A startup called Paglo has launched the public test of a different kind of search service, one that helps an IT team see the hardware and software that’s connected to a company’s network.

The Palo Alto, Calif. company first released its search tool, which is available as a free online service, in private testing mode last November. Paglo tells CNET that it has already been used by 800 companies, and targets customers with between 50 and 1,000 employees. Paglo’s search can be used, for example, to learn how many computers have Microsoft Office installed (to make sure the company isn’t violating the licensing agreement), to see which users have what administrative privileges or to just get a list of all devices connected to the network.

VCs are pouring real money into this market — Splunk, another IT search engine, has raised a total of $40 million in three rounds. Splunk is already available in both free and pay versions, which sounds like the business model that Paglo describes to CNET.

But Splunk seems more focused on logs, messages and other data, while Paglo says its crawler offers “universal search.” Also cool are Paglo’s “share-its,” which allow users to share searches, alerts and dashboards, which creates the opportunity for more IT collaboration.

Paglo was founded by Brian de Haaff and Chris Waters of Network Chemistry, who sold Network Chemistry’s wireless security business to Aruba Networks last July and used the funds to refocus on IT search.

Update: De Haaff tells me Paglo has been seed funded by a few angel investors and venture firms, including Innovacom, the venture arm of France Telecom.

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