I had a meeting with Alex Polvi (a founder) and Bob Hrdinsky of Cloudkick today. Over a Thai lunch. And then we followed up with a short discussion-demo at their office at the foot of Potrero Hill where I met most/all of their US tech experts.
Cloudkick runs a slick service that lets you manage your Slicehost and Rackspace/Mosso cloud servers (both brands are owned by and housed in Rackspace facilities), providing some data visualization in addition. Of course you could manage your servers using the control panels provided by Slicehost and Rackspace, but Cloudkick’s one-layer-removed management adds some unique extras. And they can “automatically” migrate your Amazon EC2 servers over to Rackspace if you’re interested in that. I have nine virtual servers on S&R (as I’ll call the two services) and signed up for the free Cloudkick services almost three months ago. They were voted Best in Show at Under the Radar (see Cloudkick writeup and video). The company is a little under a year old. It was kick-started by a seed investment by Y-Combinator, and recently obtained an angel round of investment.
They start by giving you a nice little control panel that shows the status of all of your servers (you have to “register” each service with Cloudkick – giving them your API information from Rackspace or Slicehost). They determine the status by pinging a handful of services on each virtual host.
It seems to me that ultimately they’d like to take over the complete management interface so you don’t ever have to go down to Slicehost or Rackspace interfaces. Currently you can fire up a Rackspace virtual server directly from Cloudkick, without ever touching the Rackspace Cloud control panel.
I separately monitor my own servers to be sure they’ve not been hacked, but the Cloudkick service adds a dimension I like, by integrating the control together in one place. And today they described some future services that I know I’ll be able to utilize. I particularly like the idea of additional data visualization, and that’s on its way. Here’s the kind of graphing they provide right now… this shows web page load times for two Slicehosted sites:
And here’s the UStream video of Alex describing CloudKick.
[swfobj width=”480″ height=”386″ flashvars=”autoplay=false” allowfullscreen=”true” allowscriptaccess=”always” src=”http://www.ustream.tv/flash/video/1426508″]