Free Zenoss does 90% of what big system monitors do

"A 3-D drill-down map of your IT environment looks great on the demo, it looks great in marketing, but IT operators never use it. There are lots of studies showing that 60% of the people buying products from the “Big Four

That's what Zenoss CEO Bill Karpovich claimed when we talked earlier today.

"Our focus right now is monitoring. That's the core of IT operations management. Our goal is a complete monitoring solution – we do most of it now. We have multi-billion dollar companies using this, and commercial clients who are very large.

"Within monitoring we're 90% of the way there."

By "there" he means Zenoss Version 1.1 can do 90% of the system monitoring work done by such vendors as IBM Tivoli, BMC, HP and Computer Associates, free.

While praising open source system monitors like Hyperic and Groundwork, Karpovich said he is focused on building the best integrated open source monitoring tool, from the ground up, rather than adding bells-and-whistles. 

"A 3-D drill-down map of your IT environment looks great on the demo, it looks great in marketing, but IT operators never use it. There are lots of studies showing that 60% of the people buying products from the “Big Four” use less than 50% of the product. There's an awful lot that just sits there."

The difference is "Our development is informed by our users in the community," Karpovich said. "We're not building based on marketing, or based on extracting money from the market."

For instance,  "In our Version 1.1 release we added automated change tracking. We now let you automatically discover the configuration and it automatically monitors changes. That's a huge thing." And it's going to be used.

So, is Karpovich blowing smoke or does the open source process really meet the needs of enterprise customers better?

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