How can cloud services providers (CSPs) and customers proactively monitor and manage cloud applications? Before I offer up a list of cloud monitoring tools, here's some background on what inspired this article.

I've spent the past few years blogging about remote monitoring and management (RMM) software platforms designed for managed services providers (MSPs). Most of that coverage appears on our sister site, MSPmentor.

Some of those RMM platforms are evolving for cloud monitoring and application management. But there's also a whole new breed of cloud tools coming onto the scene. Which ones are ideal for MSPs and CSPs that want to proactively manage, monitor and optimize cloud services? 

20 Cloud Monitoring Tools and Services

While Talkin' Cloud doesn't offer product reviews, here's an early look at some of the cloud management tools we plan to increasingly track:

1. AppDynamics: Focused on application monitoring in the cloud. Founded in 2008 by CEO Jyoti Bansal, a Wily veteran.

2. Aternity: Core focus involves end-user experience management. The company's Frontline Performance Intelligence platform monitors mobile, virtual and physical devices. Yes, Aternity focuses some of those efforts on cloud monitoring.Backed by Intel Capital.

3. Boundary: Former Nimsoft CEO Gary Read is running this startup. The company has been providing early warnings about cloud problems and outages over at Amazon Web Services and Windows Azure. Customers are impressed and rivals are taking note. The secret sauce: Boundary looks at aggregate cloud data from multiple customers, then determines if there are any red alerts in the data. Read is changing with the times, offering a freemium version of Boundary so that the company can gather plenty of data.

4. CA Nimsoft Monitor: Nimsoft cut its teeth offering on-premises monitoring solutions for midsize MSPs. More recently, under CA's ownership, the platform allows customers and cloud services providers to monitor application instances in Amazon, Rackspace, Salesforce.com and other public clouds.

5. Compuware Gomez: This is a SaaS-based platform for application performance management.

6. CopperEgg RevealCloud and RevealUptime: CEO Bob Quillin has previously held executive posts at Hyper9 (acquired by SolarWinds in 2011) and nLayers (acquired by EMC in 2005). Could another M&A deal be on the horizon? Hmmm... The company has a lengthy list of big CSPs as partners.

7. Level Platforms Managed Workplace: Best known in the MSP market for monitoring SMB customer systems, Level Platforms can also monitor public cloud platforms like Office 365. CEO Peter Sandiford has been ahead of the curve on cloud monitoring predictions. But can he help MSPs to monetize cloud monitoring?

8. LogicMonitor: MSPs in particular should keep close tabs on this company. I've heard rumors about a major growth curve. CEO Kevin McGibben rolled out the business case to me during the IT Nation conference in November 2012. I was impressed with the conversation.

9. ManageEngine: Another company that has worked in and around the MSP market, ManageEngine offers cloud monitoring tools as well as Amazon monitoring tools. Also of note: This is part of ZOHO Corp., the company that makes popular Zoho SaaS applications.

10. Monitis: Keep a close eye on this company, which is owned by GFI Software. GFI has been building out a suite of SaaS products that allow MSPs to proactively manage and monitor customer environments, while also blending in storage and security solutions. Monitis brings cloud and web systems monitoring into that conversastion.

11. NetEnrich: Better known for its NOC (network operations center) services, NetEnrich offers closet-to-cloud services that include cloud monitoring and management for VARs and MSPs that need third-party assistance. 

12. New Relic: Well known for its end user experience monitoring but also an expert on application monitoring and server monitoring. 

13. Rackspace Cloud Monitoring: Yes, you can actually monitor third-party cloud services using Rackspace's tools. This platform is based at least in part on Rackspace's 2010 buyout of CloudKick

14. SplunkStorm: Best known for its ability to help IT managers analyze and troubleshoot cloud application performance issues.

15. Zenoss Cloud Monitoring: The company spends considerable time talking about unified monitoring solutions for vCloud, Cisco UCS and NetApp Flexpod. But there's also a hybrid cloud and pure cloud monitoring story here that many MSPs are checking out.

16. Zyrion: Another cloud monitoring platform that we first learned about in the MSP market. The company's tools support Amazon Web Services, CloudStack and OpenStack monitoring.

17 to 19. Other solutions we're potentially tracking include Nagios; VMware's Hyperic; and Zabbix.

20. Actually, there is no 20. So we need your help: Which cloud monitoring tools did we overlook? Let us know by posting a comment or emailing me, joe.panettieri [at] penton.com.

That's all for now. We hope to keep a consistent focus on those and other companies that are pitching the cloud monitoring tools to MSPs, CSPs and other types of service providers.