SolarWinds set to monitor cloud apps from the cloud

Aims to use Amazon EC2 to displace subscription-based web monitoring services.

It's not quite “set a thief to catch a thief”, but if you have a web-facing app that needs monitoring for availability and response time, SolarWinds claims that the cloud can now do the job more cheaply than traditional third-party web monitoring services.

The company said that this is possible because version 1.5 of its Synthetic End User Monitor (SeUM) transaction player can run within the Amazon EC2 cloud. Amazon lets you choose which of its seven geographic locations you deploy to, so you can simulate activity from that region hitting your web app.

“Our customers want to monitor web user experience from all over the world,” said Denny LeCompte, vice president of product management at SolarWinds. “The SeUM cloud capability enables customers to leverage the cloud directly, without paying a high price for what is fundamentally a very simple service.”

“IT professionals are now responsible for monitoring between dozens and hundreds of applications for their internal clients, and many of those live in the cloud,” agreed analyst Bojan Simic at TRAC Research. “The ability to monitor any transaction on the web, as well as transactions from a player that’s hosted on Amazon EC2 will help IT pros ensure their key applications are running smoothly.”

The SeUM transaction player allows you to capture the steps involved in a web transaction and save them to a recording that can be run as frequently as once a minute. The SeUM server polls monitoring data from the players and can issue alerts when individual steps within a transaction experience high latency, say, or when a playback fails to complete within an acceptable time or returns unexpected results.

LeCompte said that he envisaged this being used for top-down service monitoring alongside SolarWinds' bottom-up Server and Application Monitor, SAM. Together, they help the sysadmin understand system status from both points of view to troubleshoot quickly and accurately, he argued.




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