Dear Joe: How Can I Monitor Amazon, Google Clouds?

I hear this question a lot. As I.T. entrepreneurs move workloads from on-premises servers out to public clouds, a lot of folks are shifting their attention from established on-premises monitoring tools toward cloud-centric monitoring. Software vendors are taking similar steps. But ultimately, the big cloud providers may beat them to the punch.

A case in point: Google Cloud Monitoring -- built on the Stackdriver buyout -- is gradually gaining the capability to monitor and manage both Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services from a single dashboard. Oh my, part I.

Now, imagine if Google Cloud Monitoring extends its capabilities to help you monitor and manage Microsoft Azure, Rackspace Cloud, IBM Softlayer and other third-party clouds. That would be OH MY, PART II -- all capitalized.

So far, Google Cloud Monitoring for AWS and Google Cloud Platform supports the monitoring of overall services health, usage, uptime, performance and support incidents. 

Bigger Picture: Opportunities & Threats

Read between the lines: Google -- and perhaps its public cloud rivals -- may deliver a single dashboard for monitoring third-party cloud services BEFORE traditional IT monitoring companies can extend their wares from on-premises to true cloud monitoring. Further complicating matters: Even if the traditional IT monitoring companies have cloud options, you can bet they'll face branding and pricing (i.e., freeware) challenges from Google.

Still, there's room for competition. Remember: Google Analytics is free and very popular for basic website traffic reporting. But for-profit web analytics platforms have carved a big niche of their own, offering far more powerful reporting and ROI capabilities.

I suspect the cloud monitoring market will be similar. But if you're late to the game it's time to get moving.

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