February 25, 2003

American Fidelity Assurance Doubles DBA Productivity Rate Using NetIQ SQL Management Suite

Allows Skilled DBAs to Focus on More Technical Projects


Press Release

SAN JOSE, Calif.

From large enterprises to mid-size companies, managing databases remains a challenging and important task that can have far-reaching effects on the cost, performance, availability and integrity of mission-critical applications. One company that is successfully managing its database environment is American Fidelity Assurance (AFA), a leading insurance provider headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla. According to AFA, it doubled the productivity rate of their SQL Server database administrators (DBAs) using NetIQ® SQL Management Suite™ from NetIQ Corp. (Nasdaq: NTIQ), a leading provider of Systems Management, Security Management and Web Analytics solutions.

"We selected the NetIQ SQL Management Suite because it provides the most complete package for managing our SQL Server production environments," said Tom Thurston, database administration manager at AFA. "Implementing and using the solution was also easy because it installs on the DBA's workstation instead of on the server, therefore, I don't have to worry about it causing a performance hit on the SQL Server."

In recent years, AFA has added several new applications that draw on SQL Server including a document archival and retrieval system, a customer relationship management application and a check reconciliation system. The new applications have critical performance requirements but personnel resource limitations made it challenging to keep up with the higher workload.

With SQL Management Suite, the DBA team at AFA automatically tracks key SQL Server metrics that were manually done in the past, as well as metrics in a number of SQL Server areas that they didn't have time to even consider. DiagnosticManager™ for SQL Server identifies thresholds that exceed set limits and sends an alert to the DBA team so issues can be addressed before they affect SQL Server performance or end user productivity. The time saved by the DBAs from not having to manually track performance problems now lets them focus on other areas of improving SQL Server performance and availability that require their creativity and in-depth SQL Server knowledge.

"We were able to immediately take advantage of the functionalities in SQL Management Suite. We started using DiagnosticManager to monitor SQL Server for index fragmentation, excessive page splits and other areas that can cripple SQL Server performance," said Derrick McNeill, a SQL Server DBA at AFA. "For example, with index fragmentation, the tool has helped us find the perfect balance between fragmentation and reorganization. We know we need to do reorgs and with DiagnosticManager, we now know the best time to perform them to give us the best overall SQL Server performance."

AFA employs many developers and, in the past, ran into problems where someone would install software or make changes on a server that interfered with a production application. ConfigurationManager™ for SQL Server allows them to report on change events across all SQL Servers. It automatically sends notification when any changes have been made in database schema, setting, security, server hardware, operating system configuration and other areas across all their servers keeping the DBA team aware of changes in the environment. AFA plans to leverage the corrective action capabilities of SQL Management Suite to provide them with even greater time savings. "We feel that we have just scratched the surface of this solution," said Thurston. "SQL Management Suite is just what we need to manage more databases without having to increase our staff. It handles the routine tasks allowing our skilled DBAs to focus on projects that require their creative and technical skills."

About NetIQ SQL Management Suite

NetIQ SQL Management Suite-which consists of AppManager® for SQL Server, DiagnosticManager for SQL Server, RecoveryManager™ for SQL Server and ConfigurationManager for SQL Server-is the industry's most comprehensive solution designed to improve the production operations of Microsoft SQL Server. NetIQ's solution allows DBAs and IT professionals to improve the performance and availability of their SQL Server databases as well as simplify its administration through automated operations, granular data recovery and configuration management.

About NetIQ

Founded in 1995, NetIQ Corporation (Nasdaq: NTIQ) is a leading provider of Systems Management, Security Management and Web Analytics solutions. Historically focused on the Windows management market, NetIQ now delivers cross-platform solutions that enhance business performance, resulting in higher returns on infrastructure and Web investments. NetIQ products are sold across all continents directly and through a network of authorized NetIQ partners and resellers. The company is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with development and operational personnel in Houston, Texas; Raleigh, N.C.; Bellevue, Wash.; and Portland, Ore. For more information, please visit the company's web site at www.netiq.com or call 888-323-6768.

NetIQ, SQL Management Suite, DiagnosticManager, AppManager, RecoveryManager and ConfigurationManager are trademarks or registered trademarks of NetIQ Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners.

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