NetIQ, Altiris Get a Hand in Net Management Space

A pair of small players in the desktop and server management space this week will continue to nibble away at the lead of large network and system management players with the help of some big partners.

NetIQ Inc., which supplies Microsoft Corp. with the code for its Microsoft Operations Manager, this week said that it is entering beta testing for new Extended Management Packs for MOM that extend its management reach into Novell Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc. environments. At the same time, desktop management provider Altiris Inc. is teaming up with Compaq Computer Corp. to create automated server deployment tools for all Compaq ProLiant servers.

The new NetIQ Extended Management Packs, or XMPs, will allow MOM to monitor Sun Solaris servers as well as Novell NetWare servers, gathering performance data such as CPU and memory utilization, disk I/O, and standard OS information into the MOM console. The XMPs will also allow MOM to generate alerts via the console.

The large NSM (network/system management) vendors, including Computer Associates International Inc., IBMs Tivoli unit, Hewlett-Packard Co. and BMC Software Inc., are once again under attack, said Cameron Haight, research director at Gartner Inc. in Houston.

"The NSM vendors have no shortage of competitors. You have the best-of-breed point tool providers, the platform owners like IBM and Microsoft trying to take control of managing their environments, and then there are 800-pound gorillas in the vertical space such as Veritas [Software Inc.] in storage management and MicroMuse [Inc.] in manager-of-manager environments," he said.

NetIQ is also working to develop an XMP for RedHat Inc.s Linux. And it announced the shipment of 12 XMPs, which were announced last spring.

Altiris and Compaq, meanwhile, are teaming up to combine their respective eXpress Server Deployment tool and SmartStart Scripting Toolkit to simplify deployment of server configurations or migrations in larger server installations.

The combined offering, which will be introduced and shipped in the fourth quarter, is intended to automate configuration deployments for server farms.

From a remote console, users will be able to perform unattended end-to-end server deployments across a network. Once an initial service is set up, users can drag and drop configurations from the console and multicast them across a network.

The new tool is targeted at service provider or data center customers.

Compaq officials said that it can help to make IT operations for those customers more efficient.