A statement issued jointly by the companies last month, said, "The decision to terminate the purchase was made by mutual agreement."
The reasons for the decision are unclear. However, a senior source within Agilent commented, "Some people may look at the Rmon probe at the heart of NetMetrix as old generation technology with no future upgrade path and this may have affected the possible sale."
Agilent's NetMetrix division (formerly HP OpenView NetMetrix), which includes software and hardware tools for network performance monitoring, data collection and billing, has been adopted by a host of leading companies, such as trading house Charles Schwab, British American Tobacco and Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical organisation.
Clarifying concerns on continued support for the NetMetrix product line, a spokesperson for Agilent's communication solutions group said, "Support will continue for the foreseeable future while enhancement requests from users will be dealt with case by case. However, we're clearly looking at offering service layer solutions with next generation technologies such as Firehunter.
"As networks become more complex, IT managers increasingly need to look at the user experience and how services are being delivered as opposed to monitoring individual devices."
Mat Hanrahan, an analyst at Bloor Research, said, "Although NetMetrix appears to be being sidelined in favour of a new product, Agilent is a healthy company and should be more than capable of honouring its existing support agreements."
This was first published in January 2001