App & Identity Migration

SiteMinder’s end of service (EOS) is coming quickly. What are your options?

Tunnel with light at the end photo | Strata.io

The SiteMinder team at Symantec recently announced the end of service (EOS) date for SiteMinder 12.8.04 (service pack 4). And while the announcement answers some questions, it leaves CISOs and CIOs with more questions of their own. It also leaves you with less time to make decisions than you might think. Let’s take a look at what SiteMinder’s EOS means for you and your company.

What does SiteMinder’s end of service (EOS) mean for you?

As of December 21, 2023, the most recent version of the product will no longer be supported. At that point, customers will have access to self-service support only — SiteMinder’s knowledge base and online user forums. In other words, you’ll be on your own to solve any issues you may have.

It’s a bit like maintaining a Pontiac. You’re on your own to find replacement parts that are already out there, because GM won’t be manufacturing new ones. 

But unlike maintaining a Pontiac, there’s a lot more at stake by staying on a deprecated access management platform. Even if everything is working okay today, as your business continues to transform, you’ll have new applications and new services behind SiteMinder that you need to be able to do — such as implementing a new modern MFA technology. SiteMinder won’t be developing support after the end of service. 

While SiteMinder will continue to release new service packs, you should keep in mind some key things. For one, SiteMinder may no longer meet the needs of your modern hybrid organization, even with new service pack updates. Consider whether new updates will simply have a financial burden that locks you into a system that no longer delivers the same value it once did.

Also, consider the fact that moving from one SiteMinder service pack to the next isn’t like a Mac OS or Windows update. Upgrading is a major multi-month endeavor that will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

And while SiteMinder will continue to receive some new service pack updates, the platform is largely understood to be coming to its eventual end of life. Newer service releases simply delay the inevitable.

Furthermore, if you stick with SiteMinder, you’ll continuously fall behind in terms of your identity modernization, because SiteMinder can’t support the latest identity technologies.

All this adds up to one conclusion: companies that are still using SiteMinder should get off.

What is the EOS schedule for SiteMinder?

Symantec’s announcement gave companies two years to figure out what they’re going to do. That might seem like a lot of time, but many CISOs could find themselves rushing like mad to cross the finish line in time.

Older service packs of 12.8 will be phased out before December 23. The EOS for 12.8.0 through 12.8.02 (service packs 1 and 2) is June 30, 2022 — only six months from the date of this article. The EOS for 12.8.03 is March 31, 2023. If you aren’t already on service pack 4, you have a very tiny window to upgrade your system. You should get moving today.

What’s involved in upgrading SiteMinder service packs?

If you’re currently on an early version of SiteMinder 12.8, you may have to make a couple updates to get all the way up to service pack 6. But even if you only need to make one upgrade, you have your work cut out for you. 

Expect it to be a big pain to apply a service pack, because SiteMinder’s infrastructure is large, complex, and monolithic. It has countless different pieces and components that exist in an environment. 

When you go from one service pack to another, you aren’t just upgrading one thing — you’re upgrading a thing, but before you upgrade that thing, you have to upgrade these other components first, and then you have to upgrade these other components, and then you can upgrade the core.

And that means you’re looking at an enormous amount of time and resources to make that upgrade happen. 

SiteMinder is what most organizations would consider a tier-one service. In other words, if SiteMinder goes down, people can’t log into the website. There’s no alternative, it’s a critical service. Because of that, you need to treat a tier one service with kid gloves and go through a very stringent, long, and incremental process in a development environment. 

First, go through and upgrade the dev environment, and run through a series of tests. Did that break anything? If you have a bunch of stuff that’s customized in SiteMinder, does that upgrade break anything? It’s typically a months’ long effort just to apply the service pack. 

So you’re looking at an installation upgrade process and a full testing process multiple times over, and then a maintenance window when you let the user community know that they won’t be able to log into the site between 12 and 2:00 AM on this day. That’s when your people are at their keyboards, sweating it out, actually applying the updates in production. By that time, you’ve tested everything ten times over. 

Imagine the kind of time and cost that it requires to do something like that. December 2023 really isn’t a long runway — and June 2022 is already nipping at your heels. 

You can invest seven figures and race against the clock just to keep your SiteMinder system on life support for another year and a half, or you can start looking at alternatives.

An alternative for you at SiteMinder’s End of Service (EOS) 

Thankfully, you have options that let you migrate away from SiteMinder — and you can do it quickly, easily, and much more affordably than a SiteMinder upgrade. Get off of SiteMinder before the end of service date arrives, without sacrificing your identity management. 

Strata’s Maverics platform uses identity orchestration to move applications off of SiteMinder without rewriting any apps. Identity Orchestration lets you run SiteMinder simultaneously with cloud identity before you retire it for a seamless coexistence while you need both. Then, after (or ideally well before) the EOS date, you can retire your legacy system without fuss — and you can continually adopt the latest identity technologies as they evolve. 

Give your company something that will further the business and modernize your users’ experience. Make your organization more agile than ever, without the cost. 

Connect with an Identity Orchestration expert

Steve Lay

Senior Sales Engineer