IBM Metering Software to Help Customers and IT Outsourcing Providers Track and Bill for Computing Usage

New Virtualization Engine Offering Allows Outsourcing and Internal IT Providers to Meet Service Level Agreements
(PresseBox) (Armonk, NY, ) IBM today announced new software that assists customers in virtualizing their entire technology infrastructure by tracking the use of computing assets across different types of systems.
The software also supplies companies and IT outsourcing providers with a simple method to bill internal departments or individual clients for the amount of computing they actually consume.

IBM's new Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager -- incorporating technology from IBM's January acquisition of CIMS Lab -- takes its cue from how utility companies meter and bill for electric, gas, oil and water consumption in homes and commercial buildings.

The software provides a Web-based interface that meters and bills technology use, allowing customers to measure their virtual server, storage, network, software, middleware and e-mail “consumption” by company, department or even individual. It then allows for billing of that use to either outsourcing clients or to individual departments inside a company.

“A key inhibitor to widespread adoption of virtualization is the ability to track usage and accurately allocate costs of a shared infrastructure to internal departments, or in the case of IT outsourcing providers, to charge their clients for the amount of technology they are consuming," said Rich Lechner, vice president, Virtualization, IBM. “This software solves that problem and allows clients to make smarter spending choices in the future based on usage patterns.”

The Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager is designed to simplify how IT outsourcing companies track virtualized data centers used in outsourcing engagements, and accurately bill each of their clients. The software allows for virtualization of shared servers, and it eliminates the need for outsourcing companies to provide separate servers to each customer to help meet service level agreements.

The software is also aimed at individual companies who manage their own virtualized IT by providing a simple way to bill internal departments that use shared computing resources. For example, a marketing department may have increased usage during a particular month because of a special promotion, and the IT department can accurately bill them for increased computing needs. The software also aids in the planning of future upgrades, consolidations and purchases of new information technology.

While virtualization allows for once-departmentalized infrastructures to share resources, many clients have struggled with how to account for usage and bill departments to justify their current technology budgets.

The IBM Tivoli Usage and Accounting software can:

Evaluate computing usage trends and apply actual billable costs to each
computation and department;
Provide a simple way to show clients how a service provider is measuring
and meeting service level agreements in IT outsourcing engagements;
Indicate, based on usage trends, where dedicated and shared resources
should be placed for clients with locations in multiple geographies;
Measure utilization across various hardware, operating system,
applications and other technology resources, to help clients decide how
to consolidate departmental servers and computer equipment into a
single, seamless infrastructure easing future IT spending decisions; and
Provide comprehensive and customizable usage and trend reports on server
and storage use, database transactions, printer outputs and network
traffic, among others.

The Salt River Project, the third-largest public power utility in the nation, is using the technology to capture computing resource usage which helps its employees and internal departments manage their technology budgets and plan for future resource requirements.

"By using this tool, we are saving a considerable amount of money and we are seeing better functionality across our system," said Salt River Project computer analyst Kimberly Jones. "From a technical standpoint, the Usage and Accounting Manager is doing a great job."

The software is part of IBM's IT service management offerings, which automate and simplify the way companies manage clients infrastructures.
With IT service management, companies can handle IT processes the same way they manage business processes, which helps improve efficiency, effectiveness and agility.

The IBM Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager is currently available through IBM or IBM Business Partners for IBM x86 servers and the mainframe. The IBM Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager will be available for System p server later this year. Pricing for the IBM Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager for System X begins at $599 per server and $75,000 for mainframe customers in the United States.

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IBM Deutschland GmbH
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Christine Paulus
IBM Deutschland GmbH
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