Symantec Siteminder Review

It's flexible so that we can use it for Single Sign-On, integrated windows authentication, SAP, and federation.

Valuable Features

The most valuable feature is basically what it promises. It gives us a platform for strong authentication and authorization with access control. Another strong feature that we like is actually its simplicity of operations and administration. It's fairly simple to grasp the concepts and administer the servers and the policies.

Without it we would rely solely on straight basic authentication to our user directories, and that obviously just doesn't work. There's no auditing on it so audit-ability is another big feature that is tremendously helpful especially in this day and age of auditing and data breaches.

Improvements to My Organization

It's our single solution for managing user authentication. It's proven itself to be reliable and stable in terms of how it works. It's also flexible so that we can use it for many different things -- Single Sign-On, integrated windows authentication, SAP, and federation, which is a big part of our use. Those particular features are really beneficial to us as an organization.

Room for Improvement

Probably the biggest thing that SiteMinder needs is a refreshed UI for administrators. Because it's transparent to users and clients there's, not much in terms of improvement there other than additional features that they can concoct. But as an administrator, the UI can definitely use refreshing. There's ways to get to the same result with less clicks, and even with their new refreshed UI lately, it's still basically the same thing, so I don't see any improvement there.

Deployment Issues

It's stable, lightweight, works as expected and we don't see any problems with it.

Stability Issues

It's very stable. I would say it's about a 99.9% uptime. There is a glitch probably on average once every six months, once every half year. However, it's very lightweight for what it does and, again, the audit-ability aspect of it and logging aspect of it are very mature and helpful in terms of figuring out how to resolve an issue.

Scalability Issues

It's very Scalable. We were able to and we're actually continuing a global roll-out for it across the EMEA region in addition to our North American region, so it scales among all of our Active Directories very easily. We have no qualms in terms of adding users up to hundreds of thousands of users if needed. In terms of scalability, it delivers on its promise.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

Technical Support:

We use technical support for custom scripting. We needed to develop a custom Java API for SiteMinder to hook up with one of our .NET applications, and that's probably one instance where we had to use the technical support, although it kind of borders on professional services.

Otherwise, there are really probably only a handful of instances where we use technical support and really only to guide us on best practices.

Initial Setup

I wasn't involved in the setup, but I will be involved in future releases, in particular our roll-out to different regions of the world.

Other Advice

My advice would be to go with it simply because I know the product and I know it works. The way I would persuade them would be to say that it's rock solid. It does what you need it to do, it's stable, and the learning curve is really not so bad.

If there was one thing I would say, think a little bit more about how you would use a flow chart to optimize the administrators experience to do the exact same job.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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