Shining a Light into Amazon’s Darkness

By By Dennnis Barker, GRIDtoday

June 30, 2008

Hyperic, known for its tools that let users monitor and manage their applications running on the Web, has launched a new hosted service for users of Amazon Web Services. In this case, however, it might be a good idea to first say what the free service does not do. It does not provide users with specific information on how their particular application is doing. It does not tell them what’s going on in their pieces of the cloud. It does not dulcetly intone, “Excuse me, Dave, but I have detected a throughput problem in storage sector 6.”

Not yet, anyway.

What Hyperic’s new CloudStatus.com does right now is give users an independent, graphical dashboard view into the “general health” of AWS’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Simple Storage Service (S3), and other elements of the big utility. The idea, the company says, is to provide a comprehensive, overall measure of availability, throughput and latency.

“What CloudStatus.com does is basically break down each service in AWS and help to answer some of the questions cloud users and developers would have,” says Javier Soltero, co-founder and CEO of Hyperic. “For example, measuring how long it takes to launch a machine image across the various availability zones. We track the time it actually takes to provision new instances and track that historically, then present that data graphically. For the S3 storage system, we’re able to look inside and outside the cloud and measure the storage and retrieval throughput in various zones. We can show how effective the service is, and developers or potential customers will know if it meets their application’s requirements.” CloudStatus.com also provides graphs of measurements from Amazon’s Simple Queue Service, Simple DB database service and Flexible Payment system.

Hyperic deploys agents at multiple global points in the cloud that provide real-time and historic data. “You can actually watch the trends, the different oscillations, if you will,” Soltero says. “We think we get as close as you can to approximating what the individual user’s experience would be.”

“Over time we’ll add other clouds and services, including Google AppEngine, force.com, and so on. We want to be able to provide whatever depth of measurement is needed to determine the health of your cloud operation,” Soltero says.

The company plans regular updates that over time should evolve CloudStatus.com into a global monitoring-and-managing tool like operators of old-school networks have. “We will roll out more personal monitoring features in the next few months, like the ability to get an e-mail alert if something you have running in the cloud is not meeting service levels, or in response to some other performance requirement,” Soltero says.

CloudStatus.com is based on top of Hyperic HQ, the company’s system for monitoring and managing Web infrastructure. (Hyperic’s technology is used by clients running some very large Web sites, such as CNET, and by datacenter operator Rackspace’s cloud division, Mosso.) HQ’s extensible design allows addition of new agents that can work in new environments, like the cloud, Soltero says. The HQ server can communicate with these agents and collect data whether they’re in the local datacenter or in the cloud. Hyperic HQ’s ability to reach out into more traditional networks as well as into cloud-based services will make it a good tool for companies that want to operate with a hybrid network, or want to closely watch performance as they migrate to the cloud.

CloudStatus.com can’t do this yet, but Hyperic’s goal is to provide a single scope that shows what’s going on with all your cloud-based services, and in greater detail than currently available. Hyperic HQ will be able to provide personal data feeds, sort of a “MyCloudStatus,” Soltero says.

Hyperic expects CloudStatus.com will serve a bigger purpose: resolving some concerns some companies might have about running in the cloud. “Without proper visibility into the cloud, many organizations will be reluctant to adopt the cloud for business,” Soltero says. “Applications that depend even partially on cloud-based services need the same monitoring and management they get in the more traditional network. That’s what we think we’re going to give people with CloudStatus.com.”

Steve Brasen, analyst with Enterprise Management Associates, says CloudStatus.com “is a step in the right direction,” adding that much of the concern limiting cloud computing deployment revolves around supportability and provisioning, and if you consider the extensive number of systems needed to support a cloud infrastructure, the need for an automated monitoring solution becomes critical.

“Since cloud implementations are often intended for critical business drivers, they must attain a high level of reliability to convince business executives of their value. That level of trust only can only be achieved through an independent performance evaluation,” says Brasen. “Hyperic’s solution certainly provides the verification, but it will be up to the cloud vendors to prove long-term high-availability and reliability. The next step is the development of reliable standards against which cloud infrastructures can be audited.”

First and foremost, Hyperic addresses the issue of creating a third-party source to do performance monitoring of AWS, RedMonk analyst Michael Cote tells GRIDtoday. “Admittedly, there are many more other metrics and tests one would want to see. But this, after all, is a first release.” As Cote wrote on his blog at redmonk.com, CloudStatus “starts the ball rolling” toward genuine cloud management by providing two important fundamentals: visibility into EC2 and historical tracking of performance. While it doesn’t do this latter function “extremely well (you’re restricted to the date range selected in each graph), Hyperic is building up a historical record on AWS’s uptime,” Cote says. “Getting a handle on the performance trends for stuff in the cloud is key for people who want to build enough trust in the cloud to actually use it.”

