IBM has acquired Intelliden, a network automation software vendor, and will integrate the company's technology into its Tivoli Software group.

Intelliden was founded in 2000 by former WorldCom executives, to make technology that automates configuration of network devices such as hubs, routers and switches. This capability will be crucial as data centers adopt virtualisation and cloud-based services, IBM said.

"Analysts estimate that more than 60 percent of network outages are caused by manual configuration errors," IBM said in the acquisition announcement. "By acquiring this automation technology, IBM aims to help clients improve network service availability, decrease risk through compliance reporting and improve staff efficiency."

Intelliden's software is used by telecom companies, service providers and other enterprise customers, including Cbeyond, Scotia Capital, Telecom Italia and TELUS.

Intelliden recently released iAudit, a free cloud-based application that checks network device configurations against guidelines set by vendors such as Cisco and Juniper. Intelliden's products also include software that automates management of operating systems in multi-vendor networks; automation of network change and configuration management; and dynamic provisioning of network resources.

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. IBM said its software group has acquired more than 50 companies since 2003.