ManageEngine moves network management tools to the cloud

The company has posted a free beta of its OpManager On-Demand service and plans to offer more wares as hosted services over the course of the year

ManageEngine is beginning a transformation this week to offer network management tools SaaS-style.

The company took its first step down the software-as-service path with a free beta of OpManager On-Demand, a service that enables customers to manage servers, desktops, and applications just as they would with the company's on-premise application.

[ Related:  Cloud computing shapes up as a big trend for 2009. ]

ManageEngine also owns the Zoho office, collaboration, and CRM services, and the company is hoping to tap into similar success with its array of network management products. Girish Mathrubootham, a vice president at ManageEngine, says that Zoho passed the 1 million users milestone last year and "is still seeing more and more people come onboard every day."

To that end, Mathrubootham says that throughout 2009, and likely into the future, the company will continue making more of its management applications available via SaaS. Within two months or so, ManageEngine will launch a service desk offering that will provide asset tracking and lifecycle management, he adds.

"We also have plans to offer customers an option to move data from the cloud to on-premise, or vice-versa, if they want," Mathrubootham explains. "That could be a next logical step."

Indeed, analysts at IDC's Cloud Computing Forum this week said that among the chief concerns IT shops express about the model are security, interoperability, and choosing a host that won't go out of business during this recession.