Goodbye sweet Nimsoft, I knew thee well

October 4th, 2012

Another month in the books for @boundary

October 1st, 2012

And yes, it was a new record. Multiple new customers welcomed and a new largest customer (although that record should be broken quickly).

For some reason (blame me), we managed to schedule our board meeting on the last day of the month – last time that will happen – trying to close deals while talking to the board is not the best.

We are looking for several folks to join this amazing team:

Super Techie SE – customer facing

C Developers for our agent

and 2 new execs, VP Product and VP Engineering.

—-

What about that Ryder Cup comeback? wow.

Zyrion making headway with MSPs as IT performance monitoring business grows

September 29th, 2012

The old ones are the good ones huh - I can’t believe this stuff is still around.

We could go all the way back to 2001 when Fidelia first “burst” on to the scene with claims that they were “quickly becoming a leader” – and here we are 11 years later, gone through multiple acquisitions and yet still they are out there trying to make it happen.

I love the originality of the focus on MSPs….like 20 other vendors can’t already say “been there, done that”.

Oh well, maybe they can build a real business and sell the company again….I kinda like that approach – when the company that you sold fails, buy it back and then go sell it again. Caveat emptor.

I wonder…….lol.

Good luck to them, I’m sure they have a great product.

All around the world….

September 28th, 2012

Sales reps, managers and executives are sweating it today because it is that dreaded day again – end of quarter.

With Boundary being a monthly model, EOQ doesn’t mean so much to us (and we’re offset by a month anyhow), but I am remembering my past positions and what huge stress (and fun) was created in the final 48 hours of every quarter.

At Nimsoft, we had quarters where we would be at say 30% of the number for the quarter going in to the last couple of days, and somehow come out over target.

If you’ve never worked in that environment I have to say that you are truly missing something. So much happens in so little time that it’s amazing. The rest of the company is glued to the salesforce dashboard….glum to start with and frequent comments of “they’ll never pull it off this time….left too much to do” and then sure enough, the dashboard climbs and climbs until “wow….how the f did they do that” is heard.

But it’s also a stressful time. The pressure and workload on legal, finance, fulfillment also becomes intense – it was not unusual for people to work through the night.

For me….my family figured it out. A stressed and worried and overworked and sleep deprived Gary is not a happy Gary. As my darling fiancee used to tell me “go stay in a hotel for the last week of the quarter – your mind is not here, you may as well not have your body here either”.

Good luck to those sales teams everywhere….nothing like the adrenaline rush of getting those deals over the line at the EOQ.

And just remember, in 3 months you’ll be doing it all again.

What a week

August 16th, 2012

Incredible week so far.

Our launch announcements went amazingly well. Lots of press coverage (including the NYT http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/15/boundary-keeping-cloud-software-in-shape/), great customer feedback, tons of activity on our web site and companies looking at the great new product capabilities. Over 100 new companies installed Boundary agents in less than 48 hours. Anyone can signup for free and just try it out www.boundary.com/signup

We also welcomed 3 new employees this week in marketing, engineering and a new sales leader.

So exciting when things come together like this. The whole company focused on a goal and delivering against it.

A big day for Boundary and for anyone building or managing distributed applications

August 14th, 2012

At the end of March 2012, Boundary announced General Availability of a new approach to monitoring distributed applications.

Since then much has happened. We’ve been really busy developing new capabilities in the solution, we’ve been expanding the team, we raised our Series-B funding of $15m and we’ve signed about 50 paying customers to the Boundary service.

Today we’ve got multiple announcements which is the culmination of a lot of work by a lot of people. I will talk to them briefly in this blog, but more details can be had by attending our webinar at 11am PST today (register at tinyurl.com/9gqwnx7) or by watching the tweets and the web site or of course email service@boundary.com and we’d love to talk to you directly.

The summary of the announcements are:

1. Product

  • Application Visualization – available now
  • Application Latency - available now
  • Event/annotation integrations for AWS, Rackspace, New Relic, Puppet, Chef, Splunk, Papertrail plus generic RSS feed  - available now
  • Hadoop App Pack – available now
  • Historical data store – available now via API, UI enabled in September
  • Windows based meter – available now on managed release

All of these capabilities are being made available to our customers at no additional charge.

2. Partnership

Boundary and Engine Yard have announced a partnership where the companies will work together to make Boundary available to Engine Yard PaaS customers. Work is already underway to make this an integrated deployment, pricing, SSO etc. An exciting partnership for both companies and especially for Engine Yard customers.

3. Free Boundary

Boundary is announcing the immediate availability of a fully functional, free offering. This offering will be restricted only by a daily limit of 2GB of data being sent to us per day, a limited historical data store and community support. To upgrade to the paid offering at 2GB daily is $199 per month, and to the 5GB offering is $395 per month (application servers typically send us between 100 and 150 MB per day, so 2GB is normally enough for  15-20 application servers to be monitored).

Launch partners

BASHO

“Boundary’s real time monitoring has been an invaluable tool for Basho. We rely on it every day for the systems that control the testing, research, and development of Riak and Riak CS.”

