The optimism for cloud computing is ebullient. But a problem is brewing in the fevered boil.
Customers need better ways to monitor performance. Deploying to the cloud is one matter. Monitoring in a way that optimizes deployment is a whole other issue. Every cloud service provider has a different dashboard. Deploying to multiple cloud service providers means monitoring multiple dashboards.
Today the company announced that its service is now commercially available, supported by cloud computing services that include: Rackspace Cloud, Amazon EC2, Linode, GoGrid, Slicehost, RimuHosting and VPS.NET.
Large IT organizations may have the manpower and expertise to manage cloud services but small and mid-size companies do not have the same capabilities. This is critically important as companies shift to outsourcing IT assets.
This trend is rapidly taking shape. Gartner predicts that by 2012, one in five companies will outsource its IT assets. Companies like Cloudkick faciliate this move by providing a level of service on top of what is provided by companies like Amazon and Rackspace.
Cloudkick provides a unified API that allows a view into the performance of the provider. For example, a customer can see all their servers in the cloud, turn them on and off at will and receive notifications through email or voice mail.
Competitors could include companies like RightScale and potentially the service providers. But Cloudkick appears to be the only company that focuses solely on monitoring performance.
Interestingly, Cloudkick has also recently emerged as a tool for scrutinizing the performance of cloud computing service providers.
Earlier this month, Cloudkick looked at network issues on Amazon servers. Cloudkick discovered problems that had started before Christmas. For the record, Cloudkick hosts its application on the SliceHost service owned by Rackspace.
For its part, Amazon said it does not have issues with over capacity.
Nonetheless, the story points to the important role that service providers can play in this emerging market. With more scrutiny it only follows that there should be better service by the providers.