CSPs, DevOps, Sales and marketing, IT management, MSP

AWS, Azure Cloud Cost Monitoring, Management Tools Gain Momentum

Faced with runaway cloud computing costs, many businesses are trying to get their cloud services expenses under control. That's where startup companies like Cloudyn enter the picture.

Cloudyn's MSP and referral programs potentially empower partners in two ways. On the MSP front, Cloudyn claims to transform partners into Cloud Financial Brokers that can manage end-customer cloud activities and costs. On the reseller front, the referral program allows partners to earn 10 percent commissions on first-year deals and 5 percent commissions on subsequent renewals.

Cloudyn's market focus is attracting plenty of attention. Infosys Ltd. this week revealed a $4 million investment into the company, according to a regulatory filing with the BSE stock exchange in Mumbai. The investment is expected to become official on Aug. 15.

More Cloud Cost Management Tools

Cloudyn certainly isn't alone in the cloud cost management market. Additional names to know include Autotask CSP Boss, ConnectWise CloudConsoleCloudMGRCloudCheckrCloudAbility, Kaseya Command 365, SpiceWorksUnigma, and a range of cloud marketplace offerings from distributors.

The Autotask, ConnectWise and Kaseya options were built mainly for MSPs serving the SMB sector -- with an initial focus on Office 365 billing management rather than actual workload management or consumption pricing management. But in many cases those tools are gradually extending to more platforms.

Autotask just launched CSP Boss for Office 365 and Azure, while ConnectWise recently extended from Office 365 to Azure. Both companies sound like they have plans to extend next toward Amazon Web Services management. For its part, Kaseya positions another tool -- Traverse -- for cloud and network management, though not necessarily cost control management.

Unigma is a startup that's making the rounds at many MSP-centric conferences, including this week's CompTIA ChannelCon 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The company allows partners to manage a range of public clouds -- and already has an impressive list of relationships with MSP software companies.

And just this week, Spiceworks unveiled Cloud Cost Monitor, a free online tool that connects to IT professionals' Azure and AWS accounts to analyze and report on organizations' infrastructure as a service (IaaS) costs and utilized resources, the company says.

Even More Cloud Cost Management Tools

Meanwhile, CloudMGR allows MSPs to sell, provision and support Amazon services for end-customers. It has numerous hooks that are specifically designed for partners. For instance, MSPs can manage billing-based rules that include:

  • Flat-rate pricing with a specific markup rate for the partner.
  • Usage-based rules that allows partners to bill based on high, medium and low cloud consumption.
  • Various exclusion-based billing scenarios

Another key player, CloudCheckr, empowers MSPs and VARs with a range of AWS management capabilities. Partners can:

  • Discover and visualize what’s running in AWS;
  • understand costs and analyze usage in AWS;
  • monitor for changes in an AWS environment;
  • leverage hundreds of best practice checks covering security, availability, cost, and usage; and
  • maintain a historical record of a cloud configuration.

CloudCheckr and CloudMGR integrate with one another.

We've also been tracking Cloudability quite a bit in recent months, though we're still waiting for that company to potentially launch a more formalized partner program.

Distributor Cloud Marketplaces

Most of the major distributors now offer cloud marketplaces these days, and a few of the platforms can help partners to wrap their arms around cloud cost management for customers. Check in with individual distributors for the specific capabilities of their marketplaces.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.