The Open Management Consortium (OMC) claims that it isn't anti-proprietary software but is about providing a true open standards approach to systems management.
The OMC effort is starting off with a who's who of core open source systems management projects, including Nagios, Webmin, Zenoss, Emu Software's NetDirector, Qlusters openQRM and Symbiot's openSIMS.
Among the goals of the OMC is to help establish and utilize standards that allow for interoperability and integration of systems management solutions.
William Hurley, CTO of Qlusters, explained that many large enterprise accounts that he goes into today know about Linux and not about open source.
"Open Source is not necessarily seen as a system management option, it's more of a choice between CA, Tivoli, HP and BMC," Hurley told internetnews.com.
"So the No. 1 challenge for us is to promote open source tools within this environment to show how these things already work together and how we're working to make them work together even better.
The proverbial pie for systems management according to Hurley is growing, and there is a need and a place for open source solutions.
"Traditional system management vendors see one pie and they want as big a piece of that pie as possible," Hurley said. "We actually think that with the advent of commodity x86 Linux servers in data centers, and with data centers being redefined, that there is actually more opportunity for system management overall. And more people need these tools.
"We see this as an opportunity to open source the process of open standards for management, as well as to drive open source into large enterprise data centers."
Though the participants in the OMC are competitors, the idea is that they can together help to grow the ecosystem as a whole.