Google Continues Its Land Grab In The Cloud With Stackdriver Buy

To give developers another reason to consider its newly spiffed up cloud platform, Google on Wednesday scooped up Stackdriver, a popular service that monitors workloads on the Amazon and Rackspace cloud platforms. Stackdriver, based in Boston in 2012, will join Google’s Cloud Platform team.

Stackdriver makes tools to monitor infrastructure, systems and applications. These can range from reports on CPU usage to analyses on minimizing downtime to predictions as to when you may need more computing resources. Traditional data-center monitoring products weren’t designed for the cloud, and developers have had to cobble together tools to track the elastic and ephemeral nature of applications in the cloud.

See also: Cloud Wars In 2014: Amazon vs. Google And Other Follies

Photo sharing service SmugMug, for instance, uses Stackdriver to monitor the health of its systems that run on Amazon Web Services, including Amazon EC2 instances, elastic load balancing, Dynamo databases, MySQL, CloudSearch, Simple Queue Service message queueing, and the petabytes of photos it stores in S3.

“Before Stackdriver, all of the [five] people on our operations team spent a lot of time trying to get the data that we need in the format we wanted—often requiring custom development or scripting,” Andrew Shieh, SmugMug’s director of operations, said in a testimonial on the Stackdriver site. “Stackdriver made visualizing and interpreting the data easier, and saves the team about an hour a day.”

Googler Toby Smith, senior manager of cloud and infrastructure engineering, raved about the Stackdriver team in a Google+ post. “I’ve been enormously impressed with their domain expertise, their engineering talent, and their clear passion to make the lives of cloud developers better,” wrote Smith, who said he has been working with them for months. “I’m absolutely thrilled that they’re joining our cloud efforts.” 

Google and Microsoft are in an arms race to strengthen their cloud services. Microsoft recently acquired Greenbutton, which built a dashboard for managing cloud applications. Microsoft General Manager Mike Neil said Microsoft liked Greenbutton’s job management capabilities, and its ability to prioritize jobs and manage costs. Greenbutton’s application is closed to new users as it retools it for Microsoft Azure.

In a note on its home page, Stackdriver suggested that it will continue to improve its current products, regardless of their platform.

Anthony Myers contributed to this story.

Lead image of the Stackdriver team courtesy of Stackdriver

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