IBM has bought CIMS Lab, which makes resource-tracking software for virtual networks, for an undisclosed sum.

It is Big Blue's twelfth software acquisition in the last year, and will see it pick up more management tools for its Tivoli division. The deal will equip IBM with technology to gather data about IT resource usage from multiple sources, such as servers, storage, networks, databases, applications and operating systems, and attach a financial value to it.

The CIMS Lab technology collects the data and associates a cost with it. As such it can "help companies more easily understand how their technology resources are being consumed", specifically across virtualised environments, IBM said.

CIMS Lab will be integrated into Tivoli under the direction of general manager Al Zollar. "Keeping tabs on IT costs is daunting for any organisation facing a maze of platforms and systems that traditionally have been tracked separately and manually," Zollar said. "CIMS Lab software helps companies take control of their IT costs - a key advantage of IT service management.”