Novell's eSecurity buy marks trend toward consolidation

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Novell is aiming to boost its integrated security management capability with its recent purchase of e-Security, Gartner said today. According to the analyst firm, the move highlights a growing industry trend of a vendor of security information and event management technology being acquired by broad-scope vendors.

Last Wednesday, Novell announced that it has acquired e-Security, which provides security information and event management (SIEM) technology, for $72 million.

"The acquisition of e-Security by Novell continues a trend toward consolidation within the SIEM market as small, privately held companies are bought out by large, broad-scope vendors with substantial development and sales resources. We expect further consolidation as organizations demand greater integration between enterprise security management tools, including identity and access management (IAM) and SIEM," said a briefing written by Gartner analysts Amrit T. Williams, Roberta J. Witty and Mark Nicolett.

The study also pointed out that, although point-solution vendors have led in technical innovation, market requirements favor large companies with broad-scope product integration, such as Computer Associates, Cisco Systems, IBM Tivoli, Symantec, NetIQ and Novell.

Novell has stated that it intends to sell e-Security's Sentinel software package as a stand-alone SIEM technology. In the near term, however, it will focus on localization, repackaging and branding efforts, followed by integration with Novell IAM products and technologies, the Gartner report predicted.

Novell intends to integrate Novell Identity Manager, Novell Access Manager and Novell eDirectory with Sentinel through Novell Audit, the analyst firm noted. The integration will extend these products' capabilities beyond collecting events to include an instantiation of IAM policies within Sentinel, enabling users to establish a baseline for evaluating events.

Gartner expects that this integration should be relatively straightforward, since a basic design point of SIEM technology is integration with external data sources.

"Gartner believes this is a good acquisition and will likely place Novell in a very competitive position in the SIEM market. But Novell also faces several challenges. To remain competitive in the SIEM market, Novell will need to retain e-Security development, sales and sales engineer expertise and continue to enhance the network security event management aspect of Sentinel -- an area which is not within the core competency of Novell," the briefing said.

Current e-Security customers are advised by Gartner to expect a shift in product and development efforts to focus on integration with the Novell product line, but notes that Novell has committed to meeting e-Security's product development commitments.

"Nevertheless, you should request product road maps and guarantees in those cases where future functionality was to be delivered by e-Security. Move to strengthen current support and service contracts to ensure any outstanding issues are resolved as part of current support agreements," Gartner advised.

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