If you've ever wondered exactly how open source products can do well in a recession, here's a good explanation in a PC World article "Cheap Tools to Try During Tough Times":
"I look to freeware and open source tools to get more out of what I have, and the free tools usually complement the more premium product from the vendor so it's an easy transition if you do decide to buy commercial products," Vanover says.
And he is not alone. John Turner, director of networks and systems at Brandeis University, turned to freely available open source tools in lieu of a commercial monitoring software product, and fortunately for him, one vendor offered both... his team couldn't pass up Hyperic's open source offering. And perhaps in time, when budget dollars are again available, he will be able to upgrade his deployment to Hyperic's commercial offering, he says.
I would expect that once a user starts with Hyperic -- even the open source version -- they are unlikely to move to another solution. After all, it's hard to compete against free. But once they start using it, there's a natural migration path to get more functionality in the commercial version. It may take months or even a year or more before users step up to a paid subscription, and not all will do so. But it's Hyperic's opportunity and it will be the de facto choice going forward.