Weaveworks Debuts Weave Cloud for Container Control and Monitoring

After months of availability in the beta test cycle, the commercial edition of the Weave Cloud Software-as-a-Service platform is now generally available.

Weaveworks announced the general availability of its Weave Cloud Software-as-a-Service platform on November 17, providing organizations with container networking and monitoring capabilities.

The Weave Cloud platform first entered public beta in June 2016. As a company, Weaveworks has raised $20 million in funding to date as the company has been building open-source projects that help to enable the nascent market for containers and micro-services.

"When we launched Weave Cloud in beta, the service was based only on Weave Scope, with some limited integration to Weave Net," Alexis Richardson, CEO of Weaveworks, told eWEEK.

Weave Scope is an open-source monitoring and management project for containers, while Weave Net is an open-source container networking effort. Richardson explained that with the initial public beta, users could run Weave Cloud for troubleshooting, visualization and some monitoring of their container and app stack. He added that customers requested more features and deeper integration.

As such, with the generally available Weave Cloud release, there are additional features that were not present in the initial public beta. Among the new features are management and monitoring enhancements for Weave Net, that can help detect firewall intrusions. There also is an integration between Continuous Integration approaches and the runtime, via a new continuous deployment technology in Weave Flux. Flux is an open-source tool built by Weaveworks that helps to turn container images into running Kubernetes services.

Additionally the open-source Weave Cortex project, which provides Prometheus monitoring as a service, is now also part of Weave Cloud. Prometheus is an open-source project that was recently accepted into the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and provides full stack monitoring capabilities.

Richardson explained that Weave Cortex itself is a Prometheus extension, rather than a distribution. He added that the right way to think about Cortex is in terms of Prometheus time series storage and query capability or 'cube'.

"Out of the box, Prometheus can ingest pretty much anything you might care about in terms of your cloud native app and stack," Richardson said. "Cortex goes further by adding high-availability, snapshots and most importantly an effectively unbounded cube stored on disk, so that customers don't have to manage this themselves."

In contrast, Weaveworks has its open-source Weave Scope project which also does monitoring, but is focused on troubleshooting, debugging, and some interactive management.

"Scope doesn't provide alerting, time series or the associated storage and query 'cube'," Richardson explained. "Weave Cloud started with just Scope and by adding Prometheus, now offers very substantial monitoring and troubleshooting."

The Weave Cloud is built and operated using the same technologies that are offered to customers. Weave Cloud currently runs as a Kubernetes application using Docker, and is deployed on Amazon Web Services.

"The idea is that Weave Cloud is itself a killer example of a cloud native app, and uses CNCF and Weave open-source components as much as possible," Richardson said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.