One of the hottest categories of tools to help manage your cloud computing deployment has been optimization and price performance services that recommend how you can more efficiently use cloud resources. Up until now, however, these services have been focused on public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services and Rackspace.
This week, Cloud Cruiser launched a cost optimization and comparison service that spans both public and private clouds. The Hybrid IT Cost Advisor will tell end users when it's more cost efficient to run workloads in the public cloud compared to on premises resources.
As adoption of cloud computing resources continues to pick up, analyst William Fellows of the 451 Research Group believes there will be increased need for these types of services. "Users expect to be able to make rational decisions about how and where to run applications and tasks based upon workload profile, policies and SLA (service level agreement) requirements," he wrote in an e-mail.
"As the worlds of outsourcing, hosting, managed services and cloud converge, the options (of where to run workloads) are growing exponentially." Some savvy users may be able to optimize their own cloud deployments using tools from their service providers. Others may opt for an independent third-party tool. Many cloud gateway companies, which provide the ability to provision and manage workloads across multiple clouds, have this capability as well.
Cloud Cruiser helped pioneer this market category after being founded in 2009 by former HP executive Dave Zabrowski. Other companies in this area include Cloudyn and Newvem, the latter of which was purchased by Datapipe. RightScale is an example of a cloud gateway company that provides management functionality and some recommendation features to optimize IaaS cloud usage.
Cloud Cruiser's Hybrid IT Cost Advisor first supports Microsoft public and private clouds, but the company plans to roll out the service for private clouds from VMware, Cisco as well as OpenStack later this year. Cloud Cruiser already supports most major public cloud providers.
So when should a workload run in a public cloud vs. a private cloud? Generally speaking, Zabrowski says that workloads that are very dynamic — meaning they change the amount of resources that are used frequently — are a better fit for the public cloud. More stable workloads that do not change resource utilization are generally a better fit for the private cloud. SaaS applications have less of a need for optimization tools because they're usually fixed priced, he notes.
Cloud Cruiser's system works by monitoring usage via API logs from public cloud providers and analyzing if correctly sized virtual machines are being used. It also factors in past usage and future usage predictions. The system is priced based on the amount of IT spend under management and starts at around $4,000 per month.
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