NetIQ Refreshes Tool for Understanding Exchange Activity

NetIQ Corp. on Wednesday shipped a new version of a Microsoft Exchange tool for helping administrators monitor and understand activity on Exchange servers across the enterprise.

NetIQ AppAnalyzer collects information from Exchange 5.5 and Exchange 2000 servers and loads the data into SQL Server Analysis Services. Using the tool, adminstrators can analyze message traffic, delivery times and content notification, and storage data on historical and current mailboxes and public folders. The tool also allows for administrators to calculate departmental chargebacks for Exchange server and storage usage.

New features in the 2.0 version include reporting on Exchange 2000 storage and routing groups, summary level traffic reporting, better scalability, decreased storage requirements, more granular scheduling and administrative control, and integration of some Microsoft .NET Framework technologies.

In its first year of existence, the product has been primarily an upsell for customers of another NetIQ Exchange tool called AppManager. NetIQ has sold about 1 million licenses of AppAnalyzer 1.0, primarily into the installed base for AppManager, which provides detailed reporting on Exchange for performance metrics such as CPU usage.

"It's been the lowest hanging fruit for us as far as our sales force goes," says product manager John Hillock of the tendency to sell AppAnalyzer to existing AppManager customers. "There's still a huge opportunity even in [the] AppManager [installed base]. But going forward, I think we've got a lot of different avenues we're going to go down. It's starting to grow past AppManager."

Several of the features in the 2.0 version of AppAnalyzer developed out of the needs of large customers using the product. The median customer size is about 10,000 mailboxes, Hillock says.

Customers with hundreds of Exchange servers pushed for a shift from the site- and server-based approach to gathering data of version 1.0 to the use of Exchange 2000 routing groups and storage groups for data gathering in version 2.0, Hillock says.

Another reaction to the needs of large customers in version 2.0 is an enhanced ability to retire older records, while converting them into summary data. "If you have 100,000 mailboxes, [the historical data] is going to be a pretty large database. You're talking about a single row for every single message in your organization," Hillock says. "We've created a way to create summary rollups over time."

Pricing for AppAnalyzer starts at $2,500 for a Web console license and $600 for 100 mailboxes. NetIQ has a 30-day trial version available on its Web site..

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.