Tier 3 spiffs up cloud management

Tier 3 says its new cloud management tools will give customers more precise control of their workloads and help them keep a lid on server sprawl.

Just because companies want to offload some compute tasks to third-party providers, doesn’t mean they don’t want precise management of those jobs or a way to track and monitor them. The race is on among the cloud service providers to offer the granularity of control enterprise customers need.

“Right now it’s very hard to manage server sprawl and to manage and maintain permissions across servers and roles,” said Jared Wray, CTO and founder of Bellevue, WA.-based Tier 3. That’s a problem every cloud provider from Amazon(s amzn) on down is hearing about from customers. Amazon just announced new cost tracking options to help customers better monitor their Amazon compute and storage workloads.

With Tier 3’s new Cloud Server Group Management features, IT can set up and run batch maintenance and software installation jobs. And, they can make sure that permissions allocated to a group do, in fact, get rolled out to all group members.

Wray said customers can also set default settings on their preferred machine sizes to keep a lid on over-provisioning. Service providers using Tier 3’s resources to support their customers can also set up groups for each customer then monitor and manage them all from a single monitor.

Tier 3, which has made a bit of a splash offering enterprise-class cloud infrastructure and platform as a service to enterprise accounts. exemplifies what Carl Brooks called a new breed of IT infrastructure provider.

“They started with the premise of cloud/infrastructure as a service and delivered services all the way up the stack,” said Brooks, who is the IT infrastructure and cloud analyst for Tier1 Research (no relation).  More mature competitors like Savvis(s ctl) and Terremark (s vz), on the other hand, started out as more old-school data center service providers that then added IaaS/PaaS capabilities to the mix.