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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 3 of 6

From there, users can tell Cloudfloor what their goals are and then let the system shape traffic to meet those goals. So for instance, if your top goal is performance and resiliency, you can have CloudFloor assess more bandwidth and resources to a particular area in a region where you expect to get heavy traffic and even help you pool cloud resources from multiple vendors to get the job done. On the other hand, if your first goal is saving money, then you can have CloudFloor shut down any servers in areas that are not hitting certain traffic requirements and are thus unnecessary to maintaining operations. And if your goal is to balance performance and cost, you can shape traffic to send a certain amount of traffic initially through your own private data center and then send it out to the cloud once it reaches a certain level, thus minimizing both the strain on the data center and the use of cloud infrastructure.

The bottom line, says Mouline, is that Cloudfloor can both provide you with strong analytics and then let you decide what to do with the new data you have.

"We'll send requests to the appropriate resources, whether it's the fastest, the closest or the cheapest," he says. "Tell us what your goals are and we will control it."

Cloud Cruiser

Focus: Cloud cost visibility/optimization

Founded: 2010

CEO: Dave Zabrowski, formerly a VP with HP's enterprise computer organization

Location: Roseville, Calif.

Product availability: Now

Why it's worth watching: Cloud Cruiser offers a SaaS product that lets IT departments find the cheapest ways to process high workloads, whether it's through a private cloud, public cloud or multiple public clouds. In other words, the software lets companies "cruise" for different cloud solutions and pick the one that will do the job the cheapest.

"What we do is not only give users transparency, we also give them proactive controls to ensure there are no rogue workloads where all of a sudden you have an application that's running up storage charges," says Cloud Cruiser founder and CEO Dave Zabrowski, whose company raised Series A funding from Wavepoint Ventures in 2010. "With Cloud Cruiser we can give you controls if these workloads go crazy on you."

Users can keep up with their company's cloud usage by logging into Cloud Cruiser's MyCloud dashboard that Zabrowski says can not only show you how many cloud resources you're using but which departments and projects within the company are consuming the most resources at a given time. From there, you can alert departments if their cloud consumption is due to blow a hole in the monthly budget and provide suggestions for how they can lower their cloud consumption. This level of tracking also helps companies properly assess charges to departments that exceed their allotted budget for cloud services in a given month.

Cloud Cruiser can also track which cloud vendors are getting the most use and can let you know when you should shift resources over to a different vendor when you're in danger of incurring overages on one vendor or another.

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