Enterprise Linux Log

Mar 28 2007   10:26AM GMT

Open source systems management

ITKE ITKE Profile: ITKE

Are IT management and network monitoring options from IBM, HP and the other two in the “big four” bloated?

Seems they are, if you’re talking to Zenoss CEO Bill Karpovich. Zenoss is an open source IT management company and while IT management in and of itself is an incredibly broard, impossibly vague term, I get the impression that’s how the folks at Zenoss like it. In my chat with Karpovich this morning, he set about attacking the big vendors for providing IT managers with way too much product for far too much money. It’s a criticism I’ve heard before of IBM Tivoli and HP’s OpenView (mainly from open source companies trying to compete with them), but it was also one that didn’t have that magic word attached to it: traction.

Until now, anyway. Zenoss — a relatively young company — now boasts at least 10 enterprise level customers and more than 40,000 downloads of its free product every month. It’s also SourceForge’s project of the month. Karpovich admits that IBM and friends still own the big customers, but that’s not his goal. With Zenoss, he’s attacking the mid market (1,000’s of servers or less), alongside three other smaller open source vendors in Qlusters, Hyperic and GroundWorks. Analyst firm Red Monk has taken to calling them the “little four” in homage to their big brothers.

Whether these “little guys” can take on the mid market remains to be seen, but it sounds like the traction really is there, and growing. I’ll have my talk with Karpovich up later this week on SearchEnterpriseLinux.com, and hopefully a nice Zenoss customer case study sometime after that. In the interim, what’s your management scene looking like these days>

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