This is always a problem when a company is purchased by one of the vendors it sits above in the value chain, esp when impartiality and independence is important in a space such as vendor monitoring.
I can't see RS buying CloudKick for internal monitoring of its own customer's servers and instances because they would already have a mature solution by now.
I'm not sure I want to be providing RackSpace with performance data of my servers running on their competitor's instances, the CloudKick agent is placed to send (albeit transparently) all sorts of data back to RS. And don't be surprised if other vendors raise concerns to this effect too.
I just want to respond to one point.
> I can't see RS buying CloudKick for internal
> monitoring of its own customer's servers and
> instances because they would already have a
> mature solution by now.
(that's not a disrespect to CloudKick, but an examination of scales of economy)
But whatever. If this is about bolstering RS's own monitoring does that mean CloudKick will no longer be monitoring 3rd party vendors?
I'm guessing CloudKick will still continue to be more than happy to monitor Amazon EC2, Linode, GoGrid, etc out of the box.
And so even if this acquisition is going to help RackSpace's own monitoring, the point still stands that RS now has a massive competitive intelligence operation going on here too. If the data is available inside the company then it even has a duty to shareholders, as a publicly listed company, to make the most out of that data to enhance profits.
This is why Cisco acquires companies started by former Cisco employees on a regular basis that some folks have been acquired into Cisco 3 or 4 times in their careers!
Also, the competitive intelligence is not as useful as it may seem. Data for the sake of data isn't valuable. And when you figure out what they could turn it into, it doesn't seem like it would show much more than economic and market forces already show, even if CK got to scale.
My observation was just if you are a $600m/year web serving infrastructure company than a core competency should be monitoring. And thus if a two year old scrappy startup can build out better monitoring, what on earth have RackSpace been building and relying on for the past 12 years?
On the competitive intelligence I think it's insanely useful for RackSpace. Down to shit like being able to monitor up-stream connectivity and routing of other providers and then being able to cross-sell their own proposition knowing the weak points of the current 3rd party solution.
For RackSpace, monitoring is a cost center and not a core competency.
"If the data is available inside the company then it even has a duty to shareholders, as a publicly listed company, to make the most out of that data to enhance profits."
This cliche, like most cliches, is not only annoying, it is wrong: