Cloud Cruiser Moves Up The Stack With First SaaS Product For Cloud Monitoring

Cloud Cruiser, vendor of a cloud management platform that helps customers meter, assess and optimize their cloud economics, on Tuesday moved up the stack, releasing a configurable application intended to simplify implementation of Infrastructure-as-a-Service resources.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company's first Software-as-a-Service product, called Cloud Cruiser 16, hastens time to value for customers as they're trying to get a handle on complex cloud deployments, Fraser McKay, head of the product, told CRN.

The key monitoring and prescriptive capabilities developed during four years of bringing to market the cloud management platform have been distilled into the SaaS offering, McKay said.

[Related: Cloud Cruiser Delivers Templates For Assessing Economics Of 'Big 5' Clouds]

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Developing a simpler delivery mechanism for cloud monitoring was motivated by seeing a number of customers who, more than a year into a cloud-transformation initiative, realized they hadn't put in all the appropriate controls to take advantage of cloud self-service and provisioning in a responsible, fiscally practical manner, McKay told CRN.

IT leaders told Cloud Cruiser they were so focused on implementing their organizations' cloud strategies and driving adoption that they often neglected cost-management and optimization, he said.

But without those components, the financial benefits of cloud are erased, and the deployments themselves become unruly, McKay said.

If public clouds like Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services were a car, "Cloud Cruiser is the steering wheel," McKay told CRN.

The developer realized that SaaS provides a more effective, easier to implement and more democratic delivery method for managing cloud spend and usage on AWS, Azure and Google, McKay told CRN.

"They need a control plane that keeps up with the agility of [Infrastructure-as-a-Service] platforms run by enterprises," he said.

"Customers said, 'Lead us, we're not cloud experts.' "

Distributing a platform relies on a relatively heavy services component for leveraging the solution, McKay told CRN. That presents a headwind of needing to train users at scale.

"The application approach is more prescriptive right out of the box, verses our former approach, which is more of a blank slate," McKay said.

Cloud Cruiser is in late-stage negotiations to have some MSPs and VARs start working with Cloud Cruiser 16, he said. Partners who have tried the SaaS version of the product find it to be much easier to use for implementing best practices, according to McKay.

That should help recruit more partners, he said, adding that new partnerships will be announced in a couple of weeks.

"SaaS headwinds for leveraging a channel to penetrate the market are lower," McKay said.

Cloud Cruiser will continue to support its previous products for existing customers, but hopes to transition over time to the new delivery model because of the uptick in time to value it provides.

The price of the SaaS product will be determined by only two factors: the number of clouds managed and the number of users, according to Deirdre Mahon, the company's chief marketing officer.

"We're seeing customers coming to us after failing to try to retrofit their existing financial management solutions on top of the cloud," McKay said. "What they're finding again and again and again is cloud is a different beast. People want daily, hourly, to-the-minute ability to monitor their cost and usage."