Now, whether the measurements this initial release of CloudStatus.com currently provides are of value to people making business decisions can be answered only by people who make business decisions. It will be a different story if CloudStatus develops into a tool that provides deep performance details on all of a user’s operations and across different clouds. “We’re tying to provide the equivalent of shining a very bright light in an otherwise darkened room,” Soltero says.

CloudStatus.com is not yet the eyes in the cloud for which users, developers, and operations managers might yearn, but it is a big step beyond Amazon’s current red light/green light.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Penguin Computing Brings Cascade Lake-AP to OCP Form Factor

July 7, 2020

Penguin Computing, a subsidiary of SMART Global Holdings, Inc., is announcing a new Tundra server, Tundra AP, that is the first to implement the Intel Xeon Scalable 9200 series processors (codenamed Cascade Lake-AP) in t Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Cloud Debuts 16-GPU Ampere A100 Instances

July 7, 2020

On the heels of the Nvidia's Ampere A100 GPU launch in May, Google Cloud is announcing alpha availability of the A100 "Accelerator Optimized" VM A2 instance family on Google Compute Engine. The instances are powered by t Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Q&A: HLRS’s Bastian Koller Tackles HPC and Industry in Germany and Europe

July 6, 2020

HPCwire: Let's start with HLRS and work our way up to the European scale. HLRS has stood out in the HPC world for its support of both scientific and industrial research. Can you discuss key developments in recent years? Read more…

By Steve Conway, Hyperion

The Barcelona Supercomputing Center Offers a Virtual Tour of Its MareNostrum Supercomputer

July 6, 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to threaten the world and disrupt normal operations, facility tours remain a little difficult to operate, with many supercomputing centers having shuttered facility tours for visitor Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

What’s New in Computing vs. COVID-19: Fugaku, Congress, De Novo Design & More

July 2, 2020

Supercomputing, big data and artificial intelligence are crucial tools in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Around the world, researchers, corporations and governments are urgently devoting their computing reso Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AWS Solution Channel

Maxar Builds HPC on AWS to Deliver Forecasts 58% Faster Than Weather Supercomputer

When weather threatens drilling rigs, refineries, and other energy facilities, oil and gas companies want to move fast to protect personnel and equipment. And for firms that trade commodity shares in oil, precious metals, crops, and livestock, the weather can significantly impact their buy-sell decisions. Read more…

Intel® HPC + AI Pavilion

Supercomputing the Pandemic: Scientific Community Tackles COVID-19 from Multiple Perspectives

Since their inception, supercomputers have taken on the biggest, most complex, and most data-intensive computing challenges—from confirming Einstein’s theories about gravitational waves to predicting the impacts of climate change. Read more…

OpenPOWER Reboot – New Director, New Silicon Partners, Leveraging Linux Foundation Connections

July 2, 2020

Earlier this week the OpenPOWER Foundation announced the contribution of IBM’s A21 Power processor core design to the open source community. Roughly this time last year, IBM announced open sourcing its Power instructio Read more…

By John Russell

Google Cloud Debuts 16-GPU Ampere A100 Instances

July 7, 2020

On the heels of the Nvidia's Ampere A100 GPU launch in May, Google Cloud is announcing alpha availability of the A100 "Accelerator Optimized" VM A2 instance fam Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Q&A: HLRS’s Bastian Koller Tackles HPC and Industry in Germany and Europe

July 6, 2020

HPCwire: Let's start with HLRS and work our way up to the European scale. HLRS has stood out in the HPC world for its support of both scientific and industrial Read more…

By Steve Conway, Hyperion

OpenPOWER Reboot – New Director, New Silicon Partners, Leveraging Linux Foundation Connections

July 2, 2020

Earlier this week the OpenPOWER Foundation announced the contribution of IBM’s A21 Power processor core design to the open source community. Roughly this time Read more…

By John Russell

Hyperion Forecast – Headwinds in 2020 Won’t Stifle Cloud HPC Adoption or Arm’s Rise

June 30, 2020

The semiannual taking of HPC’s pulse by Hyperion Research – late fall at SC and early summer at ISC – is a much-watched indicator of things come. This yea Read more…

By John Russell

Racism and HPC: a Special Podcast

June 29, 2020

Promoting greater diversity in HPC is a much-discussed goal and ostensibly a long-sought goal in HPC. Yet it seems clear HPC is far from achieving this goal. Re Read more…

