Boundary: Cloud, Big Data Monitoring (For Free)? Yes And...

Boundary: Cloud, Big Data Monitoring (For Free)? Yes And...

Boundary CEO Gary Read, formerly CEO of Nimsoft, has a free application monitoring offer for cloud services providers (CSPs), managed services providers (MSPs) and corporate customers. Indeed, Boundary made three strategic moves today, one of which involves a free, SaaS-based monitoring service. Plus, Boundary is integrating with Amazon Web Services, Rackspace Cloud and Engine Yard Cloud. It's as if Read is out to disrupt the very market -- IT monitoring -- that he helped to build. Here's how.

"Service providers are the channel of the future," said Read. "And we want to empower them."

Boundary's three announcements include:

1. New application performance monitoring capabilities built into Boundary's SaaS platform. The SaaS platform can monitor physical, virtual, private, public and hybrid cloud environments. Key areas of focus include SQL and NoSQL clusters, as well as Big Data or traditional application stacks. Plus, the SaaS platform integrates tightly with Amazon Web Services and Rackspace Cloud.

Read says Boundary's SaaS platform already processes 55 billion records per day, or 630,000 records per second -- all in real time.

2. A freemium offer. The free solution includes all the power of Boundary's paid offering, but it's limited to 2 gigabytes of streamed data per day. Here again, Read is going somewhat against the grain. During his earlier career stops, Read did not engage in freemium wars with rivals. But this time around, he seems to have found a free approach that (A) doesn't harm the end-user experience and (B) provides a natural upgrade path to customers and service providers.

Customers can upgrade to $199 per month for 2GB of daily streamed data or $395 per month for 5GB daily of streamed data plus some community capabilities. "It's a sea change on pricing," said Read. "We've gone around and around on it. We got to per-GB type pricing rather than per server as a result of direct customer feedback."

Also, Boundary is offering customers month to month contracts -- not 12-, 24- or 36-month commitments -- in order to ensure customers they'll get high value every month. "A good percentage of customers will be able to run the free version without any need to upgrade; we want people to get value from free version. We think the goodwill that it generates and the positive press we get will generate referrals. I hope we've got it right. But I don't discount the fact that we may change that [free and paid pricing] line -- up or down -- in the future."

3. Deep integration with Engine Yard's Platform as a Service (PaaS). Engine Yard customers gain direct access to Boundary for monitoring modern application performance, the company claims.

Under the terms of the agreement, Boundary will be available to Engine Yard customers through the Engine Yard Add-ons Program. Engine Yard customers can choose the free full-featured version of Boundary, or they can purchase Boundary with higher levels of data retention and data volume capacity, the companies said.

"We're finishing up some testing with EngineYard and this will be available within weeks," said Read. "This is our first PaaS relationship but it's not exclusive. I'd say we're working other deals but nothing that's imminent."

On the Move

It's too early to say whether Boundary will catch on and go mainstream. The SaaS platform was in beta earlier this year, and Read joined the company as CEO in January. Translation: It's really early in the game for Boundary.

The company has about 25 employees, and plans to add about 20 more between now and January. So it sounds like Boundary is truly in growth mode -- though we don't have a feel for the company's burn rate and march toward profitability.
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