Rackspace tool checks the health of clouds

The monitoring technology is designed to let IT admins keep an eye on clouds no matter where they are hosted so they can get alerts for downtime and check on performance.
Written by Jack Clark, Contributor on

Rackspace has introduced a tool to let IT admins probe their infrastructure across the world and spot problems before these disrupt services.

Rackspace Cloud Monitoring, released on Wednesday, is designed to let businesses monitor their IT infrastructure "irrespective of where it's hosted", the company said. This infrastructure includes other clouds or even on-premises systems.

"Our product can monitor basically anything connected to the internet (with an IP address or URL), as long as it's not hidden behind a firewall," a Rackspace spokeswoman said in a statement.

The tool, which uses technology picked up in Rackspace's acquisition of Cloudkick in 2010, will send customers an alert if things are going wrong with equipment, wherever it is hosted. In theory, this can help businesses react to a problem before it turns into a cascading fail, like those that have hit Amazon Web Services in recent months.

In addition, Rackspace customers can use the tool to set policies for scaling up their clouds in the case of unanticipated demand. It will also drill down to get information about infrastructure performance in specific geographic regions and keep an eye on the behaviour of websites, URLs, ports and protocols. 

Rackspace Cloud Monitoring is priced according to the number of things being inspected, and the various locations they are being inspected from. Pricing starts at $1.50 per inspection or 'check' from one zone, and rises to up to $2.50 per check from five separate zones. 

The tool is accessible via a RESTful API and a web interface. It will compete with cloud-monitoring solutions from several companies, including VMware and Cedexis.

Eventually, Rackspace hopes to bring agent-based monitoring into the cloud-monitoring technology so it can reach down to the individual processors, disks and memory components of a business's infrastructure. The company did not give a date for when it expects these features to be worked into the product.

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