Systems and network monitoring is often a second or third order concern in IT organizations. The team usually agrees it's a good idea, but never seems to quite get monitoring set up and, more importantly, embedded into the IT process so it's kept up-to-date. When monitoring is up-to-date, it completes an ideal quality circuit that provides not just accurate feedback about how IT and the team are functioning, but also advertises what the team has done for the company lately.
Unfortunately, monitoring is complicated. Most IT shops have purchased "big iron" monitoring tools that turned out to be larger projects than the IT team could bite off. Implementing the tools and integrating them with the systems to be monitored has a steep learning curve. Lots of these projects sit on the shelf waiting for the right kind of help to make large investments pay off.
Here's where open source tools and monitoring experts can make the difference. First, it's possible to get the core bits of the big iron running and stable. This is often the 20% that will give 80% benefit. Once the core is running, an open source solution, such as GroundWork’s, can be added to the mix quickly, easily and cheaply--efficiently integrating the target systems into overall monitoring with the big iron functionality. Quickly because the interfaces are open, easily because open source is easier to deploy through standard interface stacks like LAMP, and cheaper because it's open source.
So, add some open source to kick start that delayed big iron project. The business wins as it gets benefit from a stalled investment. You win with a flexible and expandable solution with more capability than was originally spec'ed.
GroundWork Open Source has several customers where this strategy has worked so well, they've expanded the engagement to cover more of their main data centers and expand to remote ones. They’ve found that open source integrated better with their existing commercial software than other commercial software.
Do you have any stories where integrating open source with commercial software worked for your customers? What tools have worked for you?