Google Exec: Here's Why Stackdriver Cloud Monitoring Will Continue Being Compatible With AWS

Google launched a beta for its Stackdriver cloud monitoring service earlier this week, and one thing that stood out was that it'll continue to be compatible with rival Amazon Web Services' cloud.

Stackdriver, a cloud monitoring startup founded in 2012 by VMware veterans Dan Belcher and Izzy Azeri, is popular with AWS customers because it lets them track performance of apps running in the public cloud.

When Google acquired Stackdriver last May, some industry watchers expected it to end AWS support. Why, they reckoned, would Google continue supporting a technology that makes a competitor's cloud easier to use?

By maintaining Stackdriver compatibility with AWS, Google is showing it's accepting of the fact that not all of its customers are going to put everything on its cloud.

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"Enterprises are looking for a platform that doesn't lock them in," Tom Kershaw, product management lead for Google Cloud Platform, said in an interview Friday.

Google has had cloud monitoring technology for years, but the Stackdriver deal brought a more comprehensive view of what's happening across networking, storage and compute components, said Kershaw.

"Many of our customers will be operating in hybrid cloud environments, and you have to have a dashboard and monitoring tools for these environments," said Kershaw.

[Related: Google Debuts Cloud Monitoring Service From Stackdriver Deal, Which Also Works With AWS]

Stackdriver also supports Rackspace, but while Google has maintained this compatibility, it will be "primarily focused on AWS" going forward, said Kershaw.

This certainly isn't a new path for Google. Kershaw said Kubernetes, an open source orchestration system for Docker containers that's led by Google, is another example of technology that lets customers run apps in multiple cloud environments.

Simon Margolis, cloud platform lead at SADA Systems, a North Hollywood, Calif.-based Google partner, told CRN that customers are increasingly looking to augment their main cloud infrastructure with features and functionality from competing vendors' clouds.

By continuing to support Stackdriver on AWS, Google is giving AWS customers a chance to see what it has to offer, Margolis said. "I think this is a great way to solicit business from those AWS customers, especially those who are relatively dug in," he said.

Google's cloud is also unique in that it lets users migrate their virtual machines and other Google Cloud Platform services from availability zone to zone without maintenance windows or other downtime, according to Margolis.

There are cases where vendors acquire hot startups to keep them away from competitors, but Google's Stackdriver isn't one of them. By making its cloud monitoring technology compatible with the public cloud market leader, Google is betting that AWS customers who love Stackdriver will eventually give Google Cloud Platform a try.