Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Network Management: IBM "In The Cloud'

Network Management: IBM "InThe Cloud"

Server Management can normally be done with or more recently, without a piece of software deployed on the remotely managed server. The hardware and software performing the management is normally referred to as server management system while the software deployed on the managed servers are normally called "agents".
There are two two traditional options: (1) do it yourself by investing into the hardware, software, and human infrastructure or (2) outsource it with a good analyst interfacing back to the service provider and gague performance through metrics. IBM recently talked up an option based upon the second option.

Option 1: Do It Yourself
Much of the content of this site discusses what is required to "do it yourself". The nuts and bolts of hardware, software, performance, acceleration, software, etc. are all involved. There is a level of knowledge

Option 2: Outsource It
Traditionally, a service provider will provide monitoring by containing management hardware and software in a data center with secure connections to a customer's data center. Pricing is sometimes difficult to gauge when going into a request for proposal.

Virtualize It
Take the management station and stick it in the internet somewhere. Seems to be related to Option #2, since most outsourcers  already provide web interfaces into their management systems and reporting, but we have yet to see the specifics on it. Here is IBM's latest offer with Tivoli "in the cloud".

The web-based Tivoli Live supports monitoring of 25 to 500 nodes...

A "Touchless" option monitors devices and operating systems (Windows, Linux, AIX, Solaris, HP-UX) using an agent-less Tivoli Monitoring 6.2.1. That goes for $44 per month per node.

Meanwhile, An agent-based OS and application monitoring option uses IBM Tivoli 6.2.1 and IBM Composite Application Manager for Applications, costing $58 per month per node.

IBM charges $14 per month per service extra for historical trend analysis, plus performance and capability reporting.

The service also requires a rather steep one-time $6,500 setup fee per customer for "on-boarding costs." Service contracts are a minimum of 90 days and run from one to three years.
This looks like a fine example of the outsourcer outsourcing their infrastructure to provide a service to a customer.

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