NetIQ Secure Configuration Manager was one of the first products in the policy management space. It is also the most feature-rich solution tested. This application can manage workstations with several operating systems (Windows, Linux, and Unix), as well as servers such as Linux, Unix, Windows and even AS/400 systems.
The software offers server pre-built policy templates that include common device configurations as well as compliance templates for some legislation. The Secure Configuration Manager allows for vulnerability checking through the installed client agents to determine if the endpoint appears to have been compromised.
But even with the well-thought out design of the installation, we experienced some difficulty getting the product to install completely. If the installation failed, little information was given to explain why this had happened.
The documentation is provided in a single PDF document that is indexed and searchable. The well-written document is easy to follow and provides information about most common uses of the product, as well as a walk through of the installation process.
NetIQ offers a number of flexible support options. The company's website has a very nice knowledge base, which is accessible to everyone, as well as paid support options that include phone and other premium offerings.
NetIQ Secure Configuration Manager comes in at the extremely high end in terms of cost per unit of the products tested in this review.
However, the solution is feature-rich. While this might not be appropriate for every endpoint in an enterprise, it is a good tool for servers and key workstations.
For: Tremendous number of features and good support for a large number of operating systems
Against: The cost may be prohibitive to use this product for every endpoint
Verdict: NetIQ Secure Configuration Manager is loaded with features, and is a well-designed application.