IBM Tivoli Access Manager [EOL] Review

Multiple instances per component can be installed with load balancers.


What is most valuable?

Some valuable features in this product are: webSEAL policy, proxy servers, LDAP server (IBM TDS).

The modularity with which each component may run on a different host is valuable. In addition, multiple instances per component might be installed with load balancers. It provides good scalability and reliability, not to mention the overall availability of the service.

How has it helped my organization?

The entire security of the intranet and internet web applications has been covered by the TAM environment.

What needs improvement?

It happened from time to time, that is, after a long period without restart, the TDS/LDAP instances crashed and remained in a hanging state. A restart did solve the issue but the support was not able to find the cause, despite the fact that the latest fix pack was installed for TDS v6.3.

A similar issue came up when LDAP requests did cause performance issues on TDS or caused the TDS to crash.

As information on fixes and issues related to ITDS are publicly available, let me point you to the respective site:

You may notice, there are several issues listed, which lead to a crash.

Not sure, which one is/was ours, but please notice that TAM/SAM requires multiple software bundles to be installed (like GSKit, Java SDK, WAS, DB2) – each of them having issues.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We experienced crashing of LDAP with some specific queries and it affected performance of the TDS proxy.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable via load balancers but there are some issues with sync while using several LDAP trees.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would give the technical support a 8/10 rating. Sometimes, there are long running support tickets (for 6-8 months) and that is unacceptable from the customer's point of view.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We were not using any other solution before. We were partially using Apache reverse proxy along with LDAP.

What about the implementation team?

The setup is complex. Without training and prior knowledge, it is hard to get a working environment.

What other advice do I have?

As far as I know, the later versions of TAM (renamed to SAM), are working as appliances and with that, no experience is needed. My advice is to be careful and think twice.

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