Laying the Groundwork for OS Systems Management

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The systems management space has been dominated by proprietary vendors like IBM Tivoli and HP OpenView for years, though in recent years open source upstarts are trying to make a dent. Among those upstarts are GroundWork and Hyperic, both of whom are out this week with new product releases.

For GroundWork, the new release is GroundWork Monitor 5.2 as well as a new Enterprise Edition that can scale to up to 10,000 servers. The Enterprise Edition complements GroundWork's existing Professional and Community Editions.

GroundWork Monitor first took the stage nearly two years ago as an integrated suite of open source systems management tools, including the popular Nagios network monitoring tool.

With the 5.2 release, GroundWork is adding new auto configuration and discovery functionality as well as improved reporting features.

According to David Dennis, senior director of product marketing at GroundWork the key competitor is HP's OpenView. Dennis noted that they rarely run into other vendors in competitive situations except for IBM Tivoli. "The lion's share of market is HP OpenView and that is where we feel we offer the biggest benefit for the customer," Dennis said.

On the other end of the spectrum is open source systems management vendor Hyperic who is also out with a new release this week. Hyperic HQ 3.2 includes a new plug-in architecture which is intended to make the entire platform more extensible.

"Largely this is a wrapper or extension of our APIs that is more accessible/friendly to our users," Paul Melmon, senior vice president of engineering at Hyperic told InternetNews.com. "However, due to its modular design and ease of use, it has changed our engineering development patterns. We can develop faster, and provide additional components of functionality independent of the core HQ management platform."

For Melmon, the principal competition isn't necessarily HP OpenView or IBM Tivoli. Rather, it's the build-versus-buy issue. Melmon argued that most of Hyperic's users have built their own Web-based applications using a broad array of components, open source or otherwise. The mentality is since it's so custom, it needs a custom management approach as well.

"So, they turn to their own scripts or a hybrid of other open source basics like Nagios," Melmon said. "As they scale and change becomes more frequent, these homegrown tools become brittle and require a lot of maintenance. This is when they find Hyperic and realize that we can help them lower their cost of service by providing a tailored, flexible and scalable monitoring and management solution."

This article was first published on InternetNews.com. To read the full article, click here.

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