The rise of cloud-based services has caused many companies to evaluate whether it makes sense to have their applications and data hosted by an outside service provider. IBM has put a new spin on the trend by offering companies a cloud-based service to monitor the health of their data centers.

The company this week introduced an offering called Tivoli Live Monitoring Services, delivered on the IBM cloud. It essentially allows companies to outsource the performance management of IT resources, including virtualized servers, middleware and software applications. IBM says the offering is aimed at organizations that are looking for sophisticated monitoring capabilities, but without the need to deploy hardware, purchase separate software licenses, or engage in extensive software configuration.

“With digital information as the lifeblood of more organizations, even the smallest companies or divisions consider the data center’s functionality mission-critical,” IBM Tivoli General Manager Al Zollar said in a statement announcing the service.

The service is designed to help organizations identify and address potential outages and bottlenecks that threaten application availability. When a potential problem is detected – such as running out of resource capacity – the service automatically alerts IT operations and displays the relevant information in a dashboard. The service can also be configured to automate certain tasks to “self-heal” the system.

IBM says companies can select the services they require, such as monitoring per operating system and/or application, with pricing based on the services obtained. A one-time monthly setup fee is charged.

IBM has been moving aggressively in recent months to prove it is a serious contender in cloud computing. It announced this week that it is opening an 80-person research laboratory in Hong Kong that will focus on collaboration technology for cloud-computing applications. The lab will operate as an arm of its 5,000-person Chinese software development lab.



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