Sean Carey, Director of Development Operations

CLOUDERA

“As the leading Hadoop vendor, Cloudera is committed to developing an ecosystem that offers the most comprehensive variety of complementary technology integrations in market. We are particularly pleased with the availability of the Boundary Hadoop Application pack for CDH. Boundary complements the industry leading Cloudera Manager with innovative real-time discovery and visualization of application network flows, allowing customers the ability to monitor traffic at even greater levels of granularity.”

Tim Stevens, vice president of business and corporate development, Cloudera

OPSCODE

“Chef and Boundary are tightly integrated to provide customers with an end-to-end provisioning and monitoring solution that can be up and running in minutes. When customers add or change nodes with Chef, in less than two seconds Boundary graphs show the impact of those changes on application performance.  Both solutions are optimized for public/private/hybrid clouds where visibility and instantaneous response are essential for maximum performance.”

Bryan Hale, Director of Business Development, Opscode

ENGINE YARD

“We provide our customers with the tools and resources necessary to support, manage and innovate with PaaS solutions. We’re pleased to have Boundary join our growing partner ecosystem and offer per-second visibility into how applications are communicating within the Engine Yard PaaS. Leveraging the deep domain expertise and commercial grade solution offered by Engine Yard and the Boundary monitoring application performance solution, customers can build and run dynamic cloud-based applications quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively. ”

Marcy Campbell, SVP, Global Alliances and Business Development

NEW RELIC

“Boundary’s view of web applications from the infrastructure perspective, combined with New Relic’s deep visibility inside these applications, creates an unparalleled combination. Together, these solutions provide comprehensive, holistic insight into the performance of your business-critical production application environment.”

Bill Lapcevic, Vice President of Business Development, New Relic

PAGER DUTY

“Together Boundary and Pager Duty can dramatically reduce the time to identify and fix application performance issues.  Our solutions work closely together so that when Boundary’s real time analytic engine identifies a performance problem, the issue is automatically escalated to PagerDuty and operations staff is notified via phone, SMS or email.  Customers can be up and running with Boundary and Pager Duty in minutes, getting immediate results.”

Alex Solomon, Co-founder and CEO, PagerDuty

PLEXXI

Boundary’s real-time discovery of application topology and data flows is an ideal fit with Plexxi’s ability via Affinities to let your applications direct your network capacity in real time. We are excited to work with Boundary on solutions that meet the fluid and dynamic nature of today’s data center computing needs.

Mat Mathews, VP Product Management, Plexxi

PUPPET LABS

“Boundary’s real-time, always on approach to application performance is the future of monitoring and we’re glad to be involved in this movement from its onset. We’re proud to partner with them to help customers automate and scale Boundary deployments via their Puppet integration”

Luke Kanies, CEO of Puppet Labs

SPLUNK

“As someone with a background in Network Engineering, being able to tie in events from the Splunk Storm service with network traffic flows provides huge value. Integrating Splunk Machine Data with Boundary Annotations has immediate impact and is probably the coolest thing I’ve seen in a very long time.”

Greg Albrecht Kim, Senior Software Engineer, Splunk Storm

UptimeCloud

“Boundary and uptimeCloud together provide compelling value for enterprises to help control cloud costs and maximize ROI. Boundary’s ability to show how data moves between applications and availability zones paired with uptimeCloud’s cost dashboards and forecasts give users a unique and powerful view to manage their cost of the cloud. Both are SaaS solutions that deliver immediate value.”

Alex Bewley, Chief Technology Officer, Uptime Software


Over a year ago on this blog I wrote….

August 12th, 2012

7/7/2011….I wrote….

I believe that Facebook’s valuation will never be as high as it is today. According to the private capital markets company SharesPost, the most recent shares in Facebook changed hands at a price that gave an implied valuation of $82.4bn.

Google on the other hand, has a market cap of $172bn. Is Facebook really worth 50% of Google?

…..Anyhow, let’s see 1 year from now on 7/7/2012 where the valuation of these two companies stands compared to today.

and the answer is…

Google is today worth $210bn – up 22%

Facebook is today worth $47bn – down 43%

Probably the first time I’ve ever got stock price movement correct!

How not to be successful at selling

July 17th, 2012

This frustrates me so much……

I need to change my car. The commute to our San Francisco and even our Mountain View offices some days has become so bad that I am trading cars and I am going to buy a plug-in Prius. I know exactly which car spec that I want, so I decide to visit the dealer last night for a quick look on my way home (I’ve had one before so I don’t need to test drive or anything, after all, how much can you really tell about driving a Prius around the block for a test drive….lol).

Sales lady approaches me, answers a couple of questions for me. I say “Look, I want to buy one, I want this color and this spec. Please email me your best price and I will send you the money and will pick it up on Wednesday. Here is my phone number but please don’t call me….email me”

Easy right? Well, not so fast because the people that are working in car showrooms are clearly trained to NOT LISTEN. First, I get an email from her telling me that they have the car with the spec that I want and telling me the list price. Her email continues to say “if you want the best price, you will have to come back to the showroom”. Oh really? Because car prices are such a big secret right?

