A look at NetIQ AppManager

* What NetIQ AppManager has to offer

Usually when I talk about NetIQ in this or Network World's Identity Management Newsletter, it's to discuss the company's tools for migrating to Active Directory. But NetIQ is about a whole lot more than simply migration tools (not that it's "simple," you understand). Before acquiring Mission Critical software (from whence the migration tools were produced) NetIQ was already active in network management (especially Windows server management) with its flagship AppManager product. AppManager is now a suite.

<aside>  With so many former applications now becoming "suites," should we start calling the remaining stand-alone apps "studios"? </aside>

I spent some time last week with NetIQ's product management and marketing Vice President David Pann and Scott Hollis, senior director of field marketing to look at the new product and what it brings to the Windows network. It brings a lot.

One of the more surprising things (to me, at least) is that it brings a number of other operating system platforms to your Windows network. Unix, Linux, NetWare, Solaris all can be monitored from the AppManager console. But that's only the operating systems. The list of applications and services seems to go on forever - Exchange, Lotus Notes, RIM Blackberries, BEA Weblogic, Apache Web server, SunONE (all the SunONE servers), IBM's WebSphere, Oracle, Domino, DB2 and on and on. Products and services from HP, Siemens, CA, IBM/Tivoli, Veritas, Legato, SAP, Check Point, Cisco, Trend Micro, Sybari and many more are subject to AppManager's monitoring and analysis.

In turn, AppManager can share data with other monitoring services such as CA Unicenter, Aprisma, OpenView, Microsoft's Operations Manager (MOM), Tivoli, Micromuse and Remedy. I must admit I lost sight of AppManager in the past couple of years, thinking that it was mostly a tool for monitoring Exchange servers (something better covered in our Messaging newsletter or, perhaps, the Network/Systems Management newsletter). It does still handle Exchange servers, perhaps better than anyone else, but now it can do so much more.

Today's network needs real-time systems management - logging, reviewing and fixing are no longer enough. Yesterday's goal of "no unplanned downtime" is today's requirement. "Five nines" is no longer good enough. But you need to do it all with fewer resources, more systems and a worldwide userbase. Pann suggests you ask yourself five questions:

* How can I do it all quickly and economically?

* How can I automate operations so I can do more with less?

* How can I demonstrate compliance and manage towards specified service levels?

* Once I know I have a problem, how can I determine the root cause?

* How can I have real time visibility across a highly distributed IT infrastructure?

His answer to all of these, of course, is AppManager. And he's right. AppManager, or something very much like it, is what you need to regain control of today's rapidly expanding (in all directions) network. Visit http://www.netiq.com and take a look at all that AppManager has to offer. One of Pann's questions, though, I think deserves a closer look and we'll do that in the next issue.

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The Buzz Issue

Network World, 09/29/03

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