Small Players, Big Helpers

NetIQ extends Microsoft tool support, Altiris teams with Compaq as duo battles large NSM vendors.

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 MOM (Microsoft Operations Manager), said it is entering beta testing for XMPs (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 with Compaq Computer Corp. to create automated server deployment tools for all Compaq ProLiant servers.

XMPs will allow MOM to monitor Solaris as well as NetWare servers, gathering performance data such as CPU and memory utilization, disk I/O, and standard operating system information into the MOM console. XMPs will also allow MOM to generate alerts via the console.

The large NSM players, including Computer Associates International Inc., IBMs Tivoli Systems Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and BMC Software Inc., are once again under attack, said Cameron Haight, an analyst 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," Haight said.

NetIQ, based in San Jose, Calif., is also working to develop XMPs for Red Hat Inc.s Red Hat Linux. The company also announced the shipment of 12 XMPs announced last spring.

Altiris, of Lindon, Utah, and Compaq, meanwhile, are teaming 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 this 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 tool is targeted at service provider or data center customers.

Officials at Compaq, based in Houston, said the tool can help to make IT operations for those customers more efficient.