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Startup Opstera Launches Free Cloud App Monitoring Service for Azure

Opstera, a startup company launched back in January, is launching a free cloud app monitoring tool that will initially measure the quality of service (QoS) of Microsoft's Windows Azure platform and ultimately other platform as a service (PaaS) offerings.

The Bellevue, Wash.-based company's CloudGraphs will provide continual workload tests against Windows Azure. It will scan the various Windows Azure datacenters throughout the world roughly every 15 minutes. The online tool will determine latency and other service level characteristics drilling into specific datacenters and services offered as part of the Windows Azure platform, such as compute storage and content delivery network. The dashboard will provide real-time and historical information.

Paddy Srinivasan, Opstera's CEO, said the company is offering the service free hoping to build community support for its monitoring technology. "We have gotten great feedback from the Azure influencer community and the MVPs, and we feel that if we open it up to the community they can build around it and start contributing more sophisticated tests using our infrastructure," Srinivasan said. "We want to increase community contributions so we are opening it up so the tests become more sophisticated and meaningful."

By building such a community, Srinivasan is hopeful it will fuel its commercial offerings. Its initial service, AzureOps, monitors more than 100 million Windows Azure metrics per month, according to the company. AzureOps provides a detailed view of complete cloud solutions, including third party services running atop of Azure.

Asked why Windows Azure customers would prefer such a service to Microsoft's own management offerings including the recently released System Center 2012, Srinivasan said AzureOps is completely cloud-based, meaning it doesn't require an investment in the software. But more importantly, it's able to monitor Azure metrics that System Center can't at this point, he noted.

The company was formed by the founders of Cumulux, Microsoft's 2011 Cloud Partner of the Year. Onetime Microsoft Windows Azure team members, they launched Cumulex in 2008 and sold the consulting and app deployment part of the business to Aditi Technologies. After that deal closed late last year, the Cumulux founders launched Opstera, where they decided to focus on application performance management.

So far, the company claims it has 150 paying customers for its service, which costs between $50 and $800 per month. The company is backed by bootstrap funding from the Cumulux buyout and $650,000 from some undisclosed angel investors.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 05/17/2012 at 1:14 PM


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