NetIQ and Mission Critical Join Forces

Two companies on a collision course recently averted confrontation, when they decided to pool their core competencies. NetIQ Corp. ( and Mission Critical Software Inc. finalized a merger that creates a company with expertise in complementary fields: NT monitoring and directory management.

The merger was formalized May 15, and the new company will use the name NetIQ.

NetIQ’s flagship product, AppManager, is a monitoring tool specifically designed for Windows NT and Windows 2000. It consists of a general framework and interface, with plug-ins for monitoring specific applications or systems, such as Exchange servers, firewalls, and other applications of Windows NT networks.

"Their core competency was monitoring," says Cory Ferengul, an analyst at the Meta Group ( ). He believes that by offering solutions for directory management, NetIQ was moving away from what it did well into a field controlled by other companies.

Mission Critical created directory management and migration tools. One of its products was a tool for migrating directory information from Novell Inc.’s ( ) NetWare to Windows NT. Mission Critical also created a similar product for modeling and migrating NT domains into Windows 2000’s Active Directory.

NetIQ began to move into the directory management and monitoring space with the development of Windows 2000. The company created an AppManager plug-in for monitoring Active Directory, which was used internally by Microsoft Corp. ( as Windows 2000 was deployed in house. NetIQ was expanding beyond its core competency as a monitoring vendor into Mission Critical’s domain.

Conversely, Mission Critical began offering monitoring products that complemented its line of directory management solutions. Its Operations Manager is a monitoring tool for Windows networks that provides management of server infrastructure and views of performance.

"They were going to be competing companies," says Ray Paquet, vice president and research director at IDC ( Paquet believes that if the companies evolved further, their product lines would have directly competed.

Meta Group's Ferengul believes the companies will now integrate their product lines, and that the new NetIQ may offer more than a collection of point solutions. It will also be able to convince many satisfied Mission Critical customers to deploy other solutions from the new company.

NetIQ also grabbed a smaller, private company, Ganymede Software Inc. (, when the merger was announced. Ganymede specializes in testing and monitoring end-to-end performance. NetIQ’s AppManager tended to focus on server performance. With the addition of Ganymede, NetIQ may be able to offer a full suite of monitoring and management solutions designed specifically for Windows NT and Windows 2000.