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November 2, 2010

Compuware launches CloudSleuth Community, but look who’s absent

It may be early days, but several cloud providers are notable for their absence. So who's in and who's out?

By Jason Stamper

Compuware has formally taken the wraps of a new community it says is built to highlight the performance of cloud computing providers around the world: CloudSleuth. But while it is early days, the absence of cloud providers such as IBM, BT, Fujitsu and Colt mean there is work yet before the site is truly representative of what Compuware calls the cloud’s "federated infrastructure".

Compuware says CloudSleuth is a partner-driven cloud community, with those partners given the opportunity to highlight third-party verification of the performance and reliability of their services. Initial partners include OpSource, CDNetworks, GoGrid, Internet Initiative Japan (IIJ) and Teklinks.

In addition to blogs, forums and resources provided by CloudSleuth partners, the site features a number of applications to help enterprises build and manage cloud apps, and monitor the performance and availability of public cloud providers.

CloudSleuth applications are already monitoring the performance and availability of cloud-based applications on clouds from Amazon EC2, CloudSigma, GoGrid, Google, Microsoft Azure, IIJ GIO, OpSource, Rackspace and Terremark. The performance – measured in seconds elapsed downloading two web pages as part of a test application – as well as availability, are measured by Compuware’s Gomez Performance Network, which includes backbone node checks from data centres as well as last-mile checks from over 100,000 real clients.

Asked about the absence of a number of significant cloud providers, Doug Willoughby, Compuware director of cloud computing, told CBR that he expects to announce BT as a partner soon, and the firm is already in discussions with Colt.

But what about IBM? Big Blue is clearly a major cloud provider but also a fierce Compuware competitor, especially in the mainframe systems management space. Willoughby said IBM has not refused to get involved, but, "We haven’t deliberately targeted them at all. There are no plans to announce at this stage. We’ve just not had the opportunity to engage with them yet."

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But Willoughby insisted that CloudSleuth is a community, and not a closed shop only open to friends of Compuware: "It’s a community portal," he said. "Anyone who wants to get involved just has to pick up the phone, basically. There are absolutely no restrictions."

CloudSleuth has also been working with three content delivery networks (CDNs), Cloudfront, Edgecast and CDNetworks, which will help to give those considering the cloud an idea of how the use of CDNs might affect the performance of applications hosted with different cloud providers. "We’re working with one CDN provider in particular, I can’t say which, to see if we can do application acceleration," Willoughby said.

Ovum analyst Laurent Lachal said: "CloudSleuth is a timely offering that will help boost market awareness of public cloud QoS issues. This is timely because enterprises are becoming increasingly hungry for actual data about the quality of service that public clouds offer."

The CloudSleuth website is here. You may also be interested in our recent blog, ‘The cloud is no panacea’.

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