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Cortex Resource Catalog Brings Visibility to CloudOps

Cortex is looking to make it easier for organizations to visually identify different resources used across cloud providers and how it all relates to service delivery.

With enterprises using a growing number of cloud services that are often spread across multicloud environments, keeping track of everything can be a challenge.

That's where San Francisco-based startup Cortex is looking to help, with a resource catalog it rolled out on July 26 that provides auto-discovery of cloud services. Cortex has designed its platform for site reliability engineering (SRE) and ITOps professionals to get better visibility into services. Until now, Cortex focused on microservices discovery and management but is expanding that focus to encompass more cloud services.

Related: What Is CloudOps?

"Typically, companies will put traditional microservices inside of Cortex, and what we would hear constantly from our customers is that, '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's all these resources and infrastructure that go along with those services."

How Cortex Discovers Cloud Resources to Support CloudOps and ITOps

A foundational element of the new Cortex resource catalog is auto-discovery of the cloud resources an organization is using.

Cortex enables IT operations to connect into cloud providers and then automatically extract a complete list of all the services and resources the organization is using, Dhar said. That information is then put into the resource catalog, which provides a visual representation of all the services, including how different workloads depend on certain services. The Cortex platform also provides a scorecard to understand usage and adherence to best practices policies. Without the Cortex resource catalog, Dhar said SREs and platform engineers may have to manually track multicloud resources in multiple spreadsheets.

Each cloud platform has its own resource tracking service. For example Amazon CloudWatch helps with monitoring resources on AWS. However, while CloudWatch provides a view into the resources being used, it doesn't necessarily tie that together to business workloads, Dhar said. As a multicloud tool, Cortex is able to gain visibility across multiple disparate cloud resources that an organization might be using.

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

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

Above are nine benefits and three drawbacks to employing CloudOps, according to Forrester Research Senior Analyst Tracy Woo.

Integrating CloudOps Service Discovery with FinOps

Moving forward, Cortex is planning to release a cost insights feature to help organizations gain a better understanding of cloud costs. The discipline of managing cloud costs falls under the domain of FinOps, which helps organizations optimize cloud operations from a financial perspective.

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

"Obviously, with the current economic climate, I think that the cost of infrastructure has become top of mind for everyone. and so it's something that we're going to be investing in and releasing as a first-class citizen instead of Cortex," Dhar said.

About the author

 Sean Michael Kerner headshotSean Michael Kerner is an IT consultant, technology enthusiast and tinkerer. He consults to industry and media organizations on technology issues.
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