Would You Like 'Gravy' With Your Cloud Monitoring?

A timely addition to the acronym-laden family tree of modern language, right up there with YOLO (you only live once), and many evolutionary steps beyond the great-grandparents OMG and ROTFL, comes the wonderful term FOLO. This stands for “fear of losing out,” and quite concisely reflects the attitude of many millions of busy and connected people of all ages, for whom 24/7 access to Internet-based information remains a necessity – multidimensional and ever-expanding, with data both incoming and outgoing across a range of social media platforms. For these types of people there exists an appetite for knowledge and awareness that cannot be satiated.

The need to know is a very human one, and hence FOLO, the fear of losing out, of not knowing about every activity or item of knowledge that is out there, is a natural outcome. This desire, at least on the entertainment and leisure side is being answered by increasingly sophisticated hyperlocal mobile apps such as Gravy, which shows its customers every event happening nearby, and which can find solutions for their entertainment wanderlust by using their phone’s geolocation features combined with a smart recommendation algorithm.

Gravy is an aggregator, pulling together more than 1 million events per day from over 100 sources, providing nationwide coverage and presenting them to the viewer in a highly personalized, intuitive and easy-to-use palette. During its infancy, the company was called timeRAZOR. Its dynamic collection of events and opportunities included personalized events such as 15-minute beauty consultations in New York City for its client L’Oreal, who wished to generate greater awareness of its new Vichy beauty line by inviting people to come in and try it out, on their own schedule. Hyperlocal mobile apps such as Gravy thus represent an even fresher approach to the personalization of customer experience, and consequently are an excellent opportunity for retailers and sellers of any type of product or experience to get right in front of individual consumers with tailored suggestions and special promotions.

The data for all these events and opportunities, stored on a number of virtual servers and cloud-based databases, needed a highly dynamic approach to monitoring – one that can spin up rapidly to match demand without manual onboarding of servers, which is why, after assessing several providers, Gravy’s Cloud Hosting Administrator, Ed Ritter, turned to Austin, Texas based CopperEgg to manage the demand.

The behind-the-scenes work provided by CopperEgg represents a type of dynamic and specialized support that is essential for any organization contemplating a move to the cloud, and/or who is looking to partner up with a managed resource provider (MSP) to offload the heavy lifting of data management. There exist a great number of MSPs across the globe who are ready to host, of course, but as CopperEgg’s VP of Customer Service, Mike Raab points out, few major cloud providers offer a whole package. “Niche specialists such as CopperEgg fit into the ecosystem by providing software-as-a-service (SaaS) amenities such as cloud sizing, used by the MSP on behalf of a customer, as well as high resolution Hybrid and Cloud performance monitoring.”

For Ed Ritter’s timeRAZOR/Gravy configuration, CopperEgg’s integration with Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) allowed for the gathering of granular data with real‐time monitoring, and required a simple and quick setup procedure. This allows Ritter to monitor multiple servers at the same time and drill down to high-resolution details of Processes, Disk IO, CPU and Network stats, from the same interface, while knowing he can receive health reports and alerts via email.

The Gravy interface represents a customizable user experience, one which reacts in real time both to the demands of its users as well as to the information being supplied by its clients, either by widget or API. It also represents the complexity of cloud-based data management by highlighting the dynamic, second-by-second nature of information demand – something that needs to be factored in to any cloud strategy: awareness, diagnostics and system alerts – these are subsets that may best be left to niche players such as CopperEgg.

By Steve Prentice

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