Network managers soon will have better tools for managing security and servers, experts say, as vendors such as NetIQ and BMC Software release new products that automatically provision users and monitor servers.Network managers soon will have better tools for managing security and servers, experts say, as vendors such as\u00a0NetIQ\u00a0and\u00a0BMC Software\u00a0release new products that automatically provision users and monitor servers.Flat, corporate IT budgets are driving the trend to design software that is easily implemented and to automate administrative tasks, says Rich Ptak, principal at Ptak and Associates. Such products could help reduce staffing and shave other costs, he says."People want ease of deployment, ease of use, cost and time savings now," Ptak says. "Vendors are responding to customer demand that software does not become shelfware in their company because it's too hard to deploy and use."To ease provisioning, NetIQ next month is expected to unveil VigilEnt User Manager 1.0. The new software comes partly from NetIQ's October 2002\u00a0acquisition of security management software vendor PentaSafe.User Manager can create user profiles, provision access rights and delete network privileges for end users from a central management console, lessening the burden on IT staff, the company says. The software can be configured to take automated actions and notify administrators when users are not in compliance with policies. User Manager is installed on a dedicated server and agents reside on the managed devices.Gartner analyst Roberta Witty says products such as User Manager - and competitive offerings from Microsoft, Tivoli and Computer Associates - can help companies that have invested time and money in rules-based systems such as ERP.Pricing for NetIQ's VigilEnt User Manager 1.0 starts at $20 per user.For its part, BMC this week will release its Patrol for Windows 3.0 and Patrol for Unix 9.0 server management software products. Included in both releases are best practices for managing specific elements in a server environment, which will lessen software configuration time."Network managers won't have to sit there and configure the software to check for everything," Ptak says.Patrol software resides on a dedicated server and uses software agents on managed devices to track metrics such as CPU, memory and server response time.Available now, pricing for Patrol for Windows and Patrol for Unix starts at $815 per server.