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Network Associates Splitting Up

Some of us were puzzled by the union in the first place. The partners had lofty goals of combining their enterprise desktop and network management, but both companies were better known for point products. Network General built its reputation on Sniffer, which became synonymous with network analysis. The merger with McAfee seemed to dilute its Sniffer line and distract it from its core competency.

While Network General and McAfee were trying to make their merger fly, WildPackets, Network Instruments and other rivals introduced low-end analyzers that evolved into high-end, remotely accessible probes. Still, Sniffer has a loyal following, and its constituents will be watching the spin-off for some product invigoration. Indeed, it will be interesting to see what Network General does with its product line, which includes app-monitoring and network-management products. We hope the newly focused company gives us reason to get as excited as we did when we dug into that first trace file.