Cloudkick Now Lets You Migrate Your Amazon Machine Images To Slicehost

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Cloudkick, a Y Combinator startup that offers a free server management system to businesses whose web infrastructure is maintained by Amazon’s EC2 or Slicehost cloud-based servers, is unveiling a nifty feature today at Under the Radar. Cloudkick has added the ability for users to migrate their Amazon Machine Images (the template for servers on EC2) on their EC2 servers to another service provider, like Slicehost (which is owned by Amazon Web Services competitor Rackspace). This lets users who are tied to Amazon’s servers be able to easily switch to a less-expensive provider.

When we first reviewed Cloudkick, the company only managed the 350 servers of the 40 Y Combinator startups. Now, Cloudkick is managing 10,000 servers and increasing clients rapidly. Built off of Amazon Web Services’ API, Cloudkick gives users a single control panel where you can manage all of your servers (or instances) through various platforms.

Cloudkick provides detailed graphs on the health of your servers, and tools to categorize and keep information about what each server is doing. Cloudkick’s dashboard allows you to easily add or remove EC2 or Slicehost servers with a click and then monitor an unlimited amount of instances. You can see all the servers in one place, and color-code and label each server. Cloudkick will check whether servers are alive and functioning and then alert you, via email or voicemail, if servers go down. Cloudkick also provides data on bandwith and other metrics on servers in easy to use graphs and tables, allowing you a visual snapshot of server activity. You can also access servers straight from web and can run commands through your web browser remotely, which is handy when you are trying to manage servers from another computer

As we said in our earlier review of Cloudkick, Amazon offers a web-console along with their product but you cannot add servers from other cloud platform, you can’t tag or label servers, you can’t run commands on servers from the web and EC2 doesn’t offer graphing or monitoring features. Rightscale is another cloud management platform that offers similar services to Cloudkick but its a paid service.

Cloudkick is part of the birth of cross-cloud applications and management tools. As technology companies roll out their cloud platforms and businesses begin to become increasingly reliant on the cloud, these management tools will become even more useful, especially when the service is free and it lets you optimize your investment in the cloud by easily switching to a less expensive
provider. There’s is definitely positive results from deploying interoperability between cloud servers. Having more than one alternative cloud service will create competition between Amazon, Rackpsace and other server providers which will probably drive down costs for customers.

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    […] TechCrunch Article […]

  • http://www.shawndrewry.com Shawn Drewry

    Ugh huh

  • anon

    “Cloudkick has added the ability for users to migrate their Amazon Machine Images (the template for servers on EC2) on their EC2 servers to another service provider, like Slicehost (which is owned by Amazon Web Services competitor Rackspace).”

    I don’t know the details, but I highly doubt this is as you make it seem. First, EC2 images are more flexible than Slicehost images, Slicehost limiting you to a select few distributions of Linux, so there are going to be incompatibility issues between the two. Second, you can’t really store machine images on Slicehost – technically you can create backups of live instances and build new instances from those, but there isn’t a repository of “templates” to initially create the instances as there is with EC2.

    Also, the Slicehost API is quite minimal at this point, and I don’t see how Cloudkick provides a compelling alternative to the internal management portal Slicehost already provides.

    • http://www.cloudkick.com Alex Polvi

      Hi — Alex here from Cloudkick. You are right, Slicehost is not as flexible as EC2. However, we worked with Rackspace/Slicehost to make this happen … i.e. partnered on this.

      • anon

        I’d be interested in following up on some of the technical details and possibilities. Is there anywhere to grab this information online?

  • http://grack.com/ Matt Mastracci

    Except that Slicehost is only really cheaper for small VMs. Their support is awesome and their domain manager is super-useful (enough for us to keep a VM there, even if we weren’t using it).

    EC2 is a way better deal overall, unfortunately.

    Disclosure: I am a customer of both Slicehost and EC2.

  • Falafulu Fisi

    Cloudclick is an excellent product (not a time-wasting one as Tw***er).

  • David

    What is the advantage of using this over Elasticfox or Amazon’s own management console?

  • http://www.rackspace.com Bret Piatt

    Disclosure: I work for Rackspace and assisted Cloudkick on this project.

    If you’re only using one product, i.e. AWS, Slicehost, GoGrid, Rackspace, EY, Joyent, etc, etc, etc, then Cloudkick may not be of use over their integrated control panels.

    The value starts when you want to use more than one service to distribute your provider risk or choose the most cost effective provider for a given system role (i.e. Joyent has the best pricing for data transfer, Rackspace has the lowest starting price for $/hr instances, etc).

    Cloudkick enables you to choose the provider you want to have as the underlying infrastructure layer rather than having you locked into the platform you started on over “migration fear”. That leaves the providers to compete on overall value of service quality and price.

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  • http://www.tech-surf-blog.com Graeme Thickins

    Many vendors are talking about cloud mobility. It’s a big subject – we had a whole session on it at CloudCamp on April 18. But it’s only the beginning. One talks migrating images, another talks moving servers, yet another talks of quickly moving apps – as in dragging and dropping live enterprise apps from AWS to GoGrid and back to the internal data center. I saw that live-demoed at DEMO ’09 in early March.

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