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7 hot cloud companies to watch

Getting data onto the cloud is one thing; managing it is another

By Brad Reed, Network World
September 12, 2011 06:00 AM ET

Page 2 of 6

Cloudability

Focus: Cloud usage reporting

Founded: 2011

Location: Portland, Ore.

CEO: Mat Ellis

Product availability: Currently in beta testing

Why it's worth watching: Let's say you're an online retailer who is buying up a bunch of server space for your website from multiple cloud vendors to prepare for Black Friday. While all that cloud power has kept your site up and running during heavy traffic, you're surprised to find that your expenses came in at the end of the month several times more than you projected. What happened?

According to Cloudability CEO and co-founder Mat Ellis, you've likely become "over-clouded" after you've left a bunch of servers on after you've finished with your project. Cloudability's role, he says, is to help you put a stop to that sort of thing by letting you know when you're overspending on cloud services relative to your needs.

"We have a cloud platform that goes out and gets data from hundreds of providers, everything from Amazon to Salesforce to all the content providers," he says. "We give you insight into what you're spending and we make it easier to pull your expense claims out."

After Cloudability collects data from multiple vendors, it then can send you a daily email report providing all sorts of data on your cloud computing usage. Among other things, the report can tell you the amount you're spending each day and month on cloud services, the vendors you're getting services from, the type of cloud services you're using (e.g., hosting, support, storage, etc.) and how much different departments in your company are spending on cloud services. Ellis says this daily report can serve as a way for companies to check in to see what they're spending on the cloud every day and to get further details on their expenses by logging into Cloudability's cloud data dashboard.

"The cloud is infinitely scalable but your dollars are not," says J.R. Storment, Cloudability's co-founder who is in charge of product and marketing. "Companies can spin up a bunch of servers but they end up leaving them on after their project is done and getting a $100,000 overage for their mistake."

Cloudfloor

Focus: Cloud performance and business metrics

Founded: 2010

Location: Waltham, Mass.

CEO: Jaime Ellertson, formerly CEO of Gomez

Product availability: Beta version in mid-September

Why it's worth watching: Cloudfloor wants to help you maximize the efficiency of your cloud services, no matter how you define it.

"The concept of efficiency is different for everyone," explains Imad Mouline, the co-founder and CTO of Cloudfloor, which raised $3.1 million in Series A funding from Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures and Dolphin Equity. "We'll help you analyze tradeoffs between measures such as cost, performance, resiliency and regulatory restrictions for all your applications."

The good news about Cloudfloor, says Mouline, is that its CloudControl offering can provide users with key analytics without deploying any code onto their machines. Rather, users only need to log in to Cloudfloor's portal and check out their metrics. Cloudfloor pulls a lot of its metrics from aggregators such as Google Analytics and Amazon AWS and then organizes it to give users their desired metrics for how they want their cloud services to perform.

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