The 451 Group has issued a research report maintaining that BMC, HP, IBM and CA are "ripe for a shake-up from open source systems management players. " Open source vendors covered in the 60-page report titled "Managing in the Open: The Next Wave of Systems Management" and written by Jay Lyman and Raven Zachary, include Alterpoint, GroundWork Open Source, Hyperic, Open Country, The OpenNMS Group, Qlusters and Zenoss. Zachary concludes:
"Open source could give potential challengers the cost and ease-of-implementation advantages they need to take on such formidable opponents. Yet open source systems management vendors still face an uphill battle against entrenched players with their existing integrated suites and established customers."
The big four players aren't quaking in their boots yet. Nor are they ignoring open source. It's not an either or proposition--proprietary or open source. BMC, for example, is supporting several open source projects and funding a developer network that complements BMC’s proprietary systems management software.
As open source providers, who usually maintain some proprietary code as part of their solutions, improve their solutions, the established players will be motivated to alter their pricing models and improve their deployment and upgrade experiences to keep customers happy.