Following the wave of interest in cloud computing, Web infrastructure management software provider Hyperic Inc. has launched a free service that reports on the health and performance of cloud computing environments, starting with the family of Amazon Web Services, or AWS; including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, or EC2; and Simple Storage Service, or S3.
"About six months ago, we saw that our customers were starting to operate in the cloud, and were looking for management infrastructure," said Stacey Schneider, senior director of marketing at the San Francisco-based Hyperic. "The problem with the cloud is that you can't see the infrastructure, and that disconnect causes a lot of confusion."Monitoring the cloud
Hyperic's CloudStatus is a hosted monitoring service that itself runs in the cloud. From there, CloudStatus provides real-time visibility into the cloud's actual performance. "We are benchmarking the performance of the cloud – inside and outside the cloud, across the cloud, from different geographies – and tallying up response averages for our customers," Schneider said. The initial CloudStatus service is free, but over the coming months, Hyperic will also offer personalized feeds to individual Hyperic HQ customers based on their specific cloud-resident applications. The approach has given Hyperic knowledge about the status of Amazon's EC2 that others lack. In early June, for example, Amazon's EC2 suffered from an outage, which manifested as the entire Amazon website going down. But thanks to its own Hyperic instances running on Amazon and reporting back to Hyperic, "we knew for certain that it was just the website, not the cloud itself," said Schneider.
Providing visibility into the cloud should alleviate potential customers' concerns about hosting applications there. "People like the idea of getting scalable performance from a trusted provider like Amazon or Google [App Engine]," she said, but need better visibility into it. "They say, 'I'm not going to go there if I can't see why it isn't working.' "Over the coming summer months, Hyperic hopes to add management into other clouds such as Force.com, Google App Engine, and Mosso, which already uses Hyperic internally.