NetIQ Security Manager
Strengths: Large-scale, fully customisable deployment for monitoring networks of any size
Weaknesses: Difficult to deploy and manage, akward user interface, minimal reporting capabilities
Verdict: The NetIQ Security Manager is best deployed as part of the overall NetIQ network management package to get the best value from it
In our experience, the implementation of this product is no walk in the park. The Security Manager is a small part of a much larger complete security solution by NetIQ. Deployment of this product is massive, with dozens of pre-install steps to be completed on each of the different machines necessary for full deployment. This includes configuration of a database server, a log database computer and a central computer.
Once you get over those difficulties, Security Manager has many attractive features, including real-time event management, log management and intrusion detection and analysis. It also creates many useful charts and 3D graphs that come in handy when analyzing network security issues. The product's integration with other NetIQ modules adds to its feature set.
A lot of the reports and charts generated by this product are pretty ordinary. Security Manager mostly shows alerts in the form of lists or simple bar charts. We found this to be confusing to follow, and it was sometimes difficult to locate information that was needed quickly.
Documentation for this product comes in three forms: an installation guide, a user guide and a programing guide. All three manuals are fairly large and contain few diagrams and illustrations. These more traditional manuals include set-up checklists and step-based instructions. While clearly worded, these tomes can be overwhelming, and you may be forgiven for becoming confused while navigating through all the pre-installation or configuration checklists.
NetIQ provides many support options for its customers. During the trial evaluation period, free support is offered via phone and email, as well as a free knowledge base on the NetIQ website. After the trial, NetIQ offers annual support plans on two levels, which include various support options to fit the client's needs.
The overall cost of this product is far more than just its price. It is difficult to deploy, hard to manage and does not organize information in the most efficient way. We rate this at an average value for money due to its large capability and relatively low price tag balanced against deployment and overall lifetime cost of ownership.