Free Cloudkick Monitoring for EC2

For my final post in freely acquiring, maintaining and monitoring a virtual root server, I’d like to introduce you to Cloudkick. They’ve had a major marketing campaign going on after being acquired by the folks from Rackspace. I actually clicked through one of their ads while browsing some headlines on Slashdot.

Besides free basic checks for things like ping, disk space and load, a developer account gets you “paid” checks like http & https response times on one server for no extra cost.

Registration & Installation

After setting up your free developer account, it’s time to update your server’s package repository. When you install the agent, you’re prompted for your cloudkick login which automatically adds the appropriate oauth information to /etc/cloudkick.conf.

On our Bitnami instance, I had to sudo apt-get install libmysqlclient-dev before the MySQL data was collected and displayed.

A nice extra is a terminal console right from your web browser:

Data pr0n

Unlike Amazon EC2’s monitoring afterthought, a cloudkick developer account gets you free professional grade server monitoring – albeit for one server.

Not bad for 15 minutes effort. Go give Cloudkick a spin and be pleasantly surprised yourself. I guess all the best things in life really are free.

Professional Grade Virtual Computing for “Free”

3 thoughts on “Free Cloudkick Monitoring for EC2

  1. I’ve used the opscode chef recipe to install the cloudkick agent on my boxes. After vendoring the cookbook ($ knife cookbook site vendor cloudkick) I created a role “cloudkick_monitored” like this:

    name "cloudkick_monitored"
    run_list "recipe[cloudkick]"
    override_attributes :cloudkick => {
      :oauth_key => "XXX",
      :oauth_secret => "YYYYY"

    and assigned it to the hosts I want to monitor. One chef-client run later, my host showed up in cloudkick. The cookbook even creates tags in cloudkick for every role my server has. That gives you some very nice ways for dynamically setting up your monitoring based on roles (instead of hard wiring it to machines directly). Enough for another post…


  2. We use Cloudkick to monitor our cloud servers. We’ve been very happy with it. It’s rough around the edges (Windows agent, why do you torment me) but it’s our current pick for best cloud monitoring solution, we have 100 servers running under it.


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