IBM Offers Hosted Tivoli Monitoring for the Midmarket

IBM is offering a hosted version of its Tivoli monitoring software for companies that would rather pay a subscription fee than license the product for on-premise use, IBM was set to announce Tuesday.

The service, called Tivoli Live Monitoring Services, lets companies keep tabs on between 25 and 500 IT resources, such as servers, operating systems, virtual machines and applications. It is targeted mainly at midsized companies, as well as departments within larger organizations.

Businesses need to be warned if an important application is about to crash or slows down, and services like this aim to achieve that by sending an alert to IT staff when server memory gets low, for example, or the response time for a Web page drops below a certain level.

The IBM service comes in two versions. One uses software agents to monitor operating systems, virtual machines and applications such as databases or packaged software such as Microsoft Exchange. That service costs US$58 per month for each resource monitored, IBM said.

The other is an agentless service, priced at $44 per resource per month, for monitoring hardware devices, operating systems, Web sites and SNMP alerts.

Both services carry a one-time setup fee of $6,500 per customer. IBM is also offering an optional reporting service, for a monthly fee of $15 per resource, which provides historical data for tasks such as troubleshooting and predicting capacity needs.

"It's all about delivering enterprise-grade monitoring capabilities to clients without them having to deploy hardware or configure software," said Dennis Quan, director of development for autonomic computing with IBM's software group. "They can sign up for Tivoli Live Monitoring Services and all the monitoring smarts live up in the IBM cloud."

IBM started offering the service in the U.S. last month, according to a company blog post, although it didn't announce it until Tuesday. The service is also being offered in other markets, starting with Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa and the Nordic countries.

It's the latest move by IBM to try to boost sales of its software through the cloud. IBM offers several products on Amazon Web Services, and last week it made Tivoli Monitoring available on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud to track instances of its software running on that service.

IBM officials have admitted that their Tivoli Express products for the midmarket "haven't done as well as they could have," and the on-demand model provides IBM with another way to reach smaller businesses, RedMonk analyst Michael Coté wrote in a blog post about the new service.

"The challenge for Tivoli (and IBM in general) is always moving down-market and understanding how to get their fingers deep enough in that pie," he wrote. He commended IBM for being open about its pricing.

Several smaller companies already offer hosted monitoring services, such as Accelops, InteQ and ManageEngine, which is part of Zoho. Larger vendors, including Microsoft and BMC Software, are also developing services or have them already, Coté said.

The IBM products behind the services are Tivoli Monitoring 6.2.1, Tivoli Monitoring for Microsoft Applications 6.2, and Tivoli Composite Application Manager for Applications 6.2.

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