Google Launches Cloud Monitoring for Its Cloud Platform

Google this week unveiled a Cloud Monitoring solution for customers of its Cloud Platform offering.

As Google product manager Dan Belcher described in a blog post, "Cloud Monitoring streamlines operations by unifying infrastructure monitoring, system/OS monitoring, service/uptime monitoring, charting and alerting into a simple and powerful hosted service."

With Google Cloud Monitoring, Cloud Platform customers can monitor and visualize usage, uptime, performance and the overall health of their systems. They can also configure notifications for service incidents. For instance, if a database stops responding or if requests to a particular service exceed a certain latency threshold, Google Cloud Monitoring can deliver alerts via email, SMS or third-party services such as PagerDuty and HipChat. Support for webhooks is also provided, so customers can build custom applications that handle alerts.

Google is offering a number of plug-ins for popular services, including MySQL, Nginx, Apache, MongoDB and RabbitMQ, which enable customers to obtain "deep visibility" into the performance of specific services. But Google doesn't stop there. One of the unique features of its monitoring solution is the ability for customers to use a Google Cloud Monitoring API to send custom metrics that Google Cloud Monitoring can incorporate into custom dashboards. This enables customers to, for example, develop more detailed monitoring for proprietary applications and services or to incorporate their own quality-of-service metrics without having to build separate dashboards.

Google Cloud Monitoring is based on technology the company acquired with Stackdriver in May. "We’re working to integrate the rest of the Stackdriver technology into Cloud Monitoring with the goal of providing a unified monitoring solution for Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services and hybrid customers," Belcher said. He also indicated that Google will be more closely integrating its Cloud Logging offering with Google Cloud Monitoring.

A Key Piece of the Development Puzzle

The importance Google is placing on developing a comprehensive monitoring system is not surprising. Applications are increasingly complex. Many incorporate a variety of open and proprietary services, and a growing number rely on distributed architectures.

For these applications, maintaining reliability and a quality experience for end users all but requires robust monitoring, and robust monitoring may become a key differentiator for cloud hosting providers in the years to come.

Patricio Robles Follow me on Google+