The technology industry’s current stance on cloud computing appears to now be steadfastly focused some distance beyond the core creation of new datacenters and the overall proliferation of virtualized service-based computing. Cloud is here, we get it… now we want to know how to look after it, monitor what we do in it and manage what it can do for us. The challenge is, can we see through the layers of confusing ‘cloudbabble’ that circle around all the software tools and platforms in this space to really understand what’s going on?
All the major cloud infrastructure vendors have their own cloud scrutinization, inspection and supervisory offerings, but that hasn’t stopped dedicated cloud monitoring players coming to market. Among the new breed of firms claiming to have carved out a ‘unique’ (always a dangerous word to view with maximum scepticism) technology offering in this space is SignalFX.
The company has to-date raised nearly US$60 million in funding and offers a cloud ‘streaming architecture’ that ingests, processes and analyzes the massive amounts of data that stream through the cloud at low latency from what is now millions (in reality, thousands) of distributed systems. In simple terms, cloud is becoming more compartmentalized and specialized, so we need monitoring tools that can handle this new maelstrom of complexity.
Troubleshooting, triage & tuning
Essentially SignalFx is a set of cloud monitoring tools to provide troubleshooting (looking for areas where misconfiguration or anomalies could kill cloud performance), triage (businesses running large distributed cloud systems will need ‘observability’ to know which parts of the system are most likely to fail or overload next) and tuning (cloud needs a significant chunk of retooling and maintenance to keep it going and working effectively).