Cloudability offers cloud cost-tracking APIs, free beer

With the public beta of Cloudability’s cloud cost-tracking service, new APIs are available to help customers access their billing and usage information from popular cloud providers including, Azure, Amazon Web Services and Rackspace. Oh, and if you refer a paying customer, there’s free beer!

For Windows Azure, AWS is a friend, not a foe

Satya Nadella - President, Server and Tools Business, Microsoft - Structure 2011It would be understandable for people to view Microsoft (s MSFT) Azure, the company’s enterprise cloud hosting service, as a direct competitive play.

After all, the product was launched in February 2010, well after Microsoft’s fellow software giants Amazon (s AMZN) and Google (s GOOG) had positioned themselves in the cloud computing space with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google’s App Engine, respectively. But according to Satya Nadella, the executive in charge of Azure, Microsoft sees the other players in the cloud space as peers– not competitors.

“Amazon has done a fantastic job of building the AWS business. They’re a partner to us. But at the same time we do overlap,” Nadella said Wednesday in an onstage conversation with Forbes’ Eric Savitz at the Structure 2011 conference in San Francisco.

Nadella noted that there is more than enough business for Azure to share– that in fact, that diversity is what clients demand. “It’s not just [about] building an application that’s completely resident in one cloud. Maybe people will put their storage in [Amazon] S3, and their computing in Azure, or vice versa,” he said. “A lot of customers nowadays talk about using multiple clouds.”

And Microsoft is not just talking the talk– it’s walking the walk. Nadella pointed out that Microsoft itself runs a “good chunk” of its Windows business on Amazon’s cloud service tools. Going forward, Nardella said Microsoft Azure plans to continue playing nice with others in the enterprise cloud offering space. “It’s not a total one-size-fits-all approach. My approach would be to partner as broadly as possible with many people within the business.”

Is Apple tapping Amazon and Microsoft to boost iCloud?

Apple appears to be getting a little help from its frenemies in getting iCloud off the ground. A series of screenshots posted at InfiniteApple indicates that iCloud may be utilizing Amazon’s cloud storage system AWS and Microsoft’s Azure cloud service to help run iMessage.