IT management company Hyperic has launched a new version of its HQ product in an attempt to address the twin concerns of those IT directors in moving to the cloud computing model.

According to a CIO.com survey, security and management have been cited as the main concerns facing IT directors looking to adopt cloud computing.

"It's almost a repeat of what we saw with virtualisation," said Javier Soltero, Hyperic's CEO. "Companies are looking for the right on-ramps. Until there are robust management tools, it's going to stay the land of experimentation."

Hyperic aims its tools at companies managing highly-dynamic environments that utilise virtualisation, cloud computing, or both; its 400 or so current cutomers include SaaS and technology providers (such as Rackspace), media companies and financial institutions, Soltero said.

Hyperic HQ 4.0 aims to help IT manage application performance in internal data centres or in cloud services. The tool allows a company that wants to use Amazon's EC2 cloud services, for example, have a detailed window into how its apps are running in Amazon's cloud.

Customers using the Hyperic tools can look at every layer of the equation, say a web server, database, OS and end-user application. Data is sent back to a central dashboard where IT can examine it alongside other performance measures, Soltero said.

This kind of transparency is important for security and capacity planning as enterprises begin to move into the cloud, especially in instances where they want to "burst up" and tap into the cloud only at times of peak need.

Soltero said that users should not expect the likes of Amazon to do this. Enterprises must think of Amazon as the utility company, Soltero contended. Asking Amazon to track performance issues like this would be like expecting your local electric company to diagnose what was wrong with your clothes washer or dryer at home, he said.

Hyperic's technology draws on lessons learned from the four-year-old company's roots, automating management of highly virtualized datacenters, Soltero added.

Part of the 4.0 release will be available as a fully configured system on Amazon's Web Services; an Amazon Machine Image preconfigured for Amazon's elastic Block Storage will be available later this month. This new offering will be available with a low initiation fee and a pay-as-you-consume pricing model and will be the first such enterprise-level cloud management offering customers can deploy and pay for directly via Amazon Web Services, according to Hyperic.

For those interested in learning more about managing performance of cloud services, Hyperic has launched a website CloudStatus to show how Amazon and Google's cloud offerings are running at any time. "People need to have a strong assurance that the platform is stable and reliable," Soltero says. "We wanted to shine a bright light on the performance of these services."