Initially, one might think that it is rather bold to enter the Amazon AWS re:Invent conference boasting of your own, homegrown data persistence technology, given the fact that Amazon itself is has a variety of offerings in this space, ranging from big data and big table NoSQL solutions, to their relatively new, cloud-based relational data service (Amazon RDS). But in reality, there was no shortage of speakers, vendors and exhibitors at Amazon re:Invent 2013 who were interested in grabbing the ear of attendees and extolling the virtues of their own, unique approach to data storage, persistence, scalability and low latency products that span throughout the globe.
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One of the hardest things to do right in the cloud is get the network right.
Alan Hoffman, co-founder and chief product officer at Cloudant
"We don't consider ourselves competing head on," said Alan Hoffman, co-founder and chief product officer at Cloudant. Instead, companies like Cloudant that are providing Database as a Service products are working together with Amazon as partners, often using AWS products under the covers, while providing extra, added features such as migration, management and monitoring -- things that don't come prepackaged when you sign up for something like Amazon RDS.
In speaking with Hoffman, the Cloudant co-founder agreed that indeed, application monitoring plays seem to be the new Wild West in the cloud computing game. "It wasn't like that last year. It seems to have really sprung up," said Hoffman about the insurgence of application monitoring vendors on the exhibition floor at Amazon re:Invent. "You see a lot of them here."
Hoffman has plenty of thoughts and insights into the world of cloud based application monitoring, providing an interesting tip for organizations who are adopting cloud based solutions. His advice? Worry less about memory and clock cycles, and keep a keen eye on the network.
The canary in the coalmine
"One of the hardest things to do right in the cloud is get the network right," said Hoffman. "You see a lot of smart companies doing network monitoring because when things go wrong, that's the canary in the coalmine." So if you see the network stats in your monitoring tool going sideways, it's time to get all technical hands on deck because a problem is brewing and it's only a matter of time until the help desk starts getting swamped with calls.
For more insights from Alan Hoffman about vendor lock-in in the cloud, complimenting your cloud-adoption strategy with a cloud-exit strategy, tips for application monitoring and information about what a white-glove, full service Database as a Service offering can provide an organization, watch the full interview.