Circonus, Eucalyptus Team on Business Analytics for Private Clouds

Circonus and Eucalyptus Systems are teaming up to provide enterprise-grade monitoring for private cloud projects. Under the partnership, users gain real-time access to a range of metrics to maintain SLAs, performance and ongoing health for business-critical operations of private cloud and virtualization resources.

Tags: private cloud, virtualization, cloud management. Circonus, Eucalyptus,

circonus_metricsCirconus and Eucalyptus Systems are teaming up to provide enterprise-grade monitoring for private cloud projects.

Under the partnership, users gain real-time access to a range of metrics to maintain SLAs, performance and ongoing health for business-critical operations of private cloud and virtualization resources.

“Circonus believes it is important to know what to monitor, how to monitor, how to respond, and even what not to monitor,” James Sivis, vice president of sales and marketing at Circonus told IDN. “The key to this is to understand how physical and virtual resources connect to the business impact.”

"We assemble data across all types of resources and create deep business-level monitors to verify each [resource] can complete critical business operations.."

James Sivis
Vice President Circonus

With Circonus, IT can monitor both physical and virtual endpoints, including servers, apps, databases and metrics for IT and business.

Under the covers, Circonus provides critical business metrics, monitors and trending – to ensure business SLAs,” Sivis added. “We assemble data across all types of resources and create deep business-level monitors to verify each individual server is up, has enough disk space, that an application is listening, check that the web server is serving the page that it is supposed to serve and that users can complete critical business operations, such as being able to sign up to receive email communication.”

In specific, Circonus gathers data from various sources and maps that data to business impact -- in real time or to gather trends. This lets Circonus to help customers:

 

  • Develop private cloud blueprints for pooling compute, storage, and network resources;
  • Stay on top of the performance for internal and external cloud-based services and resources through dashboarding and visualization;
  • Anticipate cloud performance issues (QoS, Sla, etc.) through trending, as well as be alerted in real time.


Inside Circonus' Approach to Business-Critical
Monitoring, Alerts for Private Clouds & Virtualization

While some cloud providers offer some built-in monitoring, the true end-to-end visibility they offer is often insufficient, Circonus CEO and co-founder Theo Schlossnagle added. The new image may resolve low performance or an outage, but it doesn’t identify the root cause of the problem. 

At Circonus, cloud monitoring and management often times is reminiscent of the old problem of not being able to see the forest for the trees.

Schlossnagle explained it this way: “When people look to monitor their clouds, we find many in IT are simply fighting the wrong battle because they’re just looking at a lot of metrics on paper. It’s not about individual metrics from individual resources, rather it should be about gathering and using lots of data to discover how your systems’ performance metrics line up with business performance or customer satisfaction.” 

Once a private, public and hybrid cloud is deployed, a company must also ensure that its cloud services meet SLAs and don’t suffer poor response times or outages, he said. Any and all data from cloud or hybrid environments is boiled down to what is important for operations issues. Having data in this way tends to help avoid outages and improve operations over the long term, he added.  

Schlossnagle also pointed out a common “gotcha” for companies moving from physical to cloud that the Circonus/Eucalyptus partnership will address.

“Migration to cloud can really highlight why silos are bad,” he said. In the pre-cloud days, when IT needed a resource, they might have to wait and wait or even be denied because of cost. With cloud, IT can often spin up new resources by themselves without a lot of wait or expense.  But, such self-service  convenience can come at the cost of not getting deep analysis on how your live systems performance is affecting the business, Schlossnagle said. 

For example, Schlossnagle said, “Just because your disc may be running slow, it doesn’t mean you have to make it fast. The answer about whether it’s worth the effort only comes when you correlate that information with other related data to paint the overall picture of how your business is running.”

Painting such a data-driven picture is also important for ecommerce projects, especially those that traverse web, legacy and private cloud resources, Schlossnagle added. “Companies often monitor disk and transaction performance, but there is so much more they should be looking at and trending to make sure they are running an effective business system,” he said.   

In this ecommerce example, Circonus gathers data from dozens, even hundreds of IT and business operations. Sample metrics include: visitor queries, how long systems take to respond and how many they can support at one time, as well as load balancers, page loads, revenues per transaction/visit, number of new users, etc.

Further, Circonus uses the data to develop real-time monitoring alerts and trending information and provide business graphs, trends, reports, real-time alerts and even fault detection analysis. With the Circonus architecture IT isn’t required to use multiple tools on one system.

Circonus is based on the open source Reconnoiter (developed by OmniTI) for SaaS system monitoring, trending, visualization, fault-detection/alerting and reporting.

This theme of mapping IT metrics to business outcomes is shared by Eucalyptus. “Our customers rely on us to provide scalable and secure cloud resources that meet their evolving business needs,” said Eucalyptus vice president for marketing David Butler in a statement. By partnering with Circonus, we are able to add additional value by enabling our customers to do real-time dashboarding, alerting, and analytics on their IT and business operations, in private cloud or hybrid cloud environments.”




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