NetIQ Corp. last week added two new tools to its Windows 2000 back-office application migration and management suite to help users plan and execute migrations to Microsoft Exchange and Windows 2000 Active Directory .
Exchange Migrator helps users move Exchange objects, such as distribution lists, mailboxes and public folders, between sites and organizations. Migration Assessor helps managers prepare for migration to Active Directory by generating reports on existing directory infrastructure, file systems, printers and share permissions.
Other vendors, such as Aelita Software, BindView and FastLane Technologies make similar tools, but none enjoy as close a partnership with Microsoft as NetIQ.
Microsoft last year licensed Operations Manager Windows performance management software from NetIQ and is closely integrating it in Windows 2000 and Windows 2000 services such as Active Directory.
"The Operations Manager agreement doesn't have a direct impact on migration tools," said Patrick Dryden, an analyst at Illuminata Inc.
"But a migration is complex, and you have to plan and model your networks and think about what management tools you're going to need for maintenance during and after the migration," he said. "Plus, scalability is an issue you have to look at."
Extensive Training Involved
Support is another consideration, said Rob Enderle, an analyst at Giga Information Group. Because of the agreement, NetIQ tool training for Microsoft's Windows 2000 support staff will likely be extensive, he said.
"That increases the likelihood that your [Microsoft] premier support folks can help and not tell you that you'll have to go to the other company. Then you talk with them, and they say, 'No, it's Exchange,' and send you back," Enderle said. "You can really feel like a ping-pong ball after the fourth or fifth call."
But even with NetIQ's new tools, managers will still end up with multiple migration packages, Enderle warned.
"There's no one tool that works across the gamut of desktop and back-office applications," Enderle said. "Nobody seems to get it yet that large enterprises need one that does both."
Exchange Migrator 1.0 costs US$600 per 100-user pack. Migration Assessor costs $300 per 100-user pack. Both products are shipping now.