Top500 Trends: Movement on Top, but Record Low Turnover

June 25, 2020

The 55th installment of the Top500 list saw strong activity in the leadership segment with four new systems in the top ten and a crowning achievement from the f Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ISC 2020 Keynote: Hope for the Future, Praise for Fugaku and HPC’s Pandemic Response

June 24, 2020

In stark contrast to past years Thomas Sterling’s ISC20 keynote today struck a more somber note with the COVID-19 pandemic as the central character in Sterling’s annual review of worldwide trends in HPC. Better known for his engaging manner and occasional willingness to poke prickly egos, Sterling instead strode through the numbing statistics associated... Read more…

By John Russell

ISC 2020’s Student Cluster Competition Winners Announced

June 24, 2020

Normally, the Student Cluster Competition involves teams of students building real computing clusters on the show floors of major supercomputer conferences and Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer Modeling Tests How COVID-19 Spreads in Grocery Stores

April 8, 2020

In the COVID-19 era, many people are treating simple activities like getting gas or groceries with caution as they try to heed social distancing mandates and protect their own health. Still, significant uncertainty surrounds the relative risk of different activities, and conflicting information is prevalent. A team of Finnish researchers set out to address some of these uncertainties by... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Turns Its Massive Crowdsourced Computer Network Against COVID-19

March 16, 2020

For gamers, fighting against a global crisis is usually pure fantasy – but now, it’s looking more like a reality. As supercomputers around the world spin up Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Rallies a Legion of Computers Against the Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Last week, we highlighted [email protected], a massive, crowdsourced computer network that has turned its resources against the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe – but [email protected] isn’t the only game in town. The internet is buzzing with crowdsourced computing... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Global Supercomputing Is Mobilizing Against COVID-19

March 12, 2020

Tech has been taking some heavy losses from the coronavirus pandemic. Global supply chains have been disrupted, virtually every major tech conference taking place over the next few months has been canceled... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer Simulations Reveal the Fate of the Neanderthals

May 25, 2020

For hundreds of thousands of years, neanderthals roamed the planet, eventually (almost 50,000 years ago) giving way to homo sapiens, which quickly became the do Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

DoE Expands on Role of COVID-19 Supercomputing Consortium

March 25, 2020

After announcing the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium on Sunday, the Department of Energy yesterday provided more details on its sco Read more…

By John Russell

Steve Scott Lays Out HPE-Cray Blended Product Roadmap

March 11, 2020

Last week, the day before the El Capitan processor disclosures were made at HPE's new headquarters in San Jose, Steve Scott (CTO for HPC & AI at HPE, and former Cray CTO) was on-hand at the Rice Oil & Gas HPC conference in Houston. He was there to discuss the HPE-Cray transition and blended roadmap, as well as his favorite topic, Cray's eighth-gen networking technology, Slingshot. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Honeywell’s Big Bet on Trapped Ion Quantum Computing

April 7, 2020

Honeywell doesn’t spring to mind when thinking of quantum computing pioneers, but a decade ago the high-tech conglomerate better known for its control systems waded deliberately into the then calmer quantum computing (QC) waters. Fast forward to March when Honeywell announced plans to introduce an ion trap-based quantum computer whose ‘performance’ would... Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Neocortex Will Be First-of-Its-Kind 800,000-Core AI Supercomputer

June 9, 2020

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC - a joint research organization of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh) has won a $5 million award Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

‘Billion Molecules Against COVID-19’ Challenge to Launch with Massive Supercomputing Support

April 22, 2020

Around the world, supercomputing centers have spun up and opened their doors for COVID-19 research in what may be the most unified supercomputing effort in hist Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU: Up to 2.5X the HPC, 20X the AI

May 14, 2020

Nvidia's first Ampere-based graphics card, the A100 GPU, packs a whopping 54 billion transistors on 826mm2 of silicon, making it the world's largest seven-nanom Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Australian Researchers Break All-Time Internet Speed Record

May 26, 2020

If you’ve been stuck at home for the last few months, you’ve probably become more attuned to the quality (or lack thereof) of your internet connection. Even Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

15 Slides on Programming Aurora and Exascale Systems

May 7, 2020

Sometime in 2021, Aurora, the first planned U.S. exascale system, is scheduled to be fired up at Argonne National Laboratory. Cray (now HPE) and Intel are the k Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Supercomputer is Already Making its Mark on Science

September 20, 2018

Summit, now the fastest supercomputer in the world, is quickly making its mark in science – five of the six finalists just announced for the prestigious 2018 Read more…

By John Russell

TACC Supercomputers Run Simulations Illuminating COVID-19, DNA Replication

March 19, 2020

As supercomputers around the world spin up to combat the coronavirus, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is announcing results that may help to illumina Read more…

By Staff report

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This