Cloud Express is a service from Apptio that illustrates how managing the cost of the cloud will become one of the hottest markets in the enterprise space this year.
Cloud Express, launched in December, is a free service that targets developers and DevOps managers who use AWS, Windows Azure, and Rackspace. The company says that its recommendation engine is its differentiator, allowing customers to change the parameters, for instance, to see what the different recommendations are for AWS-reserved instances.
Cloud Express offers the following:
- The service gathers, integrates and analyzes public cloud cost and usage data to help IT managers optimize the ways they spend their money with cloud service providers.
- IT managers can use Cloud Express to compare and choose cloud vendors.
- AWS-reserved instances allow customers to get a discount by paying up front. Cloud Express provides ways to change parameters to see what the costs would be based upon what AWS customers pay up front and the term commitment that they are willing to make.
- The cost comparison capability gives the customer visibility into what services to downsize or discontinue.
The market for cloud monitoring is pretty broad. Apptio, like startup Cloudability, focuses on the financial implications of using cloud services. Customers seem to be responding. In December, Cloudability announced it now monitors more than $250 million in cloud spending for customers, more than double what it did fewer than six months ago. Companies like NewVem are seeing similar growth in their business as more companies use the cloud but need better visibility to actually see what they are getting.
The real change in the market will come when customers start to recognize the value to the business that comes when the infrastructure is optimized. That’s more than just watching costs. But more so, it represents the difference between having the ability to tune your business according to the demands on the infrastructure. That’s what AWS does so well. Customers will start to better understand that themselves as they become more knowledgeable about the many ways a cloud service can be programmed to fit the exact needs of the business.