IBM is hoping to convert small and medium businesses into users of its Tivoli systems management by offering it as an online service.
Tivoli Live Monitoring Services can monitor and manage from 25 to 500 resources, such as server operating systems, applications, and devices.
The goal of such monitoring is to identify impending bottlenecks and do something about them before they affect business systems. With the service, "even the smallest IT departments" can spot such trouble brewing and do something about it, said Al Zollar, general manager of IBM Tivoli, in the announcement Dec. 8.
When Tivoli detects a problem, such as an application running out of memory or CPU cycles, it sends an alert to IT operations and displays information in a dashboard. It can be programmed to automate certain tasks in response to problems.
"IBM is delivering our smartest data center software in which businesses may choose and pay for what they need," said Zollar in the announcement.
The Live Monitoring approach still requires a $6,500 setup fee to get the service in a position to monitor a customer's internal systems. It can monitor servers running IBM's AIX, HPUX, Windows and Linux. It can also monitor the IBM WebSphere and Oracle WebLogic application servers and Microsoft .Net middleware.
The monitoring takes two forms. One is "touchless," with no agent installed on the monitored systems. The other is distributed monitoring by agents which report back on operating system and application operations. The touchless service results in a charge of $44 per month for each resource monitored; the distributed monitoring is $58 per month per resource. A historical performance reporting service is $15 a month.
Tivoli Live Monitoring can monitor virtual machines running under VMware ESX Server, Microsoft's Hyper-V, Citrix Systems XenServer. It does not yet cover virtual machines running under open source KVM or Xen. The IBM response, "not yet," on the question of KVM and Xen may signal intentions to eventually do so.
Live Monitoring can also monitor Oracle databases and Web servers, Microsoft SQL Server and Sybase database systems. It monitors SAP packaged ERP applications, but not Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, or Siebel Systems applications.
The distributed monitoring also covers Microsoft Exchange Server, BizTalk Server, Active Directory, the IIS Web server, Sharepoint Server and Windows Cluster Support.
Through the Live Monitoring Service, customers are gaining access to services from IBM Tivoli Monitoring 6.2.1, Tivoli Monitoring for Microsoft Applications 6.2 and Tivoli Composite Application Manager for Applications 6.2.