Next-generation Cloud Monitoring

This post was originally written by Bob Quillin, CEO of CopperEgg.

The traditional enterprise monitoring vendors have a hard time moving their solutions into the cloud and supporting inherently hybrid environments. Bob describes what comes next for IT monitoring solutions.

It’s no surprise that cloud computing is growing at a rampant rate – no news there, but the real revolution has been happening behind the scenes as a broader and broader base of organizations worldwide is pushing cloud infrastructure harder than ever before to drive new levels of innovation, to accelerate their business, and to save money. These users have an ever-increasing set of demands – for speed, simplicity, quality of service and value – demands that the first generation of cloud application and server monitoring tools just can’t provide.

Enter the 2nd Generation

One of the reasons I joined CopperEgg was that it became clear to me that they are at the forefront of a second generation of technology companies who are enabling this mass adoption, through SaaS-based solutions that are smarter, faster, easier, more unified, lighter weight, and more accessible than the previous generation of cloud monitoring tools. Most organizations that have developed and are operating their web applications, complex websites, or Web 2.0 properties are using some combination of tools like Nagios, Ganglia, CloudKick, NewRelic, Pingdom, Graphite, and the list goes on. Users hate most of these fragmented tools, and the tools they actually do like are either too expensive or too complex for everyday use. And they tell us that every day.

Faster: Seconds not Minutes

The Big Data, NoSQL architectural advantages being leveraged by leading web and social media sites and services have now worked their way into a new breed of cloud and website monitoring companies who use this same infrastructure to measure performance and deliver results in seconds not minutes. In a continuous operation where code deploys happen many, many times a day, you can’t wait minutes for a problem to be detected. At CopperEgg, we measure our own web and user activity second-by-second and just like our users, we need to know immediately when something goes wrong and where that problem is located.

Smarter: Analytics + Classification = Cloud Intelligence

When you combine data analytics with relevant classification you are able to create information, insight, and visibility – all key elements of cloud intelligence. Even better, combine that with automation from DevOps tools like Chef from Opscode and you are able to seamlessly combine how you deploy servers (through Chef recipes and cookbooks) with how you want them monitored, resulting in automated monitoring that follows your servers as they are created, updated, and recycled. Tagging servers and instances based on their function, location, OS, or application tier unlocks the value of analytics further by automatically applying appropriate logic for analysis, alerting, and problem resolution.

Unified: Integration over Fragmentation

First generation cloud monitoring tools were siloed and one-dimensional, leaving users with a hodgepodge of views and fragmented visibility, struggling for a more unified perspective. CopperEgg has built a platform for real-time processing and analysis that today integrates views across Windows, MacOS X, multiple flavors of Linux, and FreeBSD systems and across hosted environments including Amazon EC2, Rackspace, private data centers, and any variety of public cloud providers. And that’s only the beginning.

Easier: Painless, Friction-free

Earlier generation cloud monitoring options were based primarily on open-source alternatives that allowed the user to get some of what they wanted for little or no software cost. The costs piled up though in human pain and effort plus the cost of dedicated systems – all required to configure, host, maintain, and operate a set of tools that were merely adequate at best. But these were the only choices for many years if you wanted to try to see what you needed to see at the resolution and frequency required. This new generation of tools are SaaS-based, so we have already paid the price to stand up and host a service that’s painless to try, test, install, operate, and expand or contract on demand. Throw in free trial options to try before you buy with a full-featured version for a limited number of systems forever, and the friction and frustration that early web monitoring tools have engendered starts to fade away.

Lighter Weight: Up in Seconds

On-premise, enterprise-centric management tools have been notoriously complex to setup, install, configure, and use. Not an option with this new generation of users. The window to evaluate a solution to a problem is now – often when the problem is happening. And the ability to respond to new features and customer needs is also now – so agile, continuous delivery is essential to maintaining a continuous flow of value to the customer and competitive advantage in the market. And these users are vocal in their needs, so it’s imperative that you have a platform – not just a point product – that enables rapid response and agility.

More Accessible: Small to Large, Only Pay for What You Use

Too many existing tools have been out of reach for a wide swath of customers who are seeking simpler to use, easier to maintain, and more affordable monitoring solutions than the first gen tools out there today. If your hosted solution is on-demand and paid for per hour, your monitoring solution needs to follow that model. Consistent utility, pay-for-use pricing allows you to cost-effectively monitor your infrastructure and apps as your instances spin up and spin down – and you only get charged for what you use. All our customers ebb and flow throughout the day as their instances spin up and down, and our pricing fairly reflects how we’re being used. Also, CopperEgg doesn’t target just developers with complex apps and doesn’t require code insertion or system surgery to provide value – the ever broadening base of web properties worldwide demands simple, quick, and valuable solutions that integrate together and scale if and when the customer scales.

I’m excited to join CopperEgg and look forward to hearing from you all. Let us know what you need and when you need it – we thrive on your feedback and want to help you grow and thrive.

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  1. Chris 17. Aug, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    I guess another second generation example is Cloud Manager. It is a small but efficient smartphone app that unites management and monitoring of differnt cloud services under one hood with a simple user interface. Hybrid cloud, here we come! http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cloud-manager/id547963274

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