COSTS$292,900$8,500

*If vanity certs are needed there will be a cost

Monthly Costs

PROACTIVE MAINTENANCE & MONITORING$9,375$1,00075% of the cost of 1 Full time employee ($150K a year). This is blended as the service would need to be available 24 x 7 x 365. For the cloud there is a $1,000 per IdP/SP setup. This assume an average of 1 per month
OFFSITE/ONLINE BACKUP COSTS$300$0Typical offsite or online backup costs
Energy costs for 6 georedundant servers (see footnote)$365Included
CLOUD HOSTING COSTS$0$4,000Monthly Base Service Charge
Monthly Support and maintenance for on-premise software$1,667$0Annual support and maintenance
TOTAL estimated MONTHLY COSTS$11,707$5,000

Total Estimated Costs – Over a 3 Year Period
(One-time Costs Plus 3 years of Estimated Monthly Charges)

TOTAL COST OVER a 3 year period$714,340$188,500Total Cost of Ownership over estimated life/analysis period

As you can see when comparing the cost of doing an on premise to our Cloud Identity as a Service offering, DLA Piper will save a substantial amount of time and money.

Detail of the 3 year costs

Monthly Costs

On PremiseOptimal Cloud

Yearly Costs

On PremiseOptimal Cloud

Yearly Costs

On PremiseOptimal Cloud

3 Year Costs

On PremiseOptimal Cloud
3 Years of the monthly charges$140,480 * 3 = $421,440$60,000 * 3 = $180,00
On Premise$292,900$8,500

Other factors to consider

Lost Revenue due to downtime

InformationWeek shed light on a 2011 study  done by CA Technologies which attempted to provide an estimate of what downtime costs businesses on a broad scale. Of 200 surveyed businesses across the USA and Europe, they found that a total of $26.5 Billion USD is lost each year due to IT downtime. That’s an average of about $55,000 in lost revenue for smaller enterprises, $91,000 for midsize organizations, and over $1 million+ for large companies.

You can see how important uptime is when it comes to production level systems, and why considering downtime costs is a hidden factor which shouldn’t be skimmed over.

Providing a 24 x 7 x 365 fully Geo Redundant Service

Optimal IdM’s cloud service is a fully managed 24 x 7 x 365 service that has guaranteed Service Level Agreements (SLA’s). Each day millions of users depend upon Optimal IdM’s solutions for the authentication and security needs. This is our core business and competency and we excel at providing the best service at the best possible price.

Cost of Identity and Access Management as a percentage of Total IT budget

he article here http://www.csoonline.com/article/2129591/metrics-budgets/10-identity-management-metrics-that-matter.html explains that  “Within the IT security community, identity- and access-management (IAM) initiatives are considered high value, but are notoriously problematic to deploy. Yet despite IAM’s complexity, it represents 30 percent or more of the total information security budget of most large institutions, according to IDC (a sister company to CSO’s publisher).”

With the OptimalCloud, the costs are significantly lower with a quicker adoption time as well.

Energy costs estimated from this article

According to this reporter’s numbers, which use an average kWh cost for energy from the US Energy Information Administration  as of January 2013, she figures that an average in-house server in the USA (accounting for both direct IT power and cooling) sucks up about $731.94 per year in electricity.



Does OFIS provide audit capabilities?

faq-imageYes. All activity is optionally logged to a Microsoft SQL server database. This includes: who authenticated, when, how, to what application and with what claim values. There are audit reports that come out of the box for an administrator to run.

How can I control who has access to what applications using OFIS?

Using the built in Entitlements system of OFIS, an administrator can create custom claims that users can request access to. When a user requests access, the built-in workflow sends the request to either a delegated administrator or a claims administrator for approval or denial. If approved, this additional claim is added (claims are augmented) to the list of claims after authentication. These claims can be utilized to create very granular fine grained access to not only applications but also specific permissions such as a SharePoint document library.

What applications does OFIS provide authentication?

OFIS is a 100% full Federation solution that can provide access to any application that supports the federation standards. This includes both on premise applications as well as Cloud applications such as Sales Force, Concur, Office 365, etc.

Does OFIS provide any way to host other identities such as partners or customers?

Yes, this is built-in to the solution. Users can be created manually using the web interface, or they can self-register using the built-in self-registration module that includes workflow approval of users.