Zenoss Aims For The Enterprise

Not that long ago, open source systems monitoring was all about Nagios, a
leading monitoring tool. The field has widened considerably in recent years
and today expands even further with the released of Zenoss Enterprise
Edition 2.0.

The new Enterprise version of Zenoss isn’t intended to compete against its
open source peers but rather Zenoss execs see it as being competitive
against proprietary solutions, such as HP OpenView and IBM Tivoli.

“We do see Nagios out there in the community and it was a good proof point
for the desire of people to have an open source monitoring solution and it
inspired us,” Mark Hinkle, vice president of business and community development at
Zenoss, told internetnews.com. “Systems management is the next
category of open source that is ripe for adoption.”

Zenoss Enterprise is based on Zenoss Core 2, which was released in June. The
Enterprise edition adds commercial support options, as well as a few extra
features on top of the open source Zenoss Core.

With Zenoss Core, IT admins can do both network and application monitoring
with the need for installing agents on individual network assets. The
promise is that admins get to monitor the performance, configuration and
availability of their enterprises in a browser-based dashboard.

In the enterprise edition, Zenoss is adding something it calls end-user
experience monitoring which is intended to more accurately simulate end-user
application activity. Zenoss is also rolling in Zenpacks in the enterprise
edition, which provides frameworks for anyone to build templates and skins
that can be plugged into the Zenoss solution.

Enterprise users also get certified application monitors specifically geared
for Microsoft SQL and Exchange.

Hinkle noted that, though the Exchange and SQL app monitors are a feature
that Zenoss is offering to its enterprise users, open source core users
could potentially have the same functionally. The caveat is that core users
would have to go out and create their own plug-ins.

Zenoss currently runs on Linux and is part of both Novell’s partner program and the Red Hat Exchange partner program. In the coming week, though,
Zenoss will be rolling out Zenoss management appliances using rPath Linux
that will include the monitoring solution integrated with Linux in one box.

Though Zenoss may well be competing against the biggest vendors in the IT
industry, when it comes to monitoring, Hinkle sees few barriers to adoption.

“By the time they’ve contacted us they’ve already downloaded and used Zenoss,”
Hinkle said. “We’re just selling them on the value they add with supporting
the product.”

Gone are the days when open source is viewed with suspicion, according to
Hinkle. Instead Zenoss is compared on merits rather than on the fact that it
is open source or proprietary.

It’s not just about competing, either. Zenoss also, in some instances,
complements existing proprietary tools.

“You see enterprises where at the department level they have a Zenoss
installation but they also have a big OpenView installation,” Hinke said.
“Because of cost of propriety solutions they are complementing Zenoss,
and because Zenoss is open they have the ability to integrate with
something they already have.”

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