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Northern Arizona University Upgrades Directory Service

Northern Arizona University is rolling out the UnboundID Identity Data Platform to support nearly one million entries in its directory stores of student and employee data. The directory acts as the base for the university's identity and access management development, securing everything from department web applications to enterprise e-mail systems, learning management systems, student information systems and more.

The university began the search for a new solution when a prior vendor changed product features and ended support for existing product lines. Top requirements were scalability and reliability; NAU needed to provide large-scale authentication, authorization and information security for 30,000 faculty, staff and student users.

"With three separate hardware clusters across two data centers providing capacity and fail-over for the university, it was important that we have a system to support growth that provided extremely high reliability for our mission-critical infrastructure. We wanted to be sure we got the features that we really needed, and that the systems would perform well into the future," said Summer Steddom, systems integration and architecture team lead at NAU, in a prepared statement.

The team at NAU researched several options, including open source products, but was concerned about the ability to get both scale and support. Using UnboundID Identity Data Sync allowed the removal of a great deal of in-house custom code developed to facilitate MetaDirectory functionality and complex account provisioning business rules, according to the company. The ability to manipulate data transformation rules through a simplified interface rather than source code saves time, and the directory's schema validation is more thorough when adding, modifying or importing data. NAU can now deploy complex changes to multiple servers in a fraction of the time previously needed.

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at

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