Quest Software snaps up Vintela for $56.5 million

Quest Software this week acquired Vintela, a maker of software that lets Windows administrators manage heterogeneous platforms using Active Directory.

Quest Software Inc. this week acquired one of two start-up companies that use Microsoft's Active Directory to manage heterogeneous environments.

Quest bought Vintela Inc. for $56.5 million in cash. The deal is expected to close late in the second quarter or early in the third quarter of this year, executives from Quest said. Microsoft is a minority stakeholder in Vintela, which has several software packages that let IT administrators apply the same policies to a Unix or Linux servers they would to any Windows server.

Centrify Corp .in Mountain View, Calif. is the other company that, like Vintela, manages authentication of different network directories from the Windows platform.

Analysts agree that Vintela will be an asset to Quest, which is headquartered in Irvine, Calif. "Quest has a long history of working in heterogeneous environments, so this is a feather in their cap in demonstrating their continued work in this area," said Jeremy Moskowitz, an independent analyst based in Wilmington, Del.

Vintela is a technology company that provides links between Microsoft's Operations Manager and Systems Management Server software, Active Directory, and the Linux and Unix world. But it's a small company without a means of broad distribution, said Peter Pawlak, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft, a Kirkland, Wash., consulting firm. In contrast, Quest has hundreds of its own direct sales representatives.

"[Vintela] counted on Microsoft to bring work to them," Pawlak said. "[Quest] has the ability to broaden their reach."

Microsoft itself benefits from the acquisition because it means that Vintela technology will continue to be strongly supported. Managing heterogeneous platforms requires a sophisticated knowledge of Unix and Linux which is not something Microsoft can provide, said Dave Wilson, chief executive officer at Vintela in Lindon, Utah. "They made a strategic decision not to do this when they made an investment in our company."

There is little overlap between the products of both companies. Quest has not yet decided whether the Vintela technology will remain separate or will be integrated into Quest products. It's likely that products from both companies may be bundled, according to David Waugh, vice president of product management at Quest.

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