As enterprises move to the cloud, the need for monitoring and management of applications will become increasingly important. A new effort from a pair of commercial open source vendors is now ramping up to take on that cloud management challenge.
Cloud technology vendor Eucalyptus System is partnering with networking monitoring vendor GroundWork Open Source in a new beta effort called GroundWork Monitor Enterprise Cloud. The new cloud solution aims to provide enhanced cloud monitoring and management capabilities.
Though both GroundWork and Eucalyptus have open source versions of their products and the pair are now soliciting users to participate in a beta program, the cloud monitoring solution itself is not entirely open source.
"GroundWork Monitor Enterprise Cloud is a hybrid solution that includes some open source components and some proprietary components," Simon Bennett, senior director of product management at GroundWork Open Source told InternetNews.com.
The result yields an offering that aims to provide users with the ability to visualize their cloud-based application availability and performance.
GroundWork Monitor Enterprise Cloud relies heavily on the contribution of Eucalyptus, which provides technology that enables enterprises to build and leverage private and public cloud infrastructure.
"Detailed monitoring and management of private cloud applications can give Eucalyptus users important real-time information to increase productivity and reduce costs, Eucalyptus Systems CEO Marten Mickos said in a statement. "Through our partnership with GroundWork Open Source, Eucalyptus open source users and Enterprise Edition customers can now benefit from a proven, open source solution to monitor private clouds as part of their overall network environment."
Mickos recently joined Eucalyptus as CEO and was previously best known as the former CEO of open source database vendor MySQL.
GroundWork's Bennett noted that the Eucalyptus solution allowed his company to deliver cloud-level capacity monitoring right out of the gate. He added that in his view, delivering an equivalent feature for Amazon EC2 would be quite challenging given the currently available public APIs.
"More broadly, the lack of a widely adopted, unified cloud monitoring API that supports multiple underlying hypervisors is still an issue," Bennett said.
While GroundWork is partnering with Eucalyptus as part of the pair's cloud solution development, it isn't limiting itself to Eucalyptus's commercially supported version. Eucalyptus offers both a freely available community edition in addition to the commercial supported version.
"We intend to support the widest range of private cloud solutions including Eucalyptus Community, Eucalyptus Enterprise Edition and Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud," David Dennis, senior director of marketing and business development at GroundWork Open Source, told InternetNews.com."These solutions share common technological underpinnings, but we believe appeal to different target audiences and cloud use-cases."
Eucalyptus is a key open source component of the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud, which is part of the Ubuntu Linux distribution. Ubuntu is currently gearing up for its next major release, codenamed the Lucid Lynx, which is set to debut at the end of the month -- although its users may have to wait for GroundWork to make its way to the new distro.
"We haven't tested [Ubuntu Lucid Lynx] yet, but we plan to support it," Dennis said.
Providing cloud monitoring and management capabilities is increasingly becoming a competitive space, with Dennis seeing traditional datacenter monitoring solutions adding cloud capabilities to their existing product line-ups.
"The dynamic, fluid nature of large-scale cloud deployments will tax some products due to the frequency of change that is likely to become the norm," Dennis said. "Some platforms, notably EC2, are adding native monitoring capabilities to their platform (ex. CloudWatch). We believe these offerings are complementary to an application-centric approach to availability and performance monitoring we are taking."