Updated: Newvem, which promises to watch your Amazon Web Services usage for you and recommend ways to get the most mileage out of rented compute and storage, is now ready to charge for its services.
Large enterprises will negotiate their own deals, but for smaller accounts the company will offer free services until the customer goes over 50,000 AWS resource hours per month. Then it charges a cent or two per additional resource hour depending on usage. According to Newvem’s price list, there are additional fixed-rate charges for more advanced analytics of S3 storage or EC2 reserved instance use.
One service the company is particularly proud of is tracking AWS usage by department or business function within a large organization. “Amazon itself is very horizontal — it’s just infrastructure — they’ll tell you how many instances and how much storage you use all in one bill. What we do is let you slice and dice Amazon resources against your divisions — no one else can do that,” said Newvem president Zev Laderman. (Update: For the record, Cloudability disputes this, saying it offers similar services.) “If you have R&D and engineering and manufacturing folks and want to tie all AWS usage to each unit to make sure they’re consuming it properly, if there are security issues or vulnerabilities with how ports are setup, if you want to charge-back from a central unit, you can do all that.”
It’s getting crowded in here
There are a dozen or so companies in this AWS stalking market and they all claim to do what the others cannot. Cloudability, which now says it monitors $250 million in cloud spending, charges customers a percentage of their overall cloud spend after a free 30-day period. Dublin-based CloudVertical offers similar tiering. Cloudyn offers basic services for free, then tiered pricing for more advanced services above that. There will be more third-party analytics and reporting services coming down the pike.
One newbie is New York-based CloudAware, an AWS consultancy that has done monitoring and analytics work for AOL, Sony and Reed Elsevier (see disclosure) and is now looking to sell a service based on that work. CloudAware will provide a service that alerts management, via a news feed-like feature, to any changes in configurations to AWS resources, said CloudAware CEO Mikhail Malamud. “If someone launches a firewall change and that change is on a non-standard port that will kick off an approval request,” Malamud said.
Mission: Making AWS less inscrutable
These Amazon partners all fulfill a need by enterprise customers to get a better grasp on what many see as a black box. For one thing, Amazon services are billed as cheap and easy, but cheapness is all relative. At least one Amazon expert experienced unexpectedly high charges moving S3 data to Amazon’s cheaper Glacier data archiving service for example. So there is a real need for services that monitor and alert customers about their AWS usage.
Nuances aside, these companies all compete with each other. But probably more worrisome longer term for the startups in this space is that Amazon itself keeps adding deeper and broader billing and analytics capabilities. Offerings like its Trusted Advisor service, now in beta and more granular billing, are eating away at territory these small companies have staked out.
The next year or so will, for sure, be an exciting ride for partners in the Amazon ecosystem.
Disclosure: Reed Elsevier, the parent company of science publisher Elsevier, is an investor in Giga Omni Media, the company that publishes GigaOM.