Amazon, Google and Microsoft were going strong in their ongoing spat over cloud pricing early last December, but then things got quiet. Now Microsoft has announced the acquisition of MetricsHub which should add a little bit more edge to its Azure offering by providing software to monitor and automate resource allocation for Azure.

Microsoft, MetricsHub

MetricsHub is a cloud startup company that owes its existence in part to Microsoft as one of the 10 companies that benefitted from the Microsoft Accelerator 2012 Program with a US$ 20,000 fund awarded by VC fund TechStars.

The TechStars program is a partnership with Microsoft to offer companies a three-month intensive program for companies that are developing in the cloud. It is held on-site in Seattle and focuses on the development of Kinect and Azure applications with spots awarded to 10 companies every year.

Neither Microsoft or MetricsHub have said how much the deal is worth, but in circumstances like these it is probable that, relatively speaking, it is not an enormous amount.


MetricsHub in beta


With MetricsHub, users will be able to gather data on the performance of cloud applications and indicate when companies will need to scale up or down their Azure presence, a function that should end up saving enterprise customers quite a lot of money.

Accoding to a post on the Azure blog, Metrics Hub will be able to intelligently understand, monitor and correlate all the applications and identify exactly when enterprises need to act to optimize the use of Azure.

In addition, the service will provide rules-based automation, such as scaling certain Azure roles or setting minimums and maximums for the number of instances.

And to sweeten the whole deal for users, already and with the ink still fresh on the contracts, Azure cloud users can access a pre-release, no charge version of the MetricHub’s Active Cloud Monitoring product through the Azure Store.

MetricsHub will now offer all Windows Azure customers our premium product as a pre-release, no charge, service available through the Windows Azure Store. We will also be converting all paying customers to this no-charge version of the service and MetricsHub technology will continue to keep your cloud applications running,” MetricsHub said in a blog post.

While the acquisition itself looks small enough, the impact for companies that are using it should be substantial in that it will streamline the way and the cost of using Azure cloud.

If the battle between Google, Amazon and Microsoft was over pricing, this acquisition should heat the battle up again as it looks to reduce the cost of Azure use for enterprises. How the others respond we’ll see probably sooner rather than later. More on this as it happens. In the meantime, if you want to have a close look at MetricsHub, have a look at the video below.