Last week Amazon Web Services announced some new APIs that provide connections to monitoring software.
Prior to this, the only way Amazon could inform EC2 users that there was a change in status was via email, not exactly the most efficient way to receive updates on your cloud instance. Ideally IT ops pros would prefer to be able to link the status updates to their own monitoring tools, or at the very least have a web-based status console.
This update provides both capabilities.
According to a blog post from Amazon announcing the change, the API has three calls: one each for the instance state (i.e., pending, running, stopped or terminated), the reboot status and the retiring status.
While these are not extremely detailed monitoring states, they do provide at least a rudimentary idea of what’s going with your EC2 instances and this is certainly better than nothing.
The idea that you can use APIs to blend this information into your own tools is a positive step in bringing your cloud services under your monitoring control. It clearly doesn’t provide you with the level of detail you have come to expect from your enterprise monitoring tools, but it’s a way to monitor your cloud services within your monitoring tools.
In the interim, the web-based tools let you see this information in real time, although not within your own monitoring tool infrastructure.
Aside from this, Amazon also offers its customers Amazon Cloud Watch, which is a more detailed set of web-based monitoring metrics and provides a way to link your monitoring metrics to the cloud monitoring (but not vice versa).
For firms that want tighter control on their cloud services, these tools help address that, but neither solution probably goes far enough by providing full detailed integration with your existing monitoring tools environment..
Part of the problem with cloud services for many organizations is a lack of control over data or a full understanding of what’s happening with the cloud services your company buys — and very likely increasingly relies upon.
As these applications become a more integral part of the organization, there is going to be more stringent monitoring requirements. If your cloud services require manual monitoring (or worse, an email alert), it’s going to be harder to keep track of how these cloud instances are performing.
Over time, I expect we’ll see more cloud vendors like Amazon provide deeper integration into monitoring software, but for now, it’s encouraging to see Amazon at least paying attention to these requirements and allowing some level of integration with monitoring tools.
Photo of web monitoring tool courtesy of Amazon.