April 29, 2009
Monitoring the Cloud
An interesting article by Bob Scheier about monitoring cloud computing systems. I was interviewed for this story but my comments didn't make it in.
He makes a distinction between cloud providers of "infrastructure as a service", such as Amazon, Co-lo facilities, and SaaS, such as Salesforce.com. I think that is a usefull distinction in general, and especially in the monitoring area. If you ware monitoring an application, you don't want or need to get into the guts of the servers and infrastructure, that is the whole point of SaaS. They monitor it. In my comments to Bob, I asked him why would you install monitoring software to monitor SaaS? Just so you can log a ticket with the SaaS vendor? Because you can't control availiblility on your own, so spending money on your own monitoring software for it is questionable.
In the article however, he brings up some good points about the benefit of monitoring availability of SaaS services as the ability to negotiate with the vendor based on their SLA agreements. You might get some ROI there. And for some of the utility computing on-demand models, you may need monitoring systems, as they are your servers, just in a different location.