Yes there is such a thing as cloud management services and Cloudkick has a business model around them:
Great article on designing applications for the cloud from Godjo Adzic who spent his last two years in projects deployed on the Amazon cloud:
The San Francisco company’s existing features — including a dashboard with an overview of your cloud infrastructure, email alerts, and graphs that you help you visualize data like bandwidth requirements — will always be free, said co-founder and chief executive Alex Polvi. But Cloudkick wants to charge for features on top of the basic service, such as SMS alerts when your app has problems and a change-log tool where sysadmins can communicate with each other, which Polvi described as “Twitter for servers.”
Royans blog comments James Hamilton critical post about private clouds not being the future:
A very healthy way to look at this is that all your cloud applications will run on a bunch of cheap web servers. It’s healthy because planning for that in advance will help you keep your mental health when glitches occur, and it will also force you to design for machine failure upfront making the system more resilient.
And a good detailed article about Hive used at Facebook:
Though I believe in most of his comments, I’m not convinced with the generalization of the conclusions. In particular, what is the maximum number of servers one need to own, beyond which outsourcing will become a liability. I suspect this is not a very high number today, but will grow over time.
Facebook has a production Hive cluster which is primarily used for log summarization, including aggregation of impressions, click counts and statistics around user engagement. They have a separate cluster for “Ad hoc analysis” which is free for all/most Facebook employees to use. And over time they figured out how to use it for spam detection, ad optimization and a host of other undocumented stuff.