May 7, 2013
Boundary is an interesting company and one of a handful of vendors that are reinventing what application monitoring means in a world where application stacks are more complex, more modular, more disconnected and more flexible. Boundary is selling itself based on cloud-readiness and one-second visualizations around performance. Today they’re extending that vision by announcing a raft of product updates that they believe will allow them to offer consolidated IT operations management across the entire IT environment and organization has. The new release consolidates alerts and events across the cloud stack, from vendors such as AppDynamics, Nagios, New Relic, Opscode, Plexxi, Puppet Labs and Splunk. In doing so it aims to deliver some analytics-driven early warning alerts and develop a kind of prescient application monitoring platform. So, what specific functionalities will the new release deliver? From the release:
- Early Warning Alerting – Boundary has focused on finding the previously undetectable problems. Its algorithms are used to forecast application behavior and provide alerts when anomalies occur at any level (node, app tier, custom group, etc.).
- Consolidated Events Console – Alerts surfaced by Boundary are combined with events/alert from most third-party products and appear in context of the application dependencies. Boundary has created a pre-built library of event adapters and provides open REST APIs and an email interface for any others. Boundary’s events management service offers capabilities such as de-duplication of events, auto closing of restoral events, simple operations workflow and powerful filtering and searching across all layers.
- Centralized Operations Dashboard – A new, graphical dashboard provides a single view of complex applications and infrastructure across an organization’s entire IT environment, including color-coded warning signals, comprehensive event console for active and recent activities and historical performance graphs for comparing application and infrastructure behavior.
- Application Topology Mapping – Boundary provides application discovery and dependency mapping with real-time updates and per-second data collection.
- Per-second Data Streams – An always-on streaming engine ingests massive volumes of data pertinent to modern IT operations. Boundary provides analytics required for proactive, immediate problem resolution. More than metrics, “Intelligent analytics” from Boundary include alerts and insights on third-party events.
The application monitoring for the cloud space is kind of busy – companies like NewRelic join Boundary in looking at it from the cloud end of things while the more traditional monitoring solutions, alongside legacy Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) solutions do it from the more traditional approach. The key to gaining traction is to give customers as much flexibility as possible – of course integration with all the alert systems of note is a given, but beyond this, providing a flexible and extensible platform that offers up lots of APIs for end users to create their own integrations and dashboards is key. To this end Boundary seems to be delivering and is broadening the API to allow for richer data to be transmitted, displayed, analyzed and acted upon.
It seems to me however that over the next period of time we’ll see some rationalization and consolidation in the market – while Boundary has done well to get 100 paying customers in the year or so since it launched, most enterprise customers would prefer to cover a large number of their functional needs from one vendor – no matter how good Boundary is, if a product from an existing enterprise vendor does the job nearly as well – the buying decision becomes one of a known quantity rather than the shiny new thing. To this end I’d imagine Boundary’s future lies within a larger existing vendor – and I’d suggest that this latest release could well hasten that exit.