Open source management software gets enterprise-ready

Enterprise IT managers in 2010 can take advantage of advanced management capabilities without always making a big capital investment in software.

Open source management applications now available from commercial software makers could help enterprise IT departments acquire advance management capabilities, sign on for substantial support and connect with community at a lower cost.

As savvy network managers already know, open source management software isn’t just for dabbling. The applications made available from commercial software vendors prove that open source tools can be used to fix enterprise-level management problems.

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“Open source management is making a comeback because enterprises that dabbled with it before now can use the community-based model of open source software with commercial open source offerings,” says David Williams, research vice president at Gartner. “No one should be snubbing their noses at the open source management applications available now. They are pretty robust technologies with huge communities adding adapters and commercial support offerings.”

Companies such as GroundWork Open Source and Zenoss are good examples of vendors that used open source in their commercial software business model to provide management capabilities, software support and community-based development tools to customers. Separately, the vendors recently announced new or updated products that further their position in the open source management market, respectively.

For its part, GroundWork Open Source announced the availability of the latest version of its Enterprise Quickstart offering, which is part of the SUSE Appliance Program. The virtual appliance, priced at $59, combines GroundWork Monitor Enterprise Quickstart with a fully supported version of SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 from Novell. The virtual appliance also includes a full-featured copy of GroundWork Monitor Enterprise 6.0, which provides a license to use the software for one year and monitor up to 100 devices as well as unlimited e-mail support incidents for a single contact within the first 60 days of registration.

“The pairing of GroundWork Monitor Enterprise with SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 in a virtual appliance gives customers a fully supported enterprise-class Linux, enterprise-class monitoring and turnkey ease of use, all at a radical price point,” said David Dennis, senior director of marketing and business development at GroundWork Open Source, in a statement.

Separately, Zenoss recently announced Zenoss Enterprise 2.5, which the vendor says provides features to support scalability, reliability and security demands typical in enterprise IT environments. For instance, the software includes an agent-less distributed collector architecture and support for “distributed collector non-root installs” that the vendor says keeps customer environments compliant with corporate security policies while installing Zenoss Enterprise. This version also includes Amazon EC2 monitoring and VMware Ready support.

“This latest release positions us strongly in the IT enterprise management market with a compelling value proposition for managing both current and next-generation physical, virtual and cloud-based IT infrastructures,” said Bill Karpovich, CEO of Zenoss, in a statement.

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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