Centrify Express® EOL & Alternatives

Written by Nick Scheidies on April 15, 2019

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In October 2018, Centrify® announced the End-of-Life (EOL) for Centrify Express. Now, IT decision-makers at organizations that had been using Centrify Express are looking for alternatives. In this article, we’ll lay out the important details behind Centrify ending support for their line of Express solutions, detailing what the changes mean for customers and when they are going into effect. We’ll also survey the alternatives to find the best options for migrating away from Centrify Express.  

What does the Centrify Express EOL mean?

End-of-Life for Centrify Express means that Centrify will no longer support this line of products. Customers of Centrify Express will find the products are no longer licensed and that they no longer receive security updates. Centrify will also cease providing support, troubleshooting, and hotfixes.

The following parts of the Centrify Express portfolio will be impacted:

  • Centrify Express for Mac
  • Centrify Express for Mac Smart Card
  • Centrify Express for SaaS and Mobile

Note that it appears that Centrify Express for Linux will continue to be supported for the time being.

When will the EOL take effect?

The scheduled date for the EOL of Centrify Express is May 1st, 2019. At that time, the changes laid out above will take effect and the products will no longer be supported.

Why is Centrify stopping support for Express?

This decision reflects a long-term, big picture change in strategy. For Centrify, it’s all about making a clear delineation between their Privileged Access Management (PAM) offerings and their Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) solutions.

Centrify has created a new spinout organization, called Idaptive®. Idaptive will focus on IDaaS (i.e. web application single sign-on), and curiously have included some Mac management within this company. Centrify will continue to focus on PAM including Linux management. Both companies are owned by Thoma Bravo but they will operate separately.

The short-term impact of this decision adds complexity for their customers. But Centrify is hoping that there are long-term benefits to a more distinct delineation between Centrify and Idaptive. Interestingly, Centrify’s primary competitor Okta is now including Advanced Server Access capabilities similar to SSH key management and privileged access management. So while it appears that Centrify is decentralizing, Okta is expanding their footprint within one organization.

What are some alternatives to Centrify & Idaptive?

There is no shortage of tools that provide aspects of the former Centrify Express. These solutions exist in a variety of categories – IDaaS, SSO, MDM, directory services – and each of them offers different functionality. The Centrify Express alternative that’s right for you will really depend on the way you were using Centrify Express and on the unique needs of your infrastructure.

That’s why I recommend that you go through one feature at a time and determine which you are hoping to fulfill. Here are some of the major features that you may be looking for:

If your intent is to use a single solution to centralize all of your IT management needs, then consider JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®. The world’s first cloud-based directory service, JumpCloud has been designed from the ground up to centralize and secure the management of modern IT infrastructure. Unlike Centrify or Idaptive, JumpCloud can either act as an Active Directory extension or as a standalone cloud directory.

You can try JumpCloud for free (for up to ten users) by signing up here.

Still Evaluating Your Options?

Many organizations chose Centrify because they wanted to streamline their management of IT resources like Macs. For these customers, the EOL of Centrify Express and bifurcation to Idaptive is the last thing they needed. They don’t want to take on a heavyweight IDaaS solution just to get back the control over Macs formerly achieved with Centrify Express.

At JumpCloud, we think we can help with our Directory-as-a-Service – but we’re also here if you have questions. You can get a demo or contact us to speak with one of our team members directly. We would be very happy to help you determine if JumpCloud may be the Centrify Express alternative you need.

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