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NetIQ Adds 'Run Book Automation' Suite

NetIQ launches 'Run book automation' platform.

Security, applications and systems management software provider NetIQ Corp. later this month will jump into the IT process-automation ring with a new platform that lets systems architects develop, automate, monitor and improve operational processes.

The company's Aegis software is the latest toolset to offer "run book automation" (RBA), a term coined by Gartner Inc. that describes the process of designing, building, orchestrating, managing and reporting IT operations process workflows.

As enterprises look to automate more processes, RBA tools are growing in appeal across the IT operational silos, which are looking to reduce development and administration manpower from processes related to fault and remediation, says Gartner analyst David Williams.

"Everyone in the industry is looking at these tools to automate remediation processes-the ability to integrate your event systems with your problem help desk systems," Williams says.

Expanding Integration
NetIQ, a company acquired by Attachmate Corp. last year, is integrating Aegis with its suite of systems- and security-management products -- notably its AppManager suite -- and in short order will support those of Remedy, HP OpenView and EMC Smarts, among other third-party IT automation platforms.

"Aegis is a platform for controlling and automating IT processes," said Travis Greene, NetIQ's chief service management strategist. "You begin by modeling your process in a visual designer, very much like a Visio type of environment. Once you've modeled the process, you automate it by leveraging existing tool investments, whether it's systems management, network management, security management or testing tools."

Managers and systems analysts can measure how effective that process is running and look for where the bottlenecks are, Greene adds. "You can make improvements and then leverage those improvements to remodel the processes in place," he says.

Aegis will consist of an enterprise service bus that allows for integration of multiple vendors' existing systems, security and application management tools; a process automation engine that runs workflows; and a Web-based process-visualization tool to allow process owners to collaborate. It also comes with workflow and reporting tools. The key to the platform is a correlation engine that pulls events and data from multiple sources designed to intelligently generate intelligent responses.

"The correlation engine is an interesting thing because when you're dealing with different tools across the environment, they all produce events in different ways," Greene says. "Bringing that information together to make sense of it before you kick off a process adds a lot of intelligence to how it performs its tasks."

Aegis takes on a crowded field of major players including Hewlett Packard Co.'s OpsWare and Remedy Software Inc.'s RealOps.

There are also several still-independent players such as Opalis Software Inc., Optinuity Inc. and Enigmatec Corp., says Williams. "The big difference among them is in integration," he says.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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