With the release of Hyperic Inc.'s HQ 3.2 open source systems management suite last week, the company touts a lower-cost alternative to tools from BMC Software, CA, Hewlett-Packard and IBM and one that caters to customers with heavy-duty Web-based infrastructure.
Among the enhancements in Hyperic HQ 3.2 are support for MySQL as a back-end database, cross-platform diagnostic and reporting tools to reduce problem resolution time, and integration with the Nagios open source network monitoring software.
Nagios shops that want to use HQ to provide additional performance management metrics will find the integration attractive, according to Michael Coté, an analyst at RedMonk, a Denver-based research firm. There's even the potential for users to ditch Nagios entirely. "On the other hand, being able to import Nagios setups means that users may eventually do away with their Nagios installs, converting over to HQ's setup exclusively and shifting to the more commercial versions of HQ," Coté said. "That could rattle people who like the purist, open source approach of Nagios."
According to Jay Lyman, an open source analyst at the New York-based 451 Group, Nagios is widely deployed, with at least 50,000 users, so Hyperic's integration strategy is aimed at significant population of end users.Scaling open source systems management tools
Scalability is another factor that makes integration with Nagios attractive. "There is demand to take Nagios, Hyperic and open source systems management in general to larger installations," said Lyman. "Even though Nagios was never intended for such large server setups, organizations are eager to push it as far as they can." Yet Nagios poses scalability concerns, according to analysts. "Once you start scaling up, Nagios has serious limitations," Lyman added. "Hyperic is providing performance and functionality like autodiscovery for larger server deployments that have outgrown Nagios."
MySQL support is another means of addressing scaling and performance concerns, Coté said. "As each of the open source IT management platforms grow in popularity, they're hitting scaling problems -- jumping from managing 50 to 100 servers to thousands, if not tens of thousands, of servers," he added. Since Hyperic is targeting Web-based companies, Coté said that one of the vendor's priorities is handling performance management tasks at data centers with Web-based servers accessible to the public.
With Sun Microsystems Inc.'s recent acquisition of MySQL, Hyperic's support for the database may prove fortuitous, Coté added, particularly if "Sun pushes MySQL further into the area of a high-performance, Web-scale tuned databases."Hyperic already has its fair share of customers and fans among high-profile, transaction-heavy Web-based companies, including ticket broker StubHub Inc., dating site eHarmony, and social networking site hi5. And Hyperic just announced that technology publisher CNET Networks Inc. is its latest customer. Dan Gorman, hi5's senior systems engineer, gushed about Hyperic HQ. "Hyperic is like having an invisible team monitoring our systems around the clock, which lets our operations team focus on scaling the business," said Gorman. "With our size and complexity, I can't imagine ever using anything but Hyperic for systems management."
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