Why upgrade from FIM to MIM?

If your organization still uses FIM and has not yet upgraded to MIM, you’re not alone!

Although Microsoft ended mainstream support for Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) in October 2017 and ended extended support in October 2022, our expert consultants are still busy helping businesses, educational institutions, and other organizations to upgrade to Microsoft Identity Manager (MIM).

MIM (and its predecessors Identity Lifecycle Manager and FIM) has been the mainstay of identity management for 20 years. Whilst much of its functionality can be, and is being, migrated to the Entra cloud, there are some functions that Microsoft Entra ID does not cover, which MIM covers very well (for example, supporting legacy on-premises systems, multiple sources of truth, and password synchronization). In addition, some organizations are not ready to migrate all their FIM workloads to Microsoft Entra ID.

MIM is in extended support. Is it still worth upgrading?

FIM is no longer supported by Microsoft, while MIM will be in extended support until 2029 at the earliest. So, at the time of writing, there are at least six more years of MIM to benefit from. And it is still evolving to meet the changing security and operational requirements of the systems to which it connects.

So, if you are not ready to replace FIM, it absolutely makes sense to upgrade to MIM – indeed, you may be leaving yourself vulnerable if you don’t.

What are the benefits of an upgrade from FIM to MIM?

MIM 2016 SP2 preserves your investment in FIM solutions while offering new functionality to address emerging challenges, such as security.

MIM supports recent operating systems and components:

  • The newest operating system supported by FIM was Windows Server 2012. Windows Server 2012 left mainstream support in October 2018, with extended support only available until October 2023. FIM was frequently installed on earlier versions of Windows Server which no longer receive any security fixes.
  • The newest version of SQL Server supported by FIM was SQL Server 2012. SQL Server 2012 left mainstream support in July 2017 and extended support in July 2022.
  • Any upgrade to MIM should include an operating system and SQL server upgrade at the same time. These bring new features, improve security, and save IT teams time by having fewer versions of software to support and manage.

MIM is more secure than FIM, and IT security is more important than ever to protect business reputation and avoid huge financial damage:

  • MIM supports modern authentication (which is needed to use Exchange Online, for example) – Microsoft has been disabling basic authentication in favour of modern authentication and will continue to do so until it is disabled in all tenants.
  • MIM supports Group Managed Service Accounts (gMSAs) ensuring the service account passwords are regularly changed automatically and kept in sync across service instances.
  • IT security is more important than ever to protect business reputation and avoid huge financial damage.
  • To enhance security, organizations are enforcing TLS 1.2 across their estate, and this is not supported in FIM.

MIM adds new functionality including hybrid reporting and more portal customization.

FIM is out of Microsoft support so security and bug fixes, performance improvements, and new functionality are only available with MIM.

Are you late for the MIM party? Don’t worry, you’re in good company!

In many organizations, FIM is left running on old operating systems and component versions because no one quite knows how it works! They are afraid of breaking it when it should have been upgraded years ago. If this scenario applies to you, you’re not alone! Fortunately, we know exactly what to do, and how to upgrade your system. PLUS we can re-skill your team as part of your upgrade, so you’ll be able to support it going forward.

We are the FIM to MIM upgrade experts – talk to us!

Oxford Computer Group is the Microsoft identity expert and our consultants have unrivaled experience in helping organizations of all sizes and in all industry sectors to upgrade from FIM to MIM.

No two FIM implementations are the same, but there are common upgrade paths to MIM and ‘gotchas’ we will help you avoid. We will work with you to determine the best approach to upgrade your FIM environment to MIM. We can also advise on extensions and enhancements to your newly upgraded MIM.

Now’s the time to upgrade from FIM to MIM. Contact us today to arrange an informal and no-obligation chat with one of our expert architects.