Archive for May, 2010

All around the world

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Just realized yesterday, we have Nimsoft employees from the US flying to India, Australia and Singapore this week. All of them are going to get involved in customer engagements – many with Service Providers. We’re starting to get everywhere.

As for me, well joy of joys I get a red-eye to New York for my Memorial Day gift :) then it’s off to Boston and Southern California for the rest of the week.

Bit of a bummer because we moved into our new offices over the weekend, and I wanted to be there for day one to welcome everyone – now I’ve got to struggle to get back for the Friday night party.

Any “friends of Nimsoft” in the Bay Area…let me know if you’d like to come and join us Friday night.

Blast from the past

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Many thanks to Todd who sent me this email this morning. Can you believe it….December 2003, Converse Software – May 2010, CA.

I think that the only people in the US at the time were myself, Paul and Dan – let me know if I’ve got that wrong – and we’re all still here.

And yes, Shands became a customer of ours and in fact still are!

—–Original Message—–
From: Todd.Ragland@shands.ufl.edu [mailto:Todd.Ragland@shands.ufl.edu]
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2003 2:01 PM
To: Read; Gary
Subject: Re: My details

How about the week of the 12th coming on site? Thursday?

>>> Gary Read 12/02/03 03:19PM >>>
Todd
Real nice talking with you, sounds like we’ve got a great product fit for you.

Anyhow, as mentioned, we could come onsite and demo to you; probably latter half of next week or we could do this over the web at any time.

Let me know a couple of dates/times that would work for you and I look forward to speaking with you soon.

PS Attached is a short write up on xxx that you may be interested in (not even sure that Tim has seen this)

Gary Read
1 877 SLA MGMT

Direct: 650 570 5401 x102
www.conversesoftware.com

Service Level Management…within reach

Nice press article

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

In Data Center Knowledge today

Major new customer win – SoftLayer

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

I mentioned recently that I felt that Nimsoft was on its way to becoming almost a standard among service providers – and while of course I am “talking it up”, I cannot tell you how excited I am with what is going on (I met with a large cloud provider this week, and they have also agreed to embed Nimsoft into their cloud product)

Each SP has unique characteristics in their business that they emphasis. They may specialize in customer size, customer vertical, particular platforms, flexible terms, enhanced support etc.

Nimsoft, unlike almost every other vendor that I am aware of, is flexible enough to listen to the Service Provider and then adjust our packaging and pricing accordingly. Some SPs want to “bundle” our first level of monitoring on every server and then upsell. Others, only want to deploy us on to their high value servers. Others still may want to focus on database monitoring.

Bottom Line (and this speaks to the 451 article I blogged yesterday), one size DOES NOT fit all. Software vendors have to be flexible to listen to their customers and adapt the pricing to fit. Now….there is a concept huh? LISTEN to your customer :)

Here is the first few lines of the release, full release can be found on www.nimsoft.com of course

SoftLayer Chooses Nimsoft Monitoring Solution as the Standard Monitoring Platform for Managed Hosting Customers


    Initial deployment of over 25,000 systems will help increase performance and availability of cloud-based services and applications

    REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–May 26, 2010 – Nimsoft, a business unit of CA Technologies (NASDAQ:CA), today announced that SoftLayer, a leading provider of hosting and cloud computing solutions, will standardize on the Nimsoft Monitoring Solution (NMS) to offer enhanced infrastructure and application solutions to its managed hosting customers. NMS will enable SoftLayer customers to benefit from tiered levels of monitoring, according to business needs.

    Initially, SoftLayer will deploy more than 25,000 systems, with the goal of increasing the performance and availability of hosted business applications.

    SoftLayer customers receive the same standard-level monitoring, which includes automated alerts and reporting on critical health indicators. NMS APIs feature bi-directional data integration into related IT service management applications, such as configuration management databases and service desks, enabling customers to easily integrate SoftLayer’s NMS-based management services into their own IT management environments.

Pricing models for Cloud

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

The below article was in The451 yesterday and I agree.

Personally I think that pricing models are going to be a big competitive differentiator in the future – some vendors will move slow, some won’t move at all and others will “get it” and adapt.

Without sounding like shameless self promotion, but Nimsoft is already doing this. Even for us, we had to have the “difficult” conversations internally, but we put flexible models around Cloud in place about 9 months ago and have been working from them successfully since. Email me, or add a comment and I’ll tell you more about what we are doing.

Is software licensing slowing virtualization and cloud adoption?

