Veritas has launched a service aimed at helping companies get more out of their data centre investments by checking for problems and advising on ways to fix them.

Veritas Operations Services, which is free to customers of Veritas Storage Foundation and Veritas Cluster Server, is an agentless data collector that essentially spiders its way through server configurations, storage interconnections, storage arrays and database configurations to look for incompatibilities and other problems, according to Veritas, a subsidiary of Symantec.

Veritas Installation Assessment Service, which is available as a free download, was created "to help customers make better use of their storage investments," said Sean Derrington, director of storage management and availability at Symantec.

He said, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering can "help organisations move from a reactive management model to a proactive management model."

One benefit of the service is that it doesn't require businesses to add another layer of software to an already deep application pool, Derrington said. "Organisations don't have to install an agent that will have to monitor the environment. This collects the information, and then there's nothing left behind" to clean up, he said.

Users can target where they look for system problems, such as a single server or a collection of servers, Derrington said.

The information is sent back to Symantec in a spreadsheet file where it can be evaluated, then is returned to the customer with a report about how to fix problems that were revealed, he said.

The product went into beta use in October 2007,and has been generally available since May, according to the company. About 500 users have been running it and providing feedback for improvements.

Symantec is formally announcing its availability now, Derrington said. "This is something we've been relatively quietly working on with some of our key customers," he said.

Also available is a Storage Foundation Health Check service, which identifies configuration errors so they can be repaired.

Veritas Installation Assessment Service is also available to non-Veritas customers starting at $500 (approx £334) per physical server, according to the company.