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I wandered lonely as an unmanaged cloud service

Would you be suspicious if a piece of software claimed to be the first product capable of monitoring the “entire” enterprise infrastructure, bridging the gap between the data centre and the cloud? Would you be suspicious if a company told you that Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce etc.
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Written by Adrian Bridgwater on

Would you be suspicious if a piece of software claimed to be the first product capable of monitoring the “entire” enterprise infrastructure, bridging the gap between the data centre and the cloud? Would you be suspicious if a company told you that Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce etc. were suffering from management and monitoring gaps and that their product filled those holes?

Well this is the line that some web application performance monitoring vendors are seeking to take in an attempt to proffer forth their wares. Manage with our product - they say – and a bright new world of scalable cloud-facing IT deployment becomes possible securely managed right alongside your internal infrastructure.

IDC predicts that spending on cloud services will reach US$42 billion in the next five years and that it will capture 25 per cent of IT spending growth by 2012. To meet these growth expectations – says IDC - adopters of cloud services will need additional tools and updated deployment strategies to succeed.

According to the analyst firm’s latest ‘impartial’ (but possibly externally funded) survey respondents’ top concerns for adoption include performance level assurances that, “Support the need for new monitoring and management tools to help ensure the success of these deployments.”

Of course, cloud computing and virtualisation technologies are comparatively new beasts on the evolutionary computing scale – and data centre managers from Wolverhampton to Wisconsin are probably having sleepless nights over server sprawl and the precipitation slowly dripping down their necks from the company’s latest cloud computing directives and goals.

Moving from the fixed capacity (at any given time) of the data centre to the interstate multi-lane application traffic freeway on the cloud clearly demands management if it’s going to be cost effective and work well in terms of data throughput, capacity handling and still retain the ability to be fine tuned. But the solutions that vendors are producing to address these issues are being sold with what smacks slightly of ‘hey guys – this is all really new complex stuff so you need us’.

Whether I am being fair or not, companies in this space include Hyperic who say that their product can take server deployment time down from days to minutes. The company says that its product is currently managing over 3,500 VMware and XenServer virtualisation deployments. Also referred to as ‘private clouds’, these environments consist of both physical and virtual servers and typically support high rates of change as virtual servers are easily added, subtracted or moved to improve server utilisation and maintain service levels.

Once again with see this kind of thing, this is probably excellent technology, but I feel it’s guilty of a little oversell. I know the market is burgeoning and everyone wants to get a slice of the pie, but please… a little more gentle alto stratus and a little less hurricane force mushroom cloud please.

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