Open source gang forms to battle IBM, BMC and CA
Its interesting observing what's going on in the systems management marketplace. Some observers note that it resembles very much the middleware market years ago until Weblogic, Websphere, and more recently Jboss has emerged as the noteworthy players. Opensource has been a trend contributing to, not simplifying, complexity within the IT landscape. To paraphrase Lou Gerstner, CIO's are tasked with making several elephants dance in synch. Now CIO's have alot of little elephants too with the likes of Red Hat/Jboss, Novell, and MySQL in the mix. Invariably some opportunistic vendors have spotted the opportunity to replicate the MySQL and Jboss business model in Open Source Systems Management. Sourceforge.net can be a gold mine if you spot the right opportunity as we can observe with companies like Xensource among others.
Systems management has emerged as an extremely essential part of the enterprise, even as IBM with its efforts to link up Tivoli and Rational and vendors like BlackDuck and Spikesource build their business models around certifying open source IT stacks for enterprises. It becomes ever more byzantine when CIO's consider the possibilities in cost savings behind hard ware virtualization and to a lesser extent applications virtualization. The cost savings in server utilization and power demands are mitigated by the fact that you have 4 or 5 times more servers in your environment. That's where vendors like Opsware and Bladelogic come into play. The list of vendors offering similar components of the systems managment marketplace becomes long, however, when you look at incumbent vendors with positions of strength in other parts of the stack such as IBM, Microsoft, BMC, and the newly reconfigured CA under Swainson.
My prediction is more consolidation down the road as the hot trend in virtualization, from network to server, accelerates the need for operations and systems managment and vendors invariably attempt to be the one stop shop.
Open source gang forms to battle IBM, BMC and CA | The Register
The systems management market has clearly not been a favorite for customers over the years. You have to side with a vendor and then shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars or more for add-on packages to handle various tasks. An open source alternative would clearly give Linux savvy small- to medium-sized businesses a nice option.
The OMC pitch weakens in these early days when you realize that its the systems management crowd's attempt to mimic the LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL PHP/Perl/Python) stack that has become all the rage. Companies ranging in size from IBM and Red Hat down to services start-ups have put in a lot of work certifying the core LAMP software to work well together and then certifying additional packages that can fit into the LAMP combination.
There's no grand certification effort going with the OMC crowd. In fact, the initial run of OMC is really just a declaration that these open source vendors exist. They've set up a web site with limited information about the partnership, and that's about it at this point.
"I think the idea is that a formal structure will come about," said Mark Hinkle, a VP at Emu Software. "The first thing we have to do is come up with the conversation."
The organizations backing OMC do eventually plan to do more than just talk. They'll have joint sales and marketing programs and strive to make sure their applications work well together. In addition, they hope to add more companies to the group and even invite the likes of IBM and CA to see where they might contribute. In addition, OMC hopes to carve out some true "open standards" around systems management rather than relying on standards groups that require $100,000 a year for participation.
At the moment though, such plans are pretty far off. The OMC group seems set on using "conversation" as its key mechanism, which is a very open source thing to do, but we wonder how far that will carry them.
There's no question that open source systems management products deserve more attention. It's only natural that this part of the software market come under siege next with the OS, web server, application server and database conquered to a degree.
We wonder though how much IBM or CA will fear the open source "conversation." A more concerted effort to align the release cycles of all these open source packages and provide unified support around them would be welcomed and provide substantial competition against the giants.
That said, something like OMC had to happen. If done right, it will no doubt capture the attention of the dominant players