One of the things you’d expect from an active open source project is that the code base is likely to grow as more and more features are added. In An exploration of open core licensing in network management I mentioned that one possible side effect of open core software is the creation of a functionality ceiling. A functionality ceiling is a level of functionality beyond which the community edition product manager is unwilling to implement because of the fear that the enterprise product will be less attractive to potential customers.
A real world example of what Tarus Balog from OpenNMS has been banging on about recently with his critique of open core or fauxpen source. A product manager who has an open product and a closed product plainly has a decision to make over which features go into which product. Give too much away and the value add of the closed enterprise product is insufficient to warrant the licence fees. Put too many features into the enterprise product and the open source offering becomes useless.
Congrats to Hyperic for the purchase by SpringSource. If you’d bet me which of the new wave were going to be bought first I would have bet on Hyperic every time. What is most gratifying about the purchase is that it is an open source company doing the buying. Whilst I think it unlikely, one of the concerns many people have about the new wave is: what happens if they get swallowed up by some proprietary software company with absolutely no clue about open source.
I was researching a post when I was amused to come across the Hyperic advert in the image below. Even by marketing department standards, to claim Hyperic is the "world's most popular systems monitoring software" does seem a teeny, weeny bit over the top. 😄 Hyperic claim to be the world's most popular systems monitoring software
…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.
Hyperic have just announced the release of Hyperic HQ version 4, the first cloud friendly network management system. Setting up a network monitoring probe in the cloud just got a whole lot easier.
Google Trends is an on-line service for comparing the search volumes for up to five keywords. I thought it would be interesting to compare the relative buzz of the "new wave" open source network management players between themselves, but also between other open source projects and commercial products. Google Trends doesn’t supply the search volumes themselves, so no quantitative data will be presented. The data that is presented is solely comparative.
Michael Tiemann made an interesting post titled Will the Real Open Source CRM Please Stand Up. Alex Fletcher wrote an interesting follow up. That got me thinking…how kosher are the licences used by the “new wave” open source network management companies? Have Hyperic, Groundwork and Zenoss really got the open source bug, or do they want the open source kudos without really opening up? I did a bit of digging around, and I am pleased to say that, at least to my non-legal eye, the licences do look the real deal.
One of the odd things about the three new wave players is that, of the three, only one (Hyperic) supports Windows natively. The lack of native Windows support in the other two (Zenoss/Groundwork) seems like quite an oversight. It will be interesting to see whether the lack of native Windows support hinders their adoption. I’d be surprised if it doesn’t. Zenoss have produced a nice virtual machine for VMWare. Kudos to them for that.
Nice Hyperic heads up by Infoworld. $50 million worth of R&D for $1 AND three customers. Sweet! The enterprise open source systems management space sure is hotting up…