Startup Launches Cloud Application Management Tool

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Cloud-computing startup Kaavo's software for deploying and managing cloud-based applications is now out of beta, the company said Monday.

Kaavo's IMOD (Infrastructure and Middleware on Demand) software provides "one-click" deployment of server systems to cloud services for running applications, a data backup scheduler, and AES-256-bit data encryption for moving data in and out of the cloud securely. The software also has a rule-based alert system for tracking an application's CPU, disk, bandwidth and memory usage.

"This is not just monitoring, this is the entire life cycle from the application perspective," said CEO Jamal Mazhar. IMOD is initially supported for use with Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), with support for other cloud services to follow.

The company -- which has offices in Connecticut and India and competes with vendors like Hyperic -- is "definitely trying to speak enterprise-speak, which is a good play," said John Willis, a longtime systems management professional who blogs on cloud-computing issues. "In 2009, the enterprise is going to go from in 2008 saying, 'What's this cloud thing and why aren't we looking into it?' to 'look what our competitors just did."

Meanwhile, Kaavo and its peers potentially have new competition of their own. Last week, Amazon released a new Web dashboard for managing EC2 instances, and said it plans to release additional interfaces for its other cloud services.

But vendors like Kaavo shouldn't tremble, according to Redmonk analyst Michael Coté.

"My feel so far is that Amazon is just putting out a basic console, which shouldn't make the cloud console people fear too much. The cloud console people generally operate at a much more featureful level," he said. "It's sort of like the default management software you get with your servers versus what you'd buy from an IT management vendor."

Self-service pricing for Kaavo IMOD starts at US$100 per month, with no contract required. Mazhar declined to provide details on enterprise pricing, which includes 24-hour support, saying the details weren't yet finalized.

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