IBM Grabs CIMS Labs' Virtualization Tools

Looking to strengthen its virtualization technology, IBM on Wednesday acquired CIMS Labs of Roseville, Calif., a maker of software that keeps track of a variety of IT resources, including servers, databases, e-mail and applications.

Explaining the reasoning for the deal, IBM officials said by giving IT shops the ability to gain a more accurate view of software and hardware usage, the better they can determine how virtualized resources are being used and what their costs are.

More specifically, CIMS' software is intended to help a larger shop figure out how much usage should be billed back to each of its departments, which, in turn, can it them better allocate future IT spending, according to IBM officials. The software is also well-suited for those shops deploying a services-oriented architecture (SOA), tracking and billing for IT usage as services travel across a large and dispersed infrastructure.

"We see this as an important addition to our virtualization portfolio of hardware, software and services," says Rich Lechner, IBM's vice president of virtualization. "Customers want to take [better] advantage of virtualization technologies to make it simpler and less expensive to optimize computing systems across an infrastructure."

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Lechner says IBM plans to ship CIMS' product with IBM Director as well as integrate it with IBM Tivoli's core products as part of an accounting and chargeback bundle.

Another reason for doing the deal is IBM's anticipation of a more rapid acceptance of virtualization technologies; based on a recent survey, market researcher IDC predicts spending on virtualization will grow to about $15 billion worldwide by 2009. The survey also showed that more 75 percent of all companies with 500 or more employees will deploy virtualized servers by that time.

The deal, made for an undisclosed sum, calls for CIMS Lab to be integrated into IBM's Tivoli unit. IBM and CIMS have had a relationship dating back to 2003, when the latter was an IBM business partner. Over that time, the companies have worked jointly with 150 IT shops worldwide, according to spokespeople from both companies.

CIMS says its product is used 170 organizations worldwide.