NetIQ refreshes its management tools

NetIQ Corp. last month shipped software that builds on its expertise in managing Windows environments but that also extends its reach into networks where other operating systems are prevalent.

Version 3.0 of AppAnalyzer, a program that reports on usage and other aspects of assorted Microsoft software, now includes support for Windows Server and Exchange 2003. The software features new Outlook Web Access usage reporting, meaning it can help network managers track the top users logging on to Outlook via the Web, the browsers being used and the time of day or week for peak usage. This data then can be used to more efficiently balance loads across servers, the company says.

Pricing will be US$600 for a 100-user mailbox pack. There also will be a US$2,500 charge for the WebAdmin console for up to five users.

Also new is a Web console for NetIQ’s existing AppManager. This lets administrators centrally manage Windows, Unix (AIX, HP-UX and Solaris) and Linux platforms from any browser.

One reason NetIQ needs to expand its offerings from being Microsoft-centric to multivendor-oriented is that recent announcements from Microsoft show it plans to do more to manage its own systems. Currently, NetIQ has the biggest share of the Windows systems management market, analysts say.

“NetIQ will face more and more of the onslaught of Microsoft as a direct competitor, and obviously that is not a good position to be in,” says Glenn O’Donnell, a research director with Meta Group. “Microsoft provided them a great stream of short-term revenue, but it could diminish in two to three years.”

The core AppManager technology runs on Windows, while Unix boxes are monitored through agents. NetIQ monitors many components in the application infrastructure, including various flavours of Unix-based Web servers, application servers, load balancers, cluster support, e-mail and file and disk managers.

The Web Console costs US$2,500 for five concurrent users. Modules for NetIQ’s Web infrastructure management solution start at US$750 per server.