Novell is buying e-Security, a maker of security information management and compliance monitoring software, for $72 million.

e-Security's flagship Sentinel 5 product will provide a single, real-time, cross-enterprise view of hacker attacks and other security violations, said Novell chief executive Jack Messman. Novell already sells security and identity management software such as Novell Identity Manager, eDirectory and SecureLogin, alongside its flagship, the SuSE Linux operating system and related products.

Novell will start selling Sentinel 5 in May, with new versions of it - and Novell's software - available this summer, assuming the acquisition is approved.

Buying e-Security will add $20 million in revenue over the next 12 months, said Messman, adding that the deal had been in the works "for some time. We just happened to get it done today."

He declined to comment on whether Novell plans to buy more companies and in what areas.