Given the rising popularity of software as a service in businesses this year, it's important that cloud-computing providers such as Amazon Web Services, Google, Salesforce.com and others have a healthy ecosystem of supporters.
Add Hyperic to the list. Hyperic, which bills itself as an open-source provider of Web infrastructure management, on Aug. 20 began supporting Google's App Engine cloud-computing service with its CloudStatus software.
CloudStatus is a free service that monitors cloud-computing environments to let IT managers track service availability, latency and throughput for cloud-based infrastructure and Web applications. CloudStatus provides reports on these activities so admins can determine the root of any performance issues or changes within their computer systems.
Hyperic first launched CloudStatus in June with support for Amazon Web Services, arguably the godfather of cloud-computing infrastructure with its EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) and S3 (Simple Storage Service) offerings.
There is a major business shift to the cloud, or Web-based computing, where customers pay providers to host and power their applications so they don't have to buy the servers, storage arrays and other gear necessary to run their business processes online.
While cloud platforms from AWS, Google, Salesforce.com, Coghead (a Hyperic customer), Etelos, Elastra, Bungee Labs and others abound, management tools to support these platforms are scant. RightScale, based on AWS, and Hyperic count themselves as the two top cloud management providers.
Hyperic hopes to further capitalize on the SAAS shift by providing CloudStatus for App Engine.
The initial release will let users monitor the health and performance of App Engine's infrastructure, including the DataStore, Memcache and global network connectivity, Jon Travis, Hyperic's principal engineer, told me.
CloudStatus uses management plug-ins to collect measurements that give administrators and developers insight into the health of the App Engine platform.
Hyperic today also introduced the first cloud-specific management plug-in for its flagship product, Hyperic HQ, which allows admins to pinpoint, then correct and problems in hardware, networks, cloud environments and applications.
The HQ plug-in, also free, extends the monitoring and management capabilities of Hyperic HQ to let App Engine users gauge the performance of their own custom applications running in the cloud. Or proprietors of a blog site could use HQ to determine how many blog entries were posted in a given month.
"You're going to be able to pull the metrics out of App Engine and export them to Hyperic HQ," Travis said.
HQ comes as a free open-source version and a licensed enterprise version, for which Hyperic charges more for additional scale, automation perks and security features.
Travis declined to say what cloud platform vendor Hyperic will support next with CloudStatus, but they did promise they wouldn't stop with AWS and Google App Engine. My guess is support for Bungee Labs, Salesforce.com and others will come to fruition as the service matures.
Cloud management services will become increasingly valuable as more and more companies adopt AWS, App Engine and other providers' services; it will be incumbent on IT admins to look into solutions that do this automatically.
Whether you're using on-premise or SAAS to prop up your business, service reliability is still crucial. You want to know what's going on in your environment. Current cloud-computing providers don't typically cover that, so solutions from Hyperic will be important.
Now whether or not App Engine is adopted enough to make Hyperic's management assets valuable is another question. Until Google extends App Engine to other programming languages besides Python, all bets are off.