April 16, 2009, 10:25 AM — Managed service provider Azaleos Wednesday introduced a remote monitoring service for Microsoft SharePoint that covers the server and other necessary infrastructure.
The 24-hour service is designed to keep SharePoint up and running for those who do not have or cannot afford to hire in-house talent.
The service is similar to the one Azaleos began offering in 2005 for Exchange, although the company will not be providing a SharePoint appliance with the software pre-installed.
Azaleos SharePoint Services draws the line at maintaining SharePoint and supporting infrastructure including Microsoft's SQL Server and Data Protection Manager (DPM), Web application servers, and SharePoint add-ons such as Excel and InfoPath forms. The management and monitoring will not stretch to content management, Web site maintenance or access control lists.
The service monitors 2,000 data points from SharePoint Server, Internet Information Server (IIS) and SQL Server, as well as related storage and network infrastructure.
Azaleos covers system architecting, deployment and configuration; testing and installation of patches; backup via data-prevention management; monitoring of links and applications for assured availability; and health maintenance of data stores and storage hardware.
"For us it is perfect fit because we don't have to have full-time employees that have deep SharePoint expertise," says Chris Buri, CIO and vice president of information services for Hitachi Consulting.
Buri, who oversees the firm's internal systems, is beta-testing Azaleos SharePoint Services and plans to roll it out. The company uses the Azaleos Exchange managed service. "If anything happens with SharePoint, they find out about it often times before we notice something is starting to go a little off the rails."
Buri has a SharePoint administrator and developer on staff, but he says Azaleos fills a role as his SharePoint engineering talent.
Azaleos is offering its SharePoint Services as a virtualized architecture, but also can monitor physical deployments or VMware-based virtual machines. The base configuration is designed for Windows Server 2008 on Hyper-V.
As part of the release, Azaleos issued a report it commissioned with Osterman Research that found labor costs around SharePoint on average are $45 per user per month, and that 25% of organizations are finding it difficult to find qualified personnel to manage SharePoint.
Azaleos SharePoint Services starts at $15 per user per month.
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