Zenoss: Going beyond element management to service management

Today's complex workloads require the support of many elements -- including systems, networking, storage, and software elements. Zenoss believes that it's the time to start monitoring and managing complete services.


Chris Smith, Chief Marketing Officer, and Deepak Kanwar, Senior Manager at Zenoss, came by to discuss an updated ZenPack for Oracle.

Although our conversation touched on ZenPacks in general and the Oracle ZenPack in specific, Zenoss' philosophy and its approach to the market caught my attention.

Zenoss unified monitoring

Zenoss is a strong proponent of vendor-agnostic, highly extensible tools -- tools that make it possible for enterprises to monitor their entire IT infrastructure, end to end, and make it possible to keep tabs on all of the services and applications being supported.

This monitoring should be able to gather information on all of the elements that support those services, regardless of whether it is a physical system, virtual system or cloud-hosted system. The monitoring should be able to watch any type of system architecture, network component, storage component and should play nicely with any operating system, application framework and application. It should work in real time and offer an overview of what's happening for an entire application or service.


Zenoss started life as an open source project. This has colored the company's products and services ever since. The company offers open application programming interfaces, making it possible for developers to add capabilities, and making it possible for the software to monitor new and different elements, and yet bring all of the collected operational data back into the product.

Zenoss has developed and supports many ZenPacks. ZenPacks also have been developed by individual developers or enterprises. Those ZenPacks, of course, are supported by the community or the developer responsible for the creation of that ZenPack.

Oracle ZenPack

Zenoss has updated the ZenPack for Oracle. Here is what the company says about it:

Through its modular design for the Oracle Real Application Cluster (RAC) environment, this ZenPack enables the identification and monitoring of all database instances even if they are in a cluster. Moreover, its deep integration with Oracle’s onboard instrumentation allows it to analyze metrics at the TableSpace level.

Successfully operating modern databases and applications is becoming increasingly complex. The modern data center is no longer static and under a single roof – it is virtual, elastic, and highly distributed. With this more sophisticated and complex approach it is essential for IT operations teams to have a unified view of the infrastructure that their databases and applications depend on for reliable delivery. Without this unified approach, IT loses the visibility and control they need to ensure the performance and availability of critical services to their business users.

The updated ZenPack for Oracle databases:

  1. Identifies and monitors all Oracle database instances even if in clusters
  2. Measures numerous new KPIs (key performance indicators) including Cache Hit Ratio, PGA memory, Disk Allocation etc.
  3. Enables granular monitoring with TableSpace support
  4. Provides better usability through updated thresholds and graphs
  5. Simplifies installation through automated migration from older versions

Snapshot analysis

Zenoss really doesn't replace the tools offered by the systems, networking, storage or software suppliers. Where it shines is making it possible for IT administrators to gain an overview of what is happening, learn from that operational data, and prevent slow downs or outages.

Zenoss isn't alone in reaching for this level of management overview, however. Companies such as BMC, CA, HP, IBM, Microsoft, VMware and many others all offer products in this area and claim the same capabilities Zenoss promises. The key difference appears to be that Zenoss operates in real time -- and that can be an important difference for business critical workloads and services.

Show Comments