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Linode adds analytics package to Linux cloud

Forewarned is forearmed

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Xen hosting company Linode has added a statistics collection and graphing service to its cloud to keep current users happy.

The "Longview" technology uses a server-side agent written in Perl – available as an open source project on Github – to inspect server performance, massage data, and output it to a Linode admin GUI.

It gives administrators a general view of the consumption of CPU, memory, network, and processes in their Linux servers, and lets them expand for a more detailed view as well.

Unlike similar analytical packages from larger companies such as Amazon Web Services, the tech has no monitoring capability, so it will not automatically notify you if a server croaks.

Rather, the company hopes administrators will use Longview "as a tool to aid in identifying bottlenecks or opportunities to tune things," according to chief executive Christopher Aker.

The service is available as a free and paid-for version. "The free version is restricted in two ways – one is the frequency with which it samples data [and] data retention is also limited," Aker says.

The free version will sample information every five minutes, and only let people zoom back over a 30 minute period, giving admins access to six slices of information to use when diagnosing problems.

"The pro version removes both of those restrictions," Aker says. Sampling frequency goes to once per minute, and there is no data retention. The paid version costs $20 a month for one to three servers, and up to $200 a month for 100 servers.

Eventually, Linode hopes to offer a service to let admins download all the data from all of their servers using a simple process within Longview, rather than having to apply third-party analytics to their log files.

Given the changes in the web hosting market wrought by the rise of clouds such as Amazon Web Services and Rackspace and Azure, and others, many companies are having to either lower prices, or introduce new cheap features for users, many of which hew to a "freemium" model as with Longview. ®

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