Cloud computing may have an irresistible appeal to those who want access to a big data center without building one. But Hyperic thinks being able to see into the cloud will give the wary IT manager an added incentive to sign up.
Hyperic launched a beta Web site, www.cloudstatus.com, Monday that reports on Amazon.com's cloud computing services, such Elastic Compute Cloud (E2C) and Simple Storage Service (S3).
Amazon itself gives its customers a signal on the health of the cloud -- it shows a green light for each of its five services. "That only tells you the service is available. It doesn't tell you anything about its performance. We regard that as extremely deficient. We took it on ourselves to help Amazon," said Javier Soltero, CEO of the San Francisco startup.
Instead of showing a green light all the time a service is up, CloudStatus will try to provide more information using the green, yellow, and red lights. Hyperic will seek feedback from users of cloudstatus.com on when it should post a yellow light to warn customers of a cloud computing service's deterioration. Hyperic plans to add a cloudstatus.com reporting service to its regular product, Hyperic HQ, when it's issued in its Version 4.0 in the third quarter, Soltero said.
The red light will be used if an Amazon cloud service were to go down, as the S3 cloud did in one of its three regions Feb. 15. Amazon acknowledged on Amazon Web Services Developer Connection that there had been a massive internal server outage.
Making use of cloud resources would be more popular if the customers had an independent means to monitor cloud services, he predicted. "We plan to shine a bright light into that dark room," he said. In addition to the Elastic Cloud Computing and S3 storage services, Hyperic monitors SimpleDB, Simple Queue Service, and Flexible Payment Service, all offered by Amazon.
Hyperic plans to add the monitoring service to other cloud offerings later this year. Google's online applications are a logical CloudStatus monitoring target. As if they were anticipating Hyperic's launch of CloudStatus, Google's application hosting service went down for several hours last week on June 18.
Salesforce.com's online applications are another potential cloud service that Hyperic can add at a future date, Soltero said. Soltero announced the CloudStatus site at the O'Reilly Velocity Conference in Burlingame, Calif., on Monday.