Analyst: Dan Kusnetzky , Rachel Chalmers
Date: 24 May 2010

A few hidden, but very important, aspects of virtualization and cloud adoption are software licensing and business terms and conditions. We hear it again and again from end users in the enterprise: licenses and terms and conditions are too complex, too expensive and too onerous. This presents a significant barrier to the adoption of server and desktop virtualization, as well as a major inhibitor to the adoption of cloud computing.
Software licensing has been challenging and a point of contention between suppliers and consumers for decades. A major part of the problem is that suppliers and their customers have different needs and goals. So they can find themselves in conflict, or find these needs and goals are entirely incompatible.

Suppliers
Suppliers typically have the following requirements:
They want compensation for the value they provide. Their perception of that value may be quite different from the customer’s perception.
Suppliers want to maximize their revenue – that is, grab all the money on the table, without going over the line and creating a customer base angry at overpriced products.
Suppliers want to motivate their customers to use more and more of their products and services. This often means offering packages of products and services, or creating product suites, that provide a substantial discount over purchasing the components separately.
When and where possible, suppliers hope to block out competitors.

Customers
Customers often have quite a different and conflicting set of requirements:
Customers want maximum flexibility to architect, build and then deploy whatever IT-based solutions they require wherever, and whenever, they choose, without facing licensing restrictions.
They want to purchase only what is absolutely needed. If a given piece of software is deployed multiple times on the same physical machine, customers typically don’t view paying the full license fee for each instance as fair or equitable. For suppliers, this can be infuriating, since a physical host is as arbitrary a cutoff as anything else. If a customer derives value from multiple instances of products, suppliers would like multiple revenue streams – even if those instances are running inside virtual machines (VMs) on a single server.
Customers want to design solutions to fit their needs without facing licensing or business terms that prevent them from taking that step. For example, they don’t want to be told that a particular piece of software cannot be licensed to run inside of a VM.
Customers expect software from all their various suppliers to interoperate easily.

Historical licensing models
Historically, client or desktop software has been licensed differently than server software. Multi-tier applications, application frameworks and data management tools have been licensed differently than either client or server software.
Client software licensing: Client software has been offered using one of four different models: licensed to specific machines, licensed to specific named users, broad site licenses, and cross-organization licenses. In the case of system- or user-based licensing models, each instance of a software package would require a separate license.
Server software licensing: The licensing of server software is based on somewhat similar models, but with important differences. Some suppliers take the per-system licensing model and offer a number of distinct variations. As with client software, server software can be offered on a per-system basis. This software may have different fees and license restrictions based on processing power categories, number of processors or sockets, processor architecture (X86 or single-vendor processor architecture) or by host operating system.
Some suppliers charge a per-client ‘system access license,’ even if that client does not run software from that supplier. Suppliers often offer both site licenses and organization-wide licenses. As with client software, software licensed on a per-system basis would require a separate license for each instance of the software in use.
Multi-tier software licensing: Software having multiple tiers (e.g., some combination of user interface component, application server components, data management components and storage components) has been offered in a number of ways. In some cases, the entire package is made available under a single license, regardless of the number of components required to support the customer’s workload. In other cases, each component is licensed separately. So if five components were deployed, five licenses would be required. If 10 components are in use, all 10 would need to be licensed separately.

Base assumptions that may now be wrong
Many of today’s licensing schemes appear to depend on several base assumptions: that environments change slowly; that change is usually transactional growth not a reduction; and that once placed in an environment, things stay where they are and don’t move. Virtualization and cloud computing demonstrate that these base assumptions are no longer accurate.
Another basic assumption – that coders require compensation for their work – has also come into question, thanks to open source. Customers now have many options for free and open source alternatives to proprietary software, at no cost. Subscription relationships based on the availability of upgrades and support may offer a healthier long-term model for how suppliers and customers interact. Here, the goals of suppliers and customers may be better aligned. Suppliers have less incentive to gouge on price, and customers have more leverage to end a relationship that is not yielding real value.

Impact of virtualized environments
Virtualized environments are likely to change rapidly.
They will expand and contract as the workload and the economy requires.
Virtualized applications or application components may move from place to place to achieve SLAs or to address outages.
Multiple copies of a specific application or component might be in use on the same physical system. If a larger workload is imposed on the network, new instances of applications or components might be started. As the workload decreases, applications or components may be stopped.
Software may run in untraditional places – client software may be hosted on servers. Server software may be hosted on desktop or laptop systems.
It is clear that many established software license models do not address how customers are using software now, nor the impact of virtualized or cloud computing environments. A key component of licensing is that the supplier and the customer agree on the value being provided by a product. It’s not clear that vendors’ views of value and clients’ views of value are aligned in all cases. When they are not, conflict arises.

