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Cloud Monitoring Early Access Program Opens Its Doors

At the end of last year, we announced the private beta to Cloud Monitoring, the next generation of monitoring for Rackspace customers. Today, we pull the curtain off of the Cloud Monitoring Early Access Program, providing opening it up to anyone who wants next generation monitoring for sys admins and developers comfortable with using a RESTful API.

Some of the highlights of capabilities available during the early access program include API-driven monitoring; availability in five data centers – ORD, LON, DFW, IAD and HKG – and the ability to provision a check on any one; the ability to send an email or get a webhook when something goes critical, and the ability to change where the alert goes for warnings and recovery; IPv4 and IPv6 remote Internet based checks for monitoring services; historic APIs for status changes to figure out if something went bad; simulation of alerts that enable you to test a configuration before you deploy; and the use of Alarm Language, a flexible language to describe thresholding.

We’ve made a lot of progress these last few months and I’d like to recognize and thank all of the beta participants. Your feedback is and has been invaluable and has helped shape the next generation of cloud monitoring. Please keep the feedback coming!

What is Cloud Monitoring Early Access Program?

While the Cloud Monitoring private beta was available to only a limited number of customers; the Cloud Monitoring Early Access Program makes it available to anybody who wants to access the next generation of API driven monitoring. Cloud Monitoring is available at no charge for a limited time.

Here are some important things you should know about the Cloud Monitoring Early Access Program:

• Early Access does not include service level agreements (SLAs).
• Initial configuration of Cloud Monitoring is accomplished via the Cloud Monitoring API by following the getting started guide.
• Rackspace support will be able to help troubleshoot the API if you experience problems.
• If Cloud Monitoring identifies an issue with your Rackspace products, contact support through your normal channels. The support organization will help find the root of the problem.

What progress have we made throughout the private beta?

We’ve spent a lot of time getting the next generation agent ready for external use, and it’s coming together rapidly. Using the lessons learned during the private beta, we’ve been able to create a better, more iterative agent that will deliver on the promises of more insight, a more open development process and a higher quality system. We’ve based a lot of the technology on the Luvit project, which is taking Lua, an excellent embeddable language, and pushing it to be the agent platform for Cloud Monitoring.

We’ve also improved the documentation – we have a getting started guide with excellent examples of how to use Cloud Monitoring and a developer’s guide that details the features that are available.

Our decision to open source DreadNot and utilize it for our continuous delivery model has led to approximately 300 releases in the past three months, which include a variety of features and fixes, such as:

• A new test notification endpoint /test-notification
• The ability to test an existing notification with /notifications/ntFOO/test
• The addition of JSONP support to the API
• Rate limiting and including the limits in the header
• Inclusion of rate limits with the object limits on the /limits handler
• Better type checking for the alarm subsystem
• Detection of missing metrics, and automatically outputting a failed state
• A more than a 10 times increase in the speed of the overview
• Unifying the language around the different states in the system
• New access control headers so you can use the API cross domain from the browser
• The addition of a label to the alarm field
• Unification of the webhook payload to be the same across alarm change history and webhook payload
• The addition of previous_state to the webhook field
• An added status field, which is the human readable message describing the status of an alarm
• And a lot more

You can read about the new features and fixes in greater depth in the official Cloud Monitoring release notes.

This is just the beginning, and we hope to continue and increase the velocity. In the meantime please join the Cloud Monitoring Early Access Program, get to know more about the product and let us know if you have any more feedback. We’d really like to spend some serious time with our customers and figure out how we can make their lives better through monitoring and alerting.

And as always, we are hiring!

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Dan Di Spaltro.


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