By John | April 21, 2008
And then their were two…
With Qlusters gone and IMHO, Groundwork feeding off the bottom there are only two commercially viable open source enterprise systems management (ESM) monitoring tools left on the market. Back in Feburary I did a post about Hyperic and now I wanted to get up to speed on the other – Zenoss.
Zenoss is an network and enterprise systems management tool built on the python-based Zope application server. Zenoss provides free and commercially available options for their software. Their software is considered agentless using monitors relying on SNMP and WMI. I could go on for hours however let me tell you what I really like about Zenoss.
The Future Looks Bright
In my opinion OSS ESM monitoring is a land grab that is all-you-can-eat. While there is still, in most cases, a gap between the proprietary per-seat costs and the OSS ESM vendor per seat costs, (e.g., around $1k per seat vs $300 per seat), I don’t believe this will last long. In fact in some cases IBM/Tivoli per seat (i.e, agent) costs are getting competitive with the aforementioned “Mighty Two”. Therefore the real money for OSS ESM vendors is how “enterprisey” are they looking under the hood. In my previous Hyperic article I praised them for starting to look more like an enterprise software product. What I am really excited about for Zenoss is their announcement today about their Austin office. The reason this is exciting is that Zenoss has bartered a really good deal on this one. BMC recently off-shored a lot of world class enterprise software developers that used to work on Patrol. Zenoss has seized on this opportunity by opening up a development lab in Austin and hiring these developers. In fact their new office is in the original Tivoli building – Guys start up the old Tivoli-beer-bash Fridays and I’m there.
This is a great story on two fronts one, a Big Four (BMC) off-shores some of it’s world class developers and two, a little four has hires these developers to become more “Big Four”‘ish. The ironic part of all this is that many times people have asked me what did we accomplish down at out little “BarcampESM” down in Austin in January. Well folks this was one of the accomplishments. Zenoss CEO Bill Karpovich ponied up to the bar (literally … thanks for the Glenlivet Bill) at BarcampESM and these deals were started down there. I thought at the time it was impressive that the Zenoss CEO and CTO Eric Dahl thought that highly of our little Barcamp devoted to ESM to actually attend. I had also invited Hyperic however they declined.
The reason this is big news in my opinion is that I have been an enterprise developer and I have worked closely with enterprise class developers for almost 30 years and let me tell you there is a secret sauce there. When you have to write code for a customer base that controls the universe (e,g, Bank of America, JPChase, Federal Reserve, British Telecom, P&G, etc …) you have to devote a little more time to things like scalability and a term you don’t hear as much any more RAS. I truly believe that the rapid and agile nature of developement projects like Zenoss mixed in with some world class enterprise software developers is going to pay off big in the long run for Zenoss.
Other Goings On
Also in Today’s Zenoss announcements is the news of Zenoss working with some key SaaS players like OpSource and SugraCRM’s SaaS play. As you know I think all things lead to clouds and this is a great first step for Zenoss.