IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

SolarWinds Launches Access Rights Management Solution

Based on technology acquired along with German software maker Protected Networks, the new system offers features for assigning and removing user permissions, as well as auditing both what users can access and what they have accessed in the past. By Rich Freeman

SolarWinds has introduced a new product intended to help IT departments and MSPs more easily control and monitor internal access rights.

Called SolarWinds ARM and available immediately, the new system is based on 8MAN, an access rights management solution that Austin, Texas-based SolarWinds acquired along with German software maker Protected Networks GmbH for an undisclosed sum.

The system comes with features for assigning and removing access rights as well as auditing both what users are permitted to access and what they have accessed in the past. Companies can draw on that latter feature to ease compliance with regulations like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, as well as to tighten data security by denying people permissions to files they have rights to but never access.

Intended for use in Microsoft environments, SolarWinds ARM lets users monitor and manage user permissions for Active Directory deployments, Windows file shares, and SharePoint environments, as well as Microsoft Exchange mailboxes, mailbox folders, calendars, and public folders.

The new solution is a perfect fit for SolarWinds’s product strategy, which is built around disruptive pricing and ease of use, according to Jim Hansen, vice president of security products at SolarWinds.

“IT people are in a sense having to put on two hats, their IT hat and their security hat, but in a lot of cases they don’t really have a lot of time, they don’t have the expertise, and they’re having to learn how to be security professionals,” he says. SolarWinds ARM, according to Hansen, is simple enough for most technicians to master in a matter of hours.

Suitable for both MSPs and in-house IT professionals, he continues, the new product exemplifies the company’s “one SolarWinds” product vision, which seeks to break down barriers between solutions offered by its SolarWinds MSP unit and the rest of the company.

NetPath, a network path analysis system designed to help administrators diagnose performance issues affecting cloud-based solutions, similarly reflects that strategy. Originally developed as part of the SolarWinds corporate IT management portfolio, the tool has been a built-in component of the cloud-based SolarWinds RMM solution since April, and part of the company’s on-premises SolarWinds N-central product since July.

According to Hansen, experienced providers of security services can use SolarWinds ARM to extend existing service bundles, while newcomers to security can use it as an easily-mastered initial offering.

Though the system doesn’t integrate with the company’s RMM or PSA products currently, SolarWinds plans to add that functionality in the future. “We’ve only had the product for a few weeks, but that is absolutely part of the plan,” Hansen says.

Pricing on SolarWinds ARM, which is licensed perpetually, starts at $2,995 and is based on how many Active Directory users a customer has.

Based in Berlin, Protected Networks was founded in 2009, and has sold 8MAN to date chiefly in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, as well as the U.K. to a lesser extent. SolarWinds is now bringing it to North American users for the first time. The Protected Networks development team will remain onboard to enhance and support the product.

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