Customers of Amazon Web Services (AWS) can now get free, real-time performance metrics through a site called CloudStatus.
The service from system management software vendor Hyperic is now in beta. It will initially provide metrics for AWS services such as the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Simple Storage Service (S3) and SimpleDB.
Amazon provides a "service health dashboard," but the site only provides static information about status levels, such as "service is operating normally," "performance issues" and "service disruption."
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In contrast, CloudStatus, which is built with Hyperic HQ, the vendor's Web infrastructure management platform, provides more granular reporting in real time, such as ongoing query performance for SimpleDB, or the throughput levels available on S3. The site renders the data in charts to show performance changes over a period of hours or days.
Down the road, Hyperic plans to target other cloud computing platforms, including Google's App Engine, and add more detailed metrics. It also plans to develop subscription-based services, where customers can mash their own application performance data with the CloudStatus information, creating a "global view," according to a spokeswoman for the company.
The service should help AWS customers who are having a problem determine where it lies before calling the support line, according to Stacey Schneider, senior director of marketing.
"We're going to be able to give you that next level of diagnostics and insights so you can connect the dots. Is it my application or is it the cloud?" she said.
Efforts like this will help drive further adoption of the cloud computing model, according to one observer.
"Getting third parties involved in the ecosystem who monitor and manage the cloud is key to moving the concepts forward beyond the early adopters, who are fine with rolling their own management tools," said Michael Coté, an analyst with Redmonk. "As more and more people use a new technology, of course these newer people want add-on services like management."
CloudStatus is a basic monitoring service, "rather than a full fledged layering on-top of EC2 to provide full configuration, updating, and more management," he noted. "It's just a start, but there is a nice degree of sophistication in it."