Enterprise system management wares from BMC, CA, HP and IBM are expensive, overly complex, difficult to both deploy and maintain, and rarely yield all the promised benefits even after years of use. This message has been reverberating for years now throughout their commercial consumer base.
SharedBook recently reviewed a number of mid-tier commercial and open source products from a range of vendors with some rather unexpected results.
In short, Zenoss, an open source management product from the company of the same name, floated quickly to the top of our list.
Erik Dahl started development of Zenoss in 2002 after becoming frustrated with the bloat-ware from the aforementioned companies. A seasoned management team and venture funding enabled the formation of Zenoss in 2005 which in turn led to the open source launch in mid-2006.
Zenoss is free to install and use, and there are very active user and development forums for support. If you need more support than what’s available in the forums, Zenoss offers several tiers of paid support that give you direct access to Erik and company.
What we like:
Zenoss is built entirely on open source products: Zope , AJAX, MySQL, RRDtool, and a collection of control services written in Python. A low-end server for a monitoring station with some flavor of Linux is all you need to get started monitoring your heterogeneous infrastructure.
This product covers all the bases:
· Automated modeling and device discovery
· Process and service monitoring
· Event collection from Syslog, WMI, SNMP traps, and XML RPC events
· Performance monitoring via SNMP, XML RPC collection, custom command execution and host based agents (Nagios agents are supported as well)
· Lastly there’s a customizable alerting mechanism to advise you in real-time of any problems that might creep up in your environment.
We’ve been running V1.1 on Debian Linux for about 5 weeks now and love it. As I said before this product is in active development, patch release V1.2 just came out last week and V2.0 (with some significant enhancements) just entered alpha.
If you’re in the market for a tool that will turn your shop from reactive to proactive this is certainly one to consider.