Cloud management firm Cloudkick has won customers for its free, Web-based cloud manager by latching on to the increase in cloud computing awareness, but will users pay for its software?
"Folks wanted to see all these metrics about their servers," Polvi said.
Cloudkick lowered the bar for cloud computing from the command line user to the browser user, and the company is now looking to add more conveniences in one place. Polvi said Cloudkick based most of the planned commercial offerings around user feedback.
"They were saying, 'I want this! I'll pay for it,'" he said, of tools like SMS, email alerts and detailed performance monitoring.
Cloudkick allows users to manage, deploy and monitor virtual server instances across a variety of cloud providers through a single point-and-click Web interface. It also created and supports the libcloud project, a Python library that developers can build into applications to perform many of the same functions. Cloudkick and libcloud recently added support for VMware's vCloud APIs, a move that may prove important in convincing larger enterprises to dip a toe into the cloud.
Who will pay for Cloudkick?
The new features will start at $99 per month and include new monitoring features like performance logs, email alerts and multi-user accounts, a key feature for businesses that need users and resources under control.
"We did get a lot of requests from enterprises [for features] like multiple logins," Polvi said.
"It's mainly for folks who are already spending a decent amount on hosting providers," he said, who will want to pay for Cloudkick's features and experience using cloud platforms.
Cloud management competitive landscape
Cloudkick has stiff competition in cloud management. RightScale operates on the same "freemium" model, boasts years of experience with multiple cloud providers and presents a raft of products that put Cloudkick in the shade at this point, not to mention the company's 100-plus employees and booming revenue.
Enterprise-grade competitors like Savvis and OpSource have also announced polished, Web-based cloud environments that are designed with the cloud-wary in mind. Despite costing more, these environments have far more hooks in the lucrative enterprise market, as well as a focus on letting enterprises create hybrid clouds, which are secure mixes of public clouds and internal IT environments.
Carl Brooks is the Technology Writer at SearchCloudComputing.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.