As enterprises have adopted open-source monitoring tools, there is growing market demand by enterprises that were not comfortable relying on community support channels. This created a business opportunity for commercial open-source vendors to enter the market providing support options, which evolved from basic support to advanced support. Some vendors offer multiple tiers of software coupled with support options; these offerings include enhanced tools and support. The commercial open-source vendors positioned themselves as utilizing community development resources, but have since discovered they must fund and control the road map and development. All vendors discussed in this research have strong communities where users collaborate and share plug-ins and other enhancements, while the provider controls the release of software.
Some sample vendors with commercial open-source offerings include GroundWork, Merethis, Nagios, VMware, Zabbix and Zenoss. These vendors are reporting growth driven by the demands of managed service providers, enterprises cutting software costs and simplification of monitoring needs.
All products, aside from VMware's offering, allow for Nagios's community-developed plug-ins to be deployed in the product. Active developers from all these vendors are developing open-source and commercial open-source offerings, creating value for customers as and the community. There is additional dedicated staff for professional services, support, sales, marketing and additional functions.GroundWork: GroundWork Monitor Enterprise
Based in California and included in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Event Correlation and Analysis, GroundWork packages many open-source products into a tested bundled release with support offerings. The commercial offering includes features such as better visualization, integration with many ticketing systems, public cloud provider monitoring (Eucalyptus, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud [Amazon EC2]), multitenancy for managed services providers, Java application monitoring via Java Management Extensions (JMX) and increased reporting capability across these tools. GroundWork has optimized the platform for increased scalability. The product also includes a publicly documented software development kit (SDK) consisting of SOAP/XML Web services that allows the platform to be extended with simple development efforts. The modifications done to existing open-source tools are contributed back to the open-source community, as well as being packaged into a community-supported open-source release called GroundWork Monitor Community Edition.Nagios: Nagios XI
Minnesota is the headquarters for the commercial offering by the Nagios development team, which is at the core of the company's open-source product. The product adds additional dashboarding, customization, performance graphing and additional features. The commercial offering also includes support for a low yearly fee. Nagios has spawned several commercial open-source solutions, including GroundWork Monitor and Merethis Centreon.VMware: VMware vFabric Hyperic
Based in California, VMware offers Hyperic, which competes differently than many similar options, the differentiator being the depth monitoring of Java applications, which leverage the open-source Spring Framework. VMware acquired SpringSource in 2009, which had multiple products, including Spring Framework, as well as the Hyperic product offering. The reasoning behind the acquisition was to launch VMware's cloud offering. Hyperic understands and manages the details of Spring-based applications via JMX with greater granularity than other monitoring applications. It has a large number of supported technologies from modern middleware, nonrelational databases, caching layers and testing frameworks. Additionally, Hyperic has close ties with VMware's vSphere platform, yet falls short on its support for packaged enterprise applications. The two offerings include Hyperic Open Source and VMware vFabric Hyperic. The commercial open-source vFabric edition includes support and adds enterprise-class features such as templates, increased manageability and an enhanced alert management system. Hyperic is an agent-based solution, aside from specific technologies that do not support agents (e.g., network devices, VMware vSphere, environmental measurement and monitoring, etc).Merethis: Centreon
Headquartered in Paris, France, Merethis created a Nagios-based monitoring platform that includes open-source and commercial modules. The additional functionality includes a new interface, browser-based configuration and setup, and has advanced alerting rules and integration to many ticketing systems. There have been scalability improvements to the core engine that are released as the open-source product Centreon-Core. The scalability improvements to Nagios are released under the open-source projects Centreon Engine and Centreon Broker. These modifications are backward-compatible with Nagios open-source releases. Commercially released add-ons include additional dashboarding, map-based views and business intelligence reporting. Merethis also offers multiple support levels and professional services to implement and customize the solution for specific customer needs.Zabbix: Zabbix
Based in Riga, Latvia, Zabbix sells support packages for the software and custom development of additional functionalities or integration. Zabbix is deployed on an existing OS, or as a virtual appliance. The product has a comprehensive set of bundled plug-ins in the packaged release, discovery of elements, an enhanced user interface, dashboard customization and enhanced graphing and charting features. The product is compatible with Nagios, allowing customers to leverage existing plug-ins. There is a wide array of support options, and they may be customized based on customer request.Zenoss: Service Dynamics
Zenoss is based Maryland and is included in the Gartner 2010 Magic Quadrant for Event Correlation and Analysis. The Zenoss Core offering is released as open-source and is community-supported, while the enterprise offering, Service Dynamics, includes scalability enhancements, performance improvements, premium support and additional features built around the publicly released Core Edition. The subscription is yearly and includes licenses and support. Zenoss is one of the only platforms to incorporate configuration management database-like device properties, which are modeled as the device is discovered. The product also includes service impact, event management and analytics. In the service impact modules, services and dependencies are configured, providing visibility into groups of components used to deliver a service or application. Zenoss is continuing to invest in richer event enrichment and metric analytics, virtualization monitoring and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) monitoring. Additional monitoring for impact analysis and analytics does carry an additional license fee, but provides value in root cause analysis. Zenoss provides integration with many ticketing systems, monitoring of cloud providers (VMware vCloud, Amazon Web Services and Google App Engine), as well as multitenancy required for implementations by managed services providers. Zenoss has a large set of community-developed ZenPacks, in addition to the company-supported packages.