5 Technology Observations to Start Your Day, Nov 13

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. I'm heading to Manhattan but before I hit the road here are five technology news nuggets, rumors, insights, gossip and chatter to start your day for Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014.

Actually, today's update involves six news nuggets...

6. AWS Monitoring Plus $22 Million Move: Boundary, which offers a cloud monitoring platform for Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, Google Cloud Platform and more, remains in growth mode. CEO Gary Read gave me a call yesterday from the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. He described a new monitoring offer for the AWS crowd. But he also described the exact steps Boundary took to raise $22 million in Series C financing earlier this year. We'll share both conversations -- the new services launch, plus the funding strategy -- during our Nov. 18 podcasts at 9:01 p.m. ET. Check www.AfterNines.com/CEO for a link at that time. PS: Boundary is part of a new generation of IT monitoring platforms that have big implications for I.T. entrepreneurs who are launching cloud workloads.

5. AWS Growth Rate: By the way, AWS's year over year revenue is growing about 40 percent, according to a keynote statement from Andy Jassy yesterday. Amazon still doesn't disclose actual AWS revenue dollar figures but Gartner and other analysts put the figure at about $4 billion annually. 

4. Am I Angel Worthy?: As frequent readers know, I joined Golden Seeds -- an angel investor group -- back in January 2014. The group only invests in women-led startups. I'm very impressed by the current portfolio companies. But I have to concede: I've yet to open my own wallet to participate in a funding round. I'm even starting to second-guess myself: Am I truly Angel Investor material -- or am I a conservative investor who simply likes to "track" (from a safe distance) some of the most innovative startups in the world? I'll go looking for more answers today during a Golden Seeds gathering in Manhattan.

3. Death of the Enterprise Database?: If your business somehow plugs into enterprise relational databases then take a look at Amazon's Aurora database launch. Amazon claims Aurora is an "enterprise-class" version of MySQL in the cloud, and hopes to disrupt the traditional database market where Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and SAP (Sybase) still compete. My spin: Open Source options never fully kill their closed-source alternatives. Prime example: Windows Server thrived amid Linux's rise to glory. 

2. Cisco's Growth Challenge: The networking giant says its current quarter, ending in January 2015, will generate about 4 percent to 7 percent growth -- below the 8 percent rate analysts had been expecting, according to The Wall Street Journal. And for its just-completed third quarter, profits fell 8.4 percent amid weakness in emerging markets. Cisco's challenges haven't changed much of the past five years , except for the fact that the challenges have accelerated. Company revenues remain overwhelmingly tied to data center and network hardware, at a time when telecom customers are confused about their own cloud data center build-outs and enterprises aren't sure just how much compute power to buy. CEO John Chambers blames some of the challenges on the big Net Neutrality debate. I'm not sure I'm buying that statement.

Meanwhile, the CEO succession plan (sorry, I'm bringing it up again) remains undisclosed, while CFO Frank Calderoni plans to retire in January. Kelly A Kramer, SVP of business technology and finance, will succeed Calderoni.

1. Heard About This M&A Lawsuit?: Imagine selling your IT management company for $200 million more than a year ago. Cool, but here's the twist: Roughly $6 million of the payment remains in escrow because you and the buyer are feuding over the payout terms and the company's pre- and post-M&A performance. That scenario is unfolding now between a former tech CEO and the company he sold to a private equity firm. I've read the court filing. Now, I just need to check in with the right sources to shed some more light on this feud -- and the potential learnings for I.T. entrepreneurs and private equity firms.

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