Network World writer John Fontana has turned his tweet volume up to MAX this week covering TechEd. I think it works – I'm enjoying it – though the sheer volume of Fontana Tweet makes it pretty hard to get your usual bird's-eye view of who is eating donuts, listening to new bands and staying up till all hours (can I live without that?). John also posted a news piece announcing that Microsoft IT has turned on Geneva for widespread production use internally.
Funny, last week I was at the Kuppinger Cole European ID Conference in Munich (more soon). Dave Kearns (one of John's colleagues at Network World) hosted a panel where he asked Vittorio and me whether Microsoft was actually using the Geneva technology.
I waved my arms pathetically and explained that our IT department had strict procedures establishing the point in the ship cycle where they will do production deployments. Well, now Beta 2 is out the door and it's great that our IT has sufficient confidence to move immediately towards widespread internal usage.
‘Geneva, Microsoft's identity platform for the cloud, will support 59 identity applications that Microsoft maintains with 29 business partners.
‘The federated applications include a payroll services and an online company store.
‘The company's IT department will change DNS records today on its internal network so all its identity federations are handled through its Geneva server environment rather than the current five Active Directory Federation Servers (ADFS) the company runs, according to Brian Puhl, a technology architect for Microsoft IT.
‘Microsoft has nearly 410,000 computers and 165,000 users on its network.
‘Puhl laid out the plan Tuesday during a session at Microsoft's annual TechEd conference. He said the cut over initially moves the company from ADFS 1.0 to ADFS 2.0 in Geneva, but that over time Microsoft will take advantage of streamlined support for its Live ID technology, incorporate CardSpace-based identity and roll-out claims-aware applications that are in development at Microsoft. (See graphic of Microsoft's Geneva architecture.)
‘”Geneva is a lot more than ADFS 2.0,” Puhl said.
‘Geneva was released in public beta for the first time Monday and Microsoft plans to make the software generally available at the end of 2009.
‘The identity platform's foundation is the claims-based access model and Security Token Service (STS) technology that Microsoft has been developing over the past few years as part of its industry effort to create a single identity system based on standard protocols.
‘Geneva is made up of the Geneva Server, formerly called Active Directory Federation Services 2.0; Geneva CardSpace Client, a smaller and faster version of the identity client now available with Vista; and the Geneva Framework, which was formerly code-named Zermatt.
‘Also part of the platform is the Microsoft Service Connector, the Microsoft Federation Gateway and the .Net Access Control Service, which are designed to create a sort of identity backbone and connection to the cloud.
‘Microsoft plans to tap that backbone to link to cloud services, including its Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). ‘