Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Smoke, mirrors - and numbers

RSA's Matt Flynn has been participating in the virtual directory/metadirectory conversation for some time, but his entry for today brings in more smoke and less clarity. Having been called out by Clayton Donley, Matt ripostes:

Also, it sounded like Clayton took my comments to mean that "everyone needs to be using Active Directory for everything", which was (I think obviously) not the intent. My point is that although the top 500 or 1000 companies may have a number of directories for various strategic uses, there are probably 20x that number of companies that use only Active Directory as the central and primary user store...
Now the problem here is in the numbers - the "top 500 ...companies" might harbor 5 million+ users. The "20x that number" (or, say, 10,000 companies) might total 50,000 users. Or, in other words, 1% of the total users are in all-AD environments, 99% are in heterogeneous situations. Which actually proves Clayton's point and refutes Matt's.

Additionally, of course, as long as most vendors (and most enterprises) make it so difficult to extend the schema of the central repository (whenever there is one) there will always be a need for a virtual repository for applications to use. The need for, and uses of, virtual directories is growing and is still a few years away from peaking.

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So are you considering your customer the end user? or the company? I would say we are trying to solve the company's dilemma, which may skew your calculations.
and wait, i must be miscalculating. are you saying that there are 10,000 5-man companies? and the top 500 companies have an average of 10,000 users?
my math ain't great - but that doesn't seem right.
No, I'm considering the value of the whole - since most things are licensed per user...
In the US there are 25.4 million companies with fewer than 100 employees. Of these,19.5 have no employees (other than the sole proprietor - such as, for example, The Virtual Quill!)

So 50,000 might be high for a selection of "small" companies.
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