Email back to her politely saying that I don’t have time to come to the showroom or to haggle, just send me your best price and I will buy it. Then, follows a series of phone calls from the sales director. Of course, the sales director is such an important part of buying a car because it’s going to make me feel so special that the sales director has to call me to offer me the super special price. Come on guys, who are you kidding – cars are commodities, pricing is all over the internet, and last I checked, I thought you wanted to sell more of them.

Then finally, this morning the sales person emails me telling me that her sales director has been trying to call me but “I don’t know what it’s about because I’m not allowed to offer any discount”. And hopefully there endeth the story, I replied to her email and said (1) I asked you not to call me (2) I asked for an email with best price (3) This was going to be one of your quickest/easiest sales of the year, but you’ve blown it.

Seriously, I know that there has to be a sales process, I know that they think they’ve got a much better chance of closing me if they can persuade me to come back to the dealership and I know I’m probably a somewhat corner case. But, train your people to listen. Train your people to live and work in 2012 where so much business is conducted electronically and where for some people (me included), buying a car is not a particularly exciting thing to do, it’s just something that I need to get done as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Reminds me of a situation a few years back at my prior company – a potential customer told us to “just send them the software for a few weeks and don’t call them or email them until they contact us”. This was not our normal process but, we listened, did what the customer asked and ultimately ended up with a very large sale. Sort of funny because so many books have been written around “customer centric selling” etc….but in reality, it’s all about legislating a sales process and making the customer follow it.

What I’d like as a customer is for someone to ask me how I’d like to engage….offer additional tweaks to that if they feel that offers value, and then agree it and move forward.

Rant over.

Big Day for @Boundary – $15m in new funding

July 10th, 2012

Boundary is pleased to announce today the closing of its Series-B investment round and welcome Scale Venture Partners to join our existing investor Lighstpeed Venture Partners as investors in our exciting and game-changing business.

As we were talking to various different potential investors we were looking for a few things in a new partner for our business. We were looking for someone that understood the fundamental change that was happening in the IT infrastructure, we were looking for someone that realized that change would lead to huge disruption in the IT Management market where the future leaders will come from today’s startups not today’s incumbents, and we were looking for someone that had successfully worked with other organizations to help transform traditional enterprise software markets with new models and “consumer like” products.

We found exactly what we were looking for in Scale VP; loved the interactions that we had with their team and with their existing portfolio companies and were very pleased to move forward with them. In addition, Lightspeed, that were the founding investor in Boundary, increased their commitment to the company, which is a tremendous endorsement and vote of confidence – they have been a ton of help for Boundary. We feel very fortunate to have such great investors.

But what about our business….do you want to know the dirty secret of IT mgmt?

Existing tools are not designed for dynamic, modern infrastructures (but then again, if you work in these environments then you already know that).

For an old guy like me, I remember the mainframe to client/server transition and for the first few years of that transition, existing mainframe mgmt vendors “reworked” their tools to deal with client/server and customers struggled and did the best that they could. Then, a new breed of vendor came along that understood and architected their solution for the new world of client/server applications, and suddenly everyone realized how much better that they were and, well the rest is history – history that will repeat itself.

#monitoringsucks and other such collection of opinions come about because existing monitoring solutions are fundamentally not designed to deal with today’s environments and operational needs- the user is struggling trying to force a square peg into a round hole.

Boundary will help change that; since April of this year, we have already welcomed 35 paying and happy customers – customers that love what we are doing for them and love the rapid pace and iterative development of Boundary, but we’re only just getting started.

Having this additional funding will enable us to think bigger and solve tougher problems. We are actively hiring in multiple areas of our business (send us your resume if you’re the best) and of course we’re looking to extend our customer reach.

So a great day for Boundary…..thanks to our customers, our partners and our employees for getting us to this point but….we haven’t achieved anything yet – we need to run hard, fast and long to get to our destination.

Execute, execute, execute – I hope you come along for a ride.

@Dell acquires @Quest…..

July 2nd, 2012

Wow is my first reaction. Quest is Vinny and will Vinny stick around for this? Doubt it….why would he? How will Quest do without the guy that has been their leader for so long? Microsoft without Bill, Sun without Scott…..hmm

So, a new chapter for Quest is an under-statement. There is clearly leadership at Dell that knows the IT mgmt business….starting with John Swainson, the former CEO of CA. I never met John, but he was credited with taking CA from a company that was struggling under SEC investigations and all their other issues, and turning it back into a real company again. And then I recently noticed one of my old colleagues Tom Kendra, another senior CA exec is now the VP & GM Software Group at Dell (is he moving to Austin?)

Hmm, interesting times lay ahead for these folks. Quest is not CA but then again neither is Dell. I wish them well and wonder whether Dell can become a major force in IT mgmt alongside CA, HP, IBM, BMC….will they expand this into the Big-5….or will they simply milk the Quest maintenance revenue?

Oh well….anyone from Quest worried about your future? Plenty of open positions at Boundary….we’re young but we’re strong and very ambitious.