Rackspace Cloud Monitoring: Disrupting RMM Software?

Rackspace Cloud Monitoring: Disrupting RMM Software?

Rackspace Cloud Monitoring, a new tool from the hosting giant, may wind up competing with some RMM (remote monitoring and management) software that MSPs currently leverage, MSPmentor believes. Here's a first look at Rackspace's (NYSE: RAX) strategy, and the potential long-term impact on the MSP community, including software providers.

Announced a few hours ago, Rackspace Cloud Monitoring can be used to proactively manage on-premises, off-site and cloud infrastructure. Translation:

  • Rackspace is coming down from the cloud, and seeking to help customers and MSPs to proactively manage/monitor on-premises equipment plus cloud infrastructure.
  • Meanwhile, RMM software is going up to the cloud, extending beyond on-premises monitoring to remotely track cloud services like Office 365 and more. A prime example here is Level Platforms, where CEO Peter Sandiford has been evangelizing on-premises and cloud monitoring for more than two years.
But are Rackspace and RMM software providers really on a collision course? Yes and no:

The Reasons for Yes...

  • Some MSPs and customers are bound to try Rackspace's cloud monitoring tool because it claims to deliver a "single dashboard" for all infrastructure management. Plus, it's cloud-based -- meaning that it should offer fast set-up.
  • As Rackspace CTO Jon Engates said: “This product provides one easy solution to monitor all IT infrastructure from a single interface, regardless of vendor or location.” Assuming that statement is true, MSPs could be intrigued.

And The Reasons for No...

  • The Rackspace solution could be far too narrow for many MSPs. Most RMM software extends out to desktops, notebooks, printers, tablets, smartphones and more. If I had to guess, I think Rackspace is mostly interested in server infrastructure and server application monitoring.
  • Most MSPs have spent years integrated various management platforms together. It's unclear whether Rackspace will integrate into PSA software like ConnetWise, Autotask and Tigerpaw.
  • I don't know how much Rackspace's Cloud Monitoring tool will cost -- though the company tends to price aggressively.
  • Rackspace itself depends on numerous third-party monitoring and management tools, including CA Technologies' Nimsoft.
Either way, MSPs have a growing list of potentially disruptive cloud services from which to choose. Another example includes Boundary, led by former Nimsoft CEO Gary Read. Boundary has a cloud-based application monitoring service. Here again, it's for on-premises or cloud applications.

The key takeaway for all MSPs: The line between cloud monitoring and on-premises monitoring is going away. Make sure your NOC, help desk, business processes, tool sets, service catalogs and pricing adjust accordingly.
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