As Google gets more serious about the public cloud business, it needs an awesome ecosystem of tools for customers to use.

Today, the tech giant made a surprising move that could help that cause: It bought Stackdriver, a startup with software for monitoring the performance of applications running on cloud infrastructure.

Stackdriver has been oriented toward monitoring applications on the biggest public cloud around today: Amazon Web Services. Perhaps this will play out by helping Google gain revenue by letting customers monitoring applications on the Google cloud as well as the more popular Amazon cloud — which would make sense to a certain degree, as I explained a couple of months ago. Or maybe Google will cut off Stackdriver support for the Amazon cloud.

Google isn’t saying yet exactly how things will play out.

“The teams are going to be working to integrate Stackdriver’s great functionality so that Google Cloud Platform customers can take advantage of these new advanced monitoring capabilities,” Google cloud product manager Tom Kershaw wrote in a blog post today.

AWS customers like 99designs and SmugMug use Stackdriver. This could also be a way for Google cloud to gain contacts at companies that are willing to run applications in public clouds.

Boston-based Stackdriver started in 2012. It raised $10 million last year. Investors include Flybridge Capital Partners and Bain Capital Ventures.


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