Saturday, May 20, 2006

Open Source Systems Management Unites

Via Doug's blog, I found out yesterday about the new Open Management Consortium.

A handful of companies in the open source systems management business came together to take on the Big Four: HP, CA, BMC, and IBM.

This makes me happy, because I love the idea of open source where viable, and because I love competition (and thus increased innovation) in the marketplace. Staples like Linux, Apache, PHP, MySQL aside, when I was a sys/netadmin I relied on open source systems management software like Nagios (way back when it was NetSaint 5+ years ago) for monitoring, Request Tracker for ticketing, MRTG for bandwidth graphing, and a whole host of other open source tools. I did a brief stint with the Research Systems Unix Group back at the University of Michigan, which develops and uses award winning open source software in this area.

I think that open source really has a fighting chance in systems management - especially in the mid market and hosting/datacenter environments. Also, while Microsoft is generally viewed as the borg and the arch-nemesis of everything open source, I find it funny that in the systems management market, it's IBM, supposed proponent of everything open source, who is one of the 20lb gorillas. Software companies love to embrace open source, until it competes directly with flagship software that brings home the chedder.

But alas, I digress.

So, the new Open Management Consortium lists its objectives as:
1. Create awareness of open source management tools in the market

2. Provide education and resources to help end users make informed decisions regarding open source

3. Establish conventions and standards that enable integration and interoperability

4. Enable collaboration and coordination on common development projects

5. Promote collaborative open source systems management solutions

These are certainly noble goals. Integration, interoperability, collaboration, and coordination, whether between open source and open source, open source and closed source, or closed source and closed source projects, is certainly good for everyone, as is increased competition and better products in the marketplace. So welcome, and best of luck!

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