There have been a couple of announcements in the Virtual Directory World. I would be remise if I did not make mention of them.
The new VDS offers simplified use of virtual directory technology, turning complicated LDAP operations into simple point and click tools. VDS 5.0 has built in wizards and templates to make the most common deployments even quicker and easier. The new admin console boasts new scenario-driven wizards, so that users can easily deploy various identity and access management tasks. Scenarios include web access management, Active Directory object and attribute mapping to SunOne (or other LDAP v3 directory server), and Active Directory forest aggregation. There has also been support added for role-based delegated administration
They also added a very cool new Web-based remote admin console. If you get a chance, check it out. It was built on Abode's new Flex technology and has all the features of the server-based console.
As LDAP ages it is important to see that vendors are automating more of the LDAP functions. The need for hierarchal structures still persists, and LDAP is a perfect fit, applications consuming information from LDAP based repositories are not going away anytime soon. I have already heard this new version of RadiantOne VDS referred to as the "VDS for the rest of us".
Optimal IdM also announced the release of their new Virtual Directory offering today (June 30th), the Virtual Identity Server for Enterprise Group Management. This is a specialized release of their VD based on .NET to help with the known cumbersome task of AD group management.
Their close partnership with Microsoft shows in their product. Not only it is .NET based, they address AD issues with sharp precision. Certainly Microsoft centered shops should take notice. I also read a good posting about this release on Jeff Bohren's blog. Jeff relates these new tools that are emerging from the virtual directory vendors as specialized "arrows" designed for use for specific problems. I could not agree more. You need a "quiver" of tools at your disposal to solve the unique and changing requirements of your identity environment. Having a flexible identity infrastructure that virtual directories provide, is in my opinion essential.