Institutions considering outsourcing the management of their federated identity infrastructure can do so at no or reduced charge through Internet2’s InCommon affiliate, Fischer International Identity. Qualified institutions receive two years Shibboleth Identity Provider (IdP) hosting with 24/7 management for up to 5,000 full-time equivalent students at no charge.
Fischer is also offering the service through regional networks, such as OARnet, which operates the Ohio broadband network for education, K-12 and state and local government, as well as IT infrastructure and innovative services. OARnet will be the first regional network to host the service. Fischer is currently undergoing the Internet2 NET+ Service validation process.
Joining InCommon requires an institution to support SAML-based federated identity management technology, such as Shibboleth software; however, institutions without adequate staff or funding to achieve and maintain the technical requirements sometimes delay their federation projects indefinitely. Fischer removes this barrier by hosting and supporting the Shibboleth Identity Provider.
“Fischer’s Service will help additional institutions to quickly and cost-effectively participate in the InCommon Federation,” said Jack Suess, chief information officer and vice president for information technology at UMBC, and chair of the InCommon Steering Committee. “We’re glad the business model also works well for regional networks; they will be vital to enabling access to InCommon applications for hundreds of additional institutions.”
By offering this hosted service at no charge for two years, Fischer will help more institutions share the same benefits as the current 346 higher education InCommon participants — leveraging InCommon to easily integrate some of the 137 InCommon commercial service providers and 28 Internet NET+ Services in place today.
Fischer’s offering also provides federated access to resources that are specific to regional networks. “Fischer’s support for regional network applications increases the benefits we can deliver to our members,” stated Pankaj Shah, Executive Director, Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet). “Our members obtain greater levels of convenience, choices, and security with federated access to resources in both the InCommon Federation and OARnet’s own trust community.”
“Fischer is dedicated to the advancement of education and we have been impressed with what Internet2’s InCommon and NET+ Services, and regional networks like OARnet are doing to advance education,” said Dennis McDermott, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Fischer. “We are pleased to donate this service to help additional institutions join InCommon to leverage the cloud offerings available through Internet2. We have worked hard to provide a reliable and friendly self-service delivery model for our proven Federation solution so we can offer a no-cost federated single sign-on service to a large number of institutions.”
Fischer’s Ignite-Federation™ is a virtual Identity Provider (IdP) service that enables single sign-on access to resources such as Internet2 NET+ Services, EDUCAUSE, Kuali Foundation, National Student Clearinghouse, and many others. The Service satisfies the IdP-related requirements for InCommon participation and fully supports the latest release of Shibboleth. The Service also enables institutions to maintain control of user passwords, which are never stored in an outside system. For more information, visit www.ignite-federation.com.
About Internet2 and InCommon
Internet2® is a member-owned advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 provides a collaborative environment for U.S. research and education organizations to solve common technology challenges, and to develop innovative solutions in support of their educational, research, and community service missions. Internet2 consists of 220 U.S. universities, 60 leading corporations, 70 government agencies, 38 regional and state education networks and more than 100 national research and education networking partners representing more than 50 countries. Internet2 offices are located in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Emeryville, Calif.; New York, NY; and Washington, DC. For more information, visit http://www.internet2.edu. For more information, visit www.internet2.edu.
InCommon®, operated by Internet2®, serves the U.S. education and research communities, supporting a common framework of trust services, including the U.S. identity management trust federation for research and education, a community-driven Certificate Service, an Assurance Program providing higher levels of trust, and a multifactor authentication program. InCommon has more than 500 participants, including higher education institutions and research organizations, and their sponsored partners. For more information, visit www.incommon.org.
A member of the Ohio Technology Consortium at the Ohio Board of Regents, the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet) provides technology solutions for Ohio’s education, public broadcasting, health care and government communities. Since 1987, OARnet has identified and deployed shared services that reduce costs, deliver quality programs, increase productivity and improve customer service. Communities voluntarily participate in the OARnet consortium because they value these benefits and services. Ultimately, OARnet promotes community and economic development by expanding access to affordable technology. For more information, visit www.oar.net.
About Fischer International Identity
Fischer International was founded in 1982 by Addison Fischer, a security visionary whose many accomplishments are recognized globally. Fischer International is the leader in cloud-based identity management and has a distinguished history of providing unparalleled value through its innovation and thought leadership in the security industry. Fischer continues its technology leadership and innovation with its identity services platform that makes identity management cost effective for the masses. It simplifies identity management, scales seamlessly from the smallest institutions to the largest university systems, and can be implemented either as a traditional on-premise deployment or via the Identity as a Service® cloud. For more information, visit www.fischerinternational.com.
InCommon Program Manager
Director of Product Management
Fischer International, Fischer International Identity, Identity as a Service, Ignite IT, Ignite Federation, Identity Management Made for Higher Education and IaaS are the trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Fischer International Identity.