Google's new Stackdriver service can manage applications across multiple clouds

The tool lets engineers monitor applications running on AWS or GCP

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Greg DeMichillie demonstrates Google Stackdriver at the company's GCP Next conference in San Francisco on March 23, 2016.

Credit: Blair Hanley Frank

Google is aiming to help companies manage applications across public and private clouds with a new product and a set of partnerships announced at its cloud user conference Wednesday.

The company unveiled a new service that's now in beta called Stackdriver, which allows customers to monitor workloads running on both Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services. It's a powerful tool that should allow users straddling two  different public cloud environments to have a single pane of glass to manage how their applications are doing.

Operations engineers can build dashboards that monitor the health of applications across both clouds on one screen. Stackdriver has intelligence that allows it to show metrics from different parts of the stack like web servers and load balancer systems.  

Greg DeMichillie, GCP's director of product management, showed unified logging of errors in Stackdriver across both AWS and GCP, which means developers can make sure applications are working in one cloud or both at the same time. 

Setting up Stackdriver should be as easy as creating an account and setting up its integration with AWS (if applicable). The service should be able to go into users' accounts on both cloud platforms, get the resources they're using, and show a set of metrics and dashboards that users can start with.

Looking forward, Google plans to update Stackdriver to monitor private cloud resources as well. Right now, the product is available to use for free while it's in beta. It's not clear when Google will make it generally available, or how much it will cost at that time. 

In addition to the Stackdriver announcement, Google said it had partnered with Splunk, BMC and Tenable to help companies monitor and manage their cloud environments. Each partner brings its unique set of tools with a Google Cloud integration, such as Splunk Enterprise's security monitoring system, which will notify administrators if something fishy appears to be going on.  

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