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Boundary breaks into network monitoring-as-a-service

A newly funded startup aims to bring visibility into cloud networking.


As everything moves to the cloud, the underlying network can make or break your apps.

To address the need for network visibility, Boundary, a developer of real-time network monitoring-as-a-service, today announced a $4 million Series A funding round, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Boundary, which is focused on providing continuous visibility into network and application traffic flows in public cloud environments, was founded by Ben Black, previously part of's infrastructure team, and Cliff Moon, who was part of Powerset (acquired by Microsoft).

In terms of business models, this is clearly a case where cloud computing has helped to create both a use case (we need more visibility into networking) and a solution to the problem. Network monitoring-as-a-service has proven to be tough in the enterprise, but it has a much higher likelihood of success in the cloud world, where the cloud is the enterprise.

Networking hasn't yet made great strides in the cloud, though it's arguably the most important technological component. Without robust networking, cloud services themselves will be inefficient--a situation that will only be exacerbated as the services get pushed down to consuming clients.

According to CEO Black, Boundary enables operations teams to immediately detect server-to-server and instance-to-instance issues by pinpointing bottlenecks across application and service flows. For example, in Amazon EC2 environments, Boundary's server-instance resident meters uncover hidden problems and unexpected application behavior patterns that can occur between server instances, availability zones, or regions.

One of the big challenges is parsing the huge amount of data that occurs within networks and the devices that track every move. Boundary's plan is to offer its product as a hosted service so that users don't have to worry about scale or processing this vast amount of data themselves.

Black told CNET that the technical team tried a number of big data approaches to address the challenge of collecting, querying, and indexing trillions of records only to find that they had to write their own platform to achieve the level of scale and throughput they needed to make the product perform. Many of these innovations have been posted to Boundary's GitHub account, including Scalang, Ordasity, and Folsom. If you're interested in checking them out, there are more details available on the Boundary blog.