Cortex aims to provide more visibility into cloud resources


With businesses using an increasing number of cloud services often distributed across multi-cloud environments, it can be difficult to keep track of everything.

This is where the San Francisco-based startup Cortex is looking to help, with an Asset Catalog rolling out on July 26 that enables automatic discovery of cloud services. Cortex designed its platform to site reliability engineering (SRE) and ITOps professionals to gain better service visibility. Until now, Cortex has focused on discovering and managing microservices, but is expanding that focus to encompass more cloud services.

Related: What is CloudOps?

“Enterprises typically place traditional microservices in Cortex, and what we constantly hear from our customers is, ‘Hey, you know, we have more than just microservices,’” Anish Dhar, co-founder and CEO of Cortex, Told ITPro today. “At the end of the day, there are all these resources and infrastructure that go along with these services.”

How Cortex discovers cloud resources to support CloudOps and ITOps

A fundamental element of the new Cortex Resource Catalog is automatic discovery of the cloud resources an organization uses.

Cortex allows IT operations to connect to cloud providers and then automatically pull a comprehensive list of all the services and resources the organization uses, Dhar said. This information is then placed in the Resource Catalog, which provides a visual representation of all services, including how different workloads depend on certain services. The Cortex platform also provides a scorecard for understanding usage and adherence to best practice policies. Without the Cortex Resource Catalog, Dhar said SREs and platform engineers might have to manually track multicloud resources across multiple spreadsheets.

Each cloud platform has its own asset tracking service. For example, Amazon CloudWatch helps monitor resources on AWS. However, while CloudWatch provides a view into resources being used, it doesn’t necessarily tie that to enterprise workloads, Dhar said. As a multicloud tool, Cortex is able to gain visibility into multiple disparate cloud resources an organization may be using.

Going one step further, Cortex is able to alert ITOps and CloudOps management whenever their business uses a new service through a capability called Discovery Audit.

“We want to help organizations understand all of the new resources that are being created and, ideally, what their impact is on productivity,” Dhar said.

According to Tracy Woo, senior analyst at Forrester Research, above are nine advantages and three disadvantages of using CloudOps.

Integrating CloudOps Service Discovery with FinOps

In the future, Cortex plans to release a cost analysis feature to help organizations better understand cloud costs. The discipline of cloud cost management falls within the domain of FinOpsthat helps organizations optimize cloud operations from a financial perspective.

Dhar said the cost analysis feature in Cortex will help organizations visualize the costs of different resources. The feature will provide breakdowns by departments and who it relates to in terms of teams, products, and business units.

“Obviously with the current economic climate, I think the cost of infrastructure has become a priority for everyone. So that’s something we’re going to invest in and publish as a first-class citizen instead of Cortex,” Dhar said.

About the Author

Sean Michael Kerner is an IT consultant, tech enthusiast, and handyman. He consults for industry and media organizations on technology issues.

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