Open Source

Open source is a term that was coined in the late 1990s to encompass a series of free software licences that give various levels of freedom to the users of software. On the one hand you have so called copyleft licences like the General Public License or GPL that place some restrictions on the user to other much more liberal licences like the BSD license that place very few restrictions on the user. All of the licences give the user access to the source code of the software and allow them to modify the software. The user is then able to re-distribute the modifications as they see fit.

Ethan Galstad speaks out

Ethan Galstad, the Nagios founder, has responded to recent criticisms of Nagios and to the recent ICINGA fork. It does seem a little ironic that, although the ICINGA founders claim one of the drivers behind the fork was a lack of communication, Ethan Galstad claims they didn’t communicate their dissatisfaction to him.

Open source network management buzz comparison 2008

As it’s the start of a new year I thought it would be an ideal time to look back over the year just gone. I have used Google Trends to compare the number of searches during 2008 of various open source and proprietary network management tools. Whilst search volume is an interesting metric for network management tools, it is not intended to be in any way indicative of the usefulness of a particular tool.

Introducing Pandora FMS

The open source systems management space sure is hotting up. Pandora FMS looks like a good emerging open source systems management tool. Pandora FMS has been developed by Ártica, a Spanish company founded in 2005. A VMWare image is available for download, so checking Pandora FMS out is a breeze. From a technical perspective, Pandora FMS is written in Perl & PHP with MySQL as the backend database. The software is split into two main components, the server and the console.

A perspective on open source network monitoring tools...

…by Grig Gheorghiu over on the Agile Testing blog: The sad state of open source monitoring tools. I wish there was a standard nomenclature for this stuff, as well as a standard way for these tools to inter-operate. As it is, you have to learn each tool and train your brain to ignore all the weirdness that it encounters. One of the problems with I.T. is the absence of a standard terminology.

When open source goes wrong...

… things ain’t too pretty. My favourite quote: “Clearly, their VC people have no picture of the situation other than their own return of investment.” Well, yeah duh! Why anybody would be surprised that VCs are money focused is a mystery. VCs are managing other people’s money so their focus is bound to be primarily money focused. Your retirement fund isn’t going to give two figs about open source, it just wants a decent return on investment given the risks it is taking.

European vs American views on open source

Larry Augustin created an excellent comparison between European & American attitudes towards commercial open source software. [via Adventures in Open Source] Update: sorry for being a clutz, I forgot the link to the article. All sorted out now.

Distributed network monitoring introduction

A number of mid-level network monitoring products, like What’s Up Gold & Intellipool for instance, have recently implemented distributed monitoring features. Mid-level network monitoring products are now implementing distributed monitoring so it is affordable by a lot more companies. Single Poller Monitoring With regular network monitoring you have a single poller measuring network and server performance from a single location on your network. Figure 1: Architecture of a central polling in a distributed network