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Cloudkick Moves (Quickly) Into the Hot Hybrid Cloud Market

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Cloudkick, a San Francisco-based cloud monitoring startup, today launched Hybrid Cloudkick, an extension to its cloud-monitoring service that brings non-cloud servers into the fold. The company is moving pretty fast with a major upgrade just a few months after releasing its flagship service to the public, but rolling out new features fast is a hallmark of cloud startups.  And with businesses looking for easy and low-risk methods for cloud adoption, anything “hybrid” is sure to draw some eyes.

The service’s key feature is that it lets users monitor both dedicated servers and cloud servers (from several leading providers) using the same API, and from a single dashboard. Those dedicated servers can be on-premise or colocated, physical or virtual. So, for example, Rackspace (s RAX) customers running both managed and cloud servers could use Hybrid Cloudkick to monitor the entirety of their virtual infrastructure. Rackspace itself doesn’t even offer hybrid computing or management between its services (although GoGrid does), so a hybrid monitoring service, at least, could be particularly appealing to those customers.

Another key feature is the Cloudkick Proxy, which adds security to the communication between dedicated servers and the Cloudkick service. This will be especially important to enterprise customers, which tend to be more leery about cloud security than are some of their smaller counterparts. In fact, Cloudkick had larger customers in mind when it developed the proxy feature, as co-founder Alex Polvi told me Hybrid Cloudkick is aimed at users managing 500-plus servers, who likely were using multiple monitoring tools in the past. Co-founder Dan Di Spaltro told Om in January that the flagship Cloudkick service targets users in the 10-100 server range.

As with its main service, though, Cloudkick isn’t operating without competition in the hybrid monitoring space. The field actually is quite small, but recent CA (s CA) purchase Nimsoft is another third party offering single-pane-of-glass monitoring of internal and external resources, and cloud provider Voxel just announced a similar capability for its customers. But while comparatively speaking, Cloudkick lacks both corporate backing and an established track record, it makes up for those deficiencies with two attributes that many of its web-startup customers will appreciate — a narrow product focus and an open source pedigree.

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