Sun Microsystems has launched a collection of remote data centre management services which it promises can deliver increased server uptime.
The services enable an organisation to outsource part of the data centre maintenance. Update Connection will take over the patching and upgrading process, and Connection Services will monitor system performance to diagnose hardware problems at an early stage.
Part of Sun's quarterly roundup of product announcements, the services will be revealed at a company event later today in Washington, DC.
Following Sun's acquisition last January of Seven Space, the new service will be able to manage hardware from all server vendors. Customers must have at least some Sun hardware when they sign up.
The updating service solves a major problem for IT staff, who often fail to keep up with available patches and updates.
"Very often [an IT department] does not update until they have a problem and they call our support. We'll tell them that an update has been available for quite some time," Larry Singer, a senior vice president for vertical industries strategy and marketing at Sun, told vnunet.com.
"In the meantime they suffer an outage or lack of availability problem that could have been prevented."
Similarly, the Connection Service can detect that a memory board is starting to overheat. It will offload the work to a different machine, take the unit offline and schedule for maintenance to deliver and install a replacement.
Because the services promise to prevent major problems by catching them early, Sun expects to lower the costs for its support organisation. It will pass on the savings to customers.
"The more [customers] allow us to manage, the lower their costs will be," said Singer.
The company has not yet announced pricing. The Update service is slated for availability later this month, and the Connection service will be available this autumn.
The services hold a middle ground between an organisation managing its own servers and traditional outsourcing.
Because Sun's offering involves the centralised management of servers, it offers economies of scale not available through traditional outsourcing, the company claimed.
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