With enterprises giving cloud computing a close look, service management software providers have been retooling their offerings to be used in the cloud. Just this past week CA announced that a range of its management products now extend into Amazon EC2. The company said Spectrum Automation Manager, CMDB, Service Desk Manager Wily Introscope and Insight Database Performance Manager are able to support EC2 performance monitoring and management.
Wily is part of CA Application Performance Management system, which monitors performance in service-oriented architectures. The company says support of EC2 in makes transactions and business processes more visible through internal physical or virtual systems and their external cloud resources.
"It's about scalability to an extent but it's really about the EC2 service," said Stephen Elliot, VP of the strategy infrastructure management and automation business unit at CA. "It's about managing virtual machines and how things are performing. So when you sign the checks you know what you're getting."
But the enterprises CA deals with are not leaping to adopt cloud systems. Elliot said customers are taking things one step at a time, but their desire to start working with the cloud was strong enough to justify working in support of EC2.
Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of APM Experts said he's skeptical that many large enterprises would deploy their mission critical applications into the cloud any time soon. But for many, now is the time to begin experimentation.
"Where I think this is potentially valuable is if an enterprise does a pilot on EC2 and they decide to bring that pilot into production," said Harzog. "Then you have to have a common management framework." This would allow developers to build prototype applications with EC2's scalable resources, then port them back into the company datacenter if they decide to deploy.
As a system for monitoring J2EE application servers and SOA implementations, Harzog said CA Wily enhances the attractiveness of EC2 as a platform for SOAs. But there are significant challenges that must still be solved before SOA applications run effectively in a true hybrid cloud.
"I'm not sure if anybody has solved the problem of how to manage the distributed execution of these applications where you have parts of the application running in the cloud and part in the private datacenter," said Harzog. "Significant challenges remain before SOA can be federated across internal and external resources."