Impact of cloud computing on licensing
As organizations move to ever more virtualized environments and then ‘into the cloud,’ many things can change the traditional customer/supplier relationship. Service providers may now be the license holder, rather than the ultimate end user. They may also be the primary consumer of service contracts, rather than the ultimate end user. Suppliers that ignore this trend do so at their own peril.
It is clear that most major suppliers of technology (but certainly not all) have started to closely examine their software licensing architecture and the business rules they impose on customers using their products. It is also clear there is no simple answer that fits every scenario. What is apparent is that the playing field has changed. The rules must also change, or suppliers may find their best customers have moved on.
In a utopia, licensing models would fit the following requirements: fair and equitable to both the supplier and the customer; enabling innovation not stifling it; and no longer imposing arbitrary limitations on where something executes or how it is used. Furthermore, licensing should be easy to understand and track, and offer true value-based pricing. The industry certainly hasn’t gotten there yet. Those that find the right approach for their products are likely to be the industry leaders tomorrow.

Thanks Delta Airlines

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

As if a 3 hour delay was not enough, I swear we are now on the oldest plane still flying.

No wifi, no power, no in seat entertainment and guess what, the closet to hold jackets etc is broken with yellow tape all over it. All for my 6+ hour flight to SFO.

But it’s OK because they gave me a $200 Delta voucher.

Seriously??? That’s an insult. How about refunding my ticket because of horrible service?

The stewards are even joking about the age of the aircraft. It’s a mess.

3 hours delay at JFK

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

I was originally scheduled to get home around 12.30am. Now it wil be…you do the maths.

Not happy! Flew all the way to NY for one meeting and now this happens.

Someone please find me a better way.

2 months into CA and…

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

So far so good I think would be my summary – we’re on a good path – still need to continue to focus on execution

Things that are exciting:

Asia Pacific, Latin America and other emerging markets. Localizing the product for these markets and we’ve already seen a ton of interest from Service Providers. Lots more engineering resources added to our team.

The level of relationships from the CA sales team. I can’t even calculate what the additional reach that we’ve just achieved compared to the size of the Nimsoft sales team – CA just have so many reps in so many great customers. And, the Nimsoft team is still going to focus on its core markets – MSPs being a huge focus.

Big, big Service Providers and Cloud Providers – met with many of them over the last week or two and they love our architecture. I can seriously foresee the day when Nimsoft could become a standard across Service Providers and they can share information with each other to provide higher levels of service to the end user.

Not so exciting:

Changing benefit plans (they are better, but it just takes work), payroll, figuring our procurement processes etc.

Standard stuff that is actually much better at CA than at Nimsoft, but I personally don’t like dealing with anything that takes me away from customers and product….just me I guess, but we need it to help us scale. Maybe that’s why my girlfriend calls me a diva (in the nicest possible way of course)….hmm, should I really be writing that stuff on a public blog?

BTW….we’re moving office next weekend….I can’t wait – our employees are going to love it.

Moving in party anyone? Of course….this is Nimsoft after all.

Finally…an update from CA World

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

So sorry. I have been so busy that I’ve been unable to post any updates, but this evening I feel compelled to do so.

First, Nimsoft on Demand. It rocked it. We did the full turn-up from nothing to discovered and monitored in less than 30 minutes (actually we clocked it at about 8 minutes). The audience in the session loved the fact that we were brave enough to do it live with no safety net. That’s what happens when you have great product and great people – you have the confidence to demo live.

Also, in the first of the Nimsoft on Demand lab sessions, the audience gave a standing ovation at the end and our booths are inundated with potential customers (and CA employees) looking to learn more. Good publicity and it seems people are realizing how special this is.

Second, CA’s commitment to being the leader in mgmt for cloud is loud and clear. Every aspect of the company appears to be rallying behind the direction which for a company of this size is very impressive.

Third, and quite funny. I’ve lost count of the number of CA employees that have told me to “keep writing the blog in the same manner”. Special mention to the individual tonight that re-iterated this to me. It appears there are so many people that love the random postings of whatever is on my mind. I didn’t realize that so many people read this – I thought it was just me and my mum (actually my mum doesn’t know how to read blogs)

Fourth and final for now…more customer meetings tomorrow. Then red-eye to NY, presentation on Thursday and back to California late Thursday night.

And of course, cheering England for the World Cup warm up, the Sharks for the Stanley Cup and my Giants are doing pretty good in the baseball.

Nimsoft on Demand at CA World

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Follow us down the Yellow Brick Road with the Wizard of NoD.

Monday May 17th…..3.45pm…..Reef F…..Mandalay Bay…..Las Vegas

Register now.