Rackspace launches cloud monitor

Rackspace cloud monitor screenshot

A new Rackspace service will give its customers a better view into how their cloud infrastructure is working around the world, according to John Engates, Rackspace CTO.

Launching Wednesday, the new Rackspace Cloud Monitoring service comes out of Rackspace’s purchase of Cloudkick two years ago. The availability of such services that provide a better view into how a company’s cloud workloads are running is increasingly important as more companies evaluate moving more tasks into cloud infrastructure. The tool will work against Rackspace or any other cloud infrastructure, the company said.

Users can interact with the system either via the API or a new cloud control dashboard which they can use to “spin up monitoring instances, ping their services. Right now it’s just the basics, we’ll add features and capabilities over time,” Engates said in an interview Tuesday.

Engates downplayed any suggestion that the new service will compete directly with Rightscale or other third-party services.

“Rightscale, I think, is primarily for autoscaling your application and the reason they have monitoring is to provide basic insight into how the applications are performing so they can trigger autoscaling events,” he said.

In some ways, the new service does compete with offerings like Pingdom, he said. “That provides some basic uptime availability monitoring through a web interface but it doesn’t really scale well to thousands of instances across clouds,” Engates said. “We’re stripping out the need to go to a web interface and instead giving customers direct access to the engine. The real power here is the API and the automation behind it that customers can use as they want.”

Rackspace also has  a deal with cloud monitoring service Cloudability, but that’s more about tracking cloud costs than giving users a better, more direct handle on cloud performance.

Cloud providers like Rackspace and Amazon — which just unveiled a better way for companies to monitor their Amazon Web Services spending — see that customers really need a better window on what’s going on in their cloud deployments. Offerings like this one are a reaction to that.

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