Home Cloudkick Broadens its Scope: Now Monitors the Datacenter

Cloudkick Broadens its Scope: Now Monitors the Datacenter

Cloudkick is a cloud monitoring start-up that helps system admins manage cloud servers. Today, the company announced it is getting physical, bringing its cloud monitoring capabilities to internally hosted servers and virtual machines.

The company has had a lot of success in helping companies who startup in the cloud and start to achieve scale. It already has a host of hot startup companies including Posterous, Bump Technologies, and Urban Airship. Through listening to users, the company decided to offer local server support to merge its view of all server assets for these organizations.

What is CloudKick?

Cloudkick enables a company to manage internally hosted servers and run the Cloudkick’s agent and report into the same console as your cloud computing infrastructure from AWS, RackSpace, SliceHost and others. When installed, the CloudKick agent will respond to status checks from the Cloudkick monitoring solution, which itself is a distributed cloud application. Cloudkick supports a host of cloud provider solutions and shares a report of feature.

We met with the company at their offices in San Francisco. Upon entry to the warehouse, called “The Farm” near the Mission District, we realized that was a true technology startup, founded by system administrators trying to make their jobs easier. The team participated in Y-Combinator and has received an initial capital infusion by Avalon Ventures.

The Cloudkick system offers consolidated server reports and shows server events by polling registered clients in cloud (and now data centers) and piping them to Cloudkick’s multi-tentant event aggregator.

The tools are modeled after administrative tools like Cacti, Nagios, and Munin, but are delivered on on top of an agent-driven real time view of the underlying assets of server infrastructure.

When checking out the demonstration, we also noted that the browser is updated in real-time as events are polled. This keeps the information fresh without having to re-check and brings the best of browser based real-time communication to system administrations.

Cloudkick’s implementation is simple and elegant. The young company is demonstrating product leadership by living the mantra of simplicity and utility.

Here’s a sample of the graphs from CloudKick’s feature inventory.

Monitoring Every Server

The goal of this release is to bring servers from the datacenter to power of cloud monitoring. It allows a larger and larger region of infrastructure to rely on outside controls to monitor it’s health and well being.

One feature we we intrigued by with Cloudkick was the ability to tag and filter groups of hosts, and to then set rules across them. For example, tagging all servers “web apps” allows a rule to quickly set custom rules for checking up time.

The company offers an API for its services and uses 2-legged OAuth for API authentication. OAuth is “an open protocol to allow secure API authorization in a simple and standard method from desktop and web applications.”. The company also offers a proxy service that streamlines and secures the connections for hosts that will connect to the Cloudkick services.

Cloudkick is a cloud company monitoring clouds and shows us in many ways the architecture of the future. In one of the blog posts from company, they share “love affair with cassandra” and how multi-master database technology is an enabler for co-location of server assets in infrastructure clouds.

Where does Cloudkick go from here?

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