Users may be clamoring for a management environment that supports all of their network protocols – SNA, IPX, SNMP, IP and so on – bandwidth and security, but vendors are in no hurry to sell anybody one application when they can sell half a dozen or more instead. At least CheckPoint Software Technologies Ltd’s MetaInfo unit believes under-one-hood management is the holy grail the industry should be pursuing, even if it admits it’s still years away. MetaInfo, the IP management company which firewall leader Check Point paid $22m for back in April (CI No 3,389), says giants such as Computer Associates and Tivoli have paid only lip service to IP management thus far and expects them to buy and partner rather than build their way into the market. All the while, MetaInfo is gradually expanding its services further and further into organizations’ IP – domain name system – infrastructures and is working on bonding its management scheme to its parent’s firewall software under a single console. It’s addressing the market for corporates with 25,000 TCP/IP seats and up, not ISPs. It keeps track of users on the network and their IP addresses, currently a cumbersome and difficult task, the group argues. The Windows NT-based Meta IP comes with an LDAP database – versus rival Quadratech’s Sybase – DNS, Radius and DHCP services plus its proprietary user-to-address mapping service. This matches networked users to their IP addresses and provides a record of which can be used by any other type of security and management program which executes user policies, including the Check Point firewall. MetaInfo says it jumped up to the enterprise with release 4.0 of the product; it’s currently at version 4.1. It manages Bind 4.x and 8.x-compatible DNS services on HP-UX, Solaris, AIX and Linux from NT through service clients. Meta IP 4.5 program, due to ship in the first quarter of next year, will include DNS, DHCP and radius services that run on the same platforms, plus Novell. It includes additional reporting features. MetaIP 5.0, which will manage more IP infrastructure, is due in the third quarter of next year. The 42-strong MetaInfo unit claims 7,500 customers. It points to Meta Group research forecasting that IP and DNS management will be a $350m market by 2000. Its competition includes American Internet Corp, which was bought by Cisco earlier this year, and Quadritec, acquired a few weeks ago by Lucent.