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McAfee goes with the flow

McAfee, in embracing Unix-based networks, will announce a suite of existing LAN management tools.

McAfee (MCAF) will embrace management of Unix-based networks at Networld+Interop in two weeks.

The company will announce a comprehensive suite of existing LAN (local area network) management tools called McAfee Enterprise, as previously reported by CNET, which will integrate with Hewlett-Packard's OpenView, Tivoli Systems' TME 10, Network General's Distributed Sniffer System, and BMC Software's Patrol.

From a single McAfee console that connects ten management modules, an administrator can manage a LAN or WAN environment via TCP/IP and SNMP protocols. McAfee's products are already integrated with event managers from BMC, HP, and Tivoli as wel as popular SQL databases.

Future integration will revolve around McAfee's Microsoft Internet Explorer and OLE-based console, as well as Microsoft's Distributed Common Object Model (DCOM).

"We're really making some headway in what we're trying to accomplish," said Rick Kreysar, McAfee's executive vice president of operations. "We're just continuing to move up the food chain."

McAfee Enterprise runs on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0. Kreysar noted that the company expects NT-based servers to be the management platform of the future. However, the new McAfee suite also manages Novell NetWare-based networks.

To move up the enterprise with its customer base, McAfee had to address integration with management platforms for Unix networks, according to Dave Cappuccio, an analyst with the Gartner Group market research firm.

"Strategically, it's a good announcement," Cappuccio said. "It's something McAfee had to do. Most of its clients are individual LAN departments now."

McAfee Enterprise includes NT-ssential, the new suite that combines antivirus software with backup and storage management utilities; Saber LAN Workstation, which includes asset and configuration management utilities; Vycor Enterprise, the company's help desk solution; and Remote Desktop 32 for remote desktop control.

The company will also announce its entry into the Internet security market, combining existing antivirus technology with new firewall, authentication, and encryption capabilities. This technology will take the form of Secure-1, a desktop security suite, and Secure Web, a firewall. Those will be bundled with McAfee Enterprise as well.

A portion of the security technology was gained via the recent McAfee acquisition of FSA, a Canadian security software developer, for $22 million.

"They've been very aggressive as far as putting together different pieces of technology," said Brian Burba, an analyst with International Data Corporation. "They're pricing is just so aggressive."

"In time, they're going to make targeting enterprise management platforms such as Tivoli and we'll see how that pans out." McAfee Enterprise will ship September 18. A two-year license is priced at $125 per node for 1000 nodes. Two modules for the Secure Web firewall will ship by the end of the year.