I did a comparison of the buzz for the leading open source network management tools in 2008 so I thought it would be interesting to do the same comparison for 2009 and see what’s changed. As I did last year, I’ve compared the number of searches for the project name using Google Trends. As always, this post is not intended to be indicative of the usefulness of a particular tool to your requirements.
The recent controversy over the ICINGA Nagios fork brought into focus the relative activity of the various network management projects. One of the main complaints aimed at Nagios was the slow speed of development. The following graphs, taken from the open source directory ohloh, show the number of commiters and the number of commits over the last three years for Nagios, OpenNMS and Wireshark. I can’t vouch for how accurate the stats are but I think they do provide some insight into the development processes of the respective projects.
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.
… now all of you OpenNMS fans and people who’d like to know more about how OpenNMS can help you manage your network for less, have the opportunity to meet lots of influential OpenNMS people, without the need to hop onto a plane to the good ol' U.S. of A. The first ever OpenNMS user conference will be held in Frankfurt, Germany on the 14th March 2009. Cost will be around 200 euros.
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.
…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.
Attribute / Project OpenNMS Nagios Zenoss Hyperic Zabbix Peer Support Forum Mailing list Commercial Support Support contract Training Consulting Learning resources Blog Book(s) Update 1: Zenoss has a forum / mailing list system.
Attribute / Project OpenNMS Nagios Zenoss Hyperic Zabbix General Licence GPL GPL GPL GPL GPL First released 2000 1998 2006 2006 2001 Development languages Java C Python / Zope Java / C C / PHP External dependencies RRDTool / JRobin Net-SNMP / RRDTool RRDTool SNMP4J Net-SNMP Configuration XML files Text files Web based Web based Web based Extensible User interface Web Web / WAP Web Web Web Reporting Update 1: Added C to the Hyperic development languages
One side effect of the increased competition in open source network management is that it is becoming increasingly hard to choose which tool is right for you. With that in mind I intend to create a comparison featuring the best known open source tools to make the process of choosing the right tool a little bit easier. I’ll publish the comparison in tranches so that, by the end of it, a comprehensive comparison is available.
Attribute / Project OpenNMS Nagios Zenoss  Hyperic  Zabbix Platform Linux Windows OSX Solaris *BSD Hardware Appliance Virtual Appliance    Zenoss Core is used for the purpose of this comparison.