Zenoss will be sponsoring the Software Freedomr Road Rally which will leave Raleigh, NC on September 28th and travel to the Ohio LinuxFest in Columbus, OH on September 29th. Zenoss will be exhibiting and speaking at the the Ohio LinuxFest on Saturday, so please come out and say hello.
Welcome to the September edition of the Zenoss Newsletter. This month was very exciting for Zenoss, because we have new products! First, we have a brand new version of Zenoss Core mashed up with Google Maps. Plus new Zenoss Enterprise software and hardware appliances are now available for lightning fast deployments.
So without further adieu here’s the news that’s fit to print.
Zenoss Beta 2.1 Available Now with Google Maps and Network Visualizations
Zenoss Core 2.1 Beta is now available with integration to Google Maps. This beta provides a real-time, geographical visualization of the health of distributed IT infrastructures and many interesting new features including updated dashboards and network topology representations.
Zenoss Appliances On September 13th we announced the availability of commercially supported Zenoss appliances. Zenoss Hardware and Software Appliances are ideal for Zenoss users who are interested in ease of deployment with accelerated implementation time and don’t care to administer a dedicated Linux server.
Medifast Trims IT Downtime with Zenoss Publicly traded Medifast is a leader among easy-to-use clinically proven weight loss programs. Find out how they deployed the Zenoss Hardware Appliance in a few hours and recouped their investment in 30 days through reduced service outages.
Zenoss will be exhibiting and speaking at the Ohio LinuxFest in Columbus,OH on September 29th. Zenoss will be conducting a Road Rally to celebrate Software Freedom Day on our way to the Ohio LinuxFest (www.softwarefreedomrr.com) Admission to the Fest Is free and it’s a great place to learn about Linux and other open source technologies. Stop by and say,”Hello”. The two Marks and Brad will be your Zenoss “booth babes” handing out t-shirts and demonstrating Zenoss Core.
The Zenoss Core 2.1 Beta marks a significant update for many areas of Zenoss Core, including overall look and feel, back-end performance enhancements and added functionality. We need your feedback to make sure Zenoss Core 2.1 is a smashing success.
Zenoss Core 2.1 marks a significant update for many areas of Zenoss Core, including overall look and feel, back-end performance enhancements and added functionality. This is beta release for testing purposes only! DO NOT USE IN PRODUCTION.
The Zenoss 2.1 Beta release 2.0.91 includes a few enhancements as well as many minor fixes detailed below:
IMPORTANT UPGRADE NOTE: For this beta release you must run zenmigrate, even on a clean install.
This release adds user groups to zenoss. Groups can be used to aggregate alerting rules for several users into one location. Rules defined on the group are added rules defined for a user with in that group.
Optimized the algorithm by which the Google Maps feature gathers its link data
Made the network map less wide, to accommodate lower resolution
Updated device organizer status pages to use the new icon/event status pill paradigm
Fixed several bugs causing dashboard refreshing to break
Added top level organizers portlet to dashboard; select from any of the root organizers (Devices, Locations, Systems, Groups) to see the status of its immediate children.
Removed icons from organizer list on the device status page template
Unified tables CSS app-wide
Fixed CSS overlap bugs on the device status page template
Graphing and Reporting
Fixed type in GraphPoint subclasses that prevented management via the ZMI
When adding items to Collections (Multi-Graph Reports) the lists now allow multiple selections and remembers state between submits. (2018)
Newly created Multi-Graph Reports have their sequence set correctly.
Resequencing of Graphs in Templates and Multi-Graph Reports works again.
Threshold GraphPoints no longer list available RRD variables.
Deleting items from a Collection (Multi-Graph Reports) now properly resequences the remaining items. (2040)
Deleting a GraphGroup from a Multi-Graph Report now works. (2041)
User now stays on Multi-Graph Report edit page after deleting GraphGroups.
Large numbers of GraphPoints in a GraphDefinition no longer causes an index error when determining the appropriate color. (2042)
XML exporting of GraphPoints with line types of LINE should work now. (2012)
graphReports migrate script now properly creates the Graph Reports organizer if missing
graphDefinitionsAndFriends migrate script better handles GraphPoint line types.
Migrate script interdependencies are now determined correctly. (2045)
OSProcessClass is now Packable. (2008)
CollectionItems (Multi-Graph Reports) are no longer Packable.
Reports can no longer be added to ZenPack from the GUI. (2017)
You can now view overridden zProperties from Device Class (1756)
Added two MySQL connection re-establishment strategies.
Improved error log messages for zenperfsnmp
ZenJMX properly rescans after a timeout occurs.
Device edit screen no longer empties snmp version (1997)
Event notification was broken in .90 and has now been repaired.
Corrected error when using “Enter” key when in the edit screen (1966)
The most popular way for people to try Zenoss seems to be our VMware image of Zenoss Core so I thought I would pass on this VMware tip for Zenoss users running our VMware image.
The VMware image doesn't have a root password by default. This prevents SSH logins as root. To set the password you must login to the VM through the VMware console as root with no password and run the following command to set the password:
You can then set the password and SSH to the image as root.
Open source software business is all rage these days. It started with RedHat’s acquisition of JBoss and it was followed by SourceFire’s IPO. Then there was the XenSource acquisition by Citrix, and most recently Yahoo’s agreement to buy Zimbra. Though on the surface, these acquisitions may seem to be limiting open source software choices to consumers, they can end up being the beginning of a very important cross pollination trend.
Users of open source software have been talking, and writing about the death of proprietary software model for a very long time. Their main argument has been that customers and enterprises were no longer willing to pay 100% astronomical prices for software that only offered 50% usable functionality. It was also assumed that open source would have a better chance of being successful in non-innovative and mature markets. The first point about customers unwilling to pay high prices for enterprise software still holds true. However, the recent acquisition news and an IPO turned this argument on its head. JBoss, SourceFire, XenSource and Zimbra were deemed successful because they brought innovation into their respective product categories. In relatively short amount of time, they proved that open source is and will be the successfully innovative model of the 21st century. With the help of their communities, they delivered to their customers just the right amount of functionality for the right price.
Matt Asay wrote a great blog detailing the recent acquisitions and comparing their sticker prices to their overall revenues. You will find that the multiples that Zimbra and others are receiving are more attractive than the ones received by proprietary vendors. One such example is Opsware which was acquired by HP for $1.6 billion on revenues of $100 million. Are Yahoos and Citrix’ of the software industry just paying too much money? Or are they on to something here?
My argument is that Yahoo and Citrix are two companies that realized, earlier than others, the future of successful software development being tied to open standards which are supported by narrowly focused communities while fueled by collaboration for speed to value. They also realized the earlier they acquire these companies, the less they will have to pay for this innovation and the further ahead they will be from their competitors. It seems to me like the old guard is force pollinating them selves to find that innovation that can only come from youth and endurance in this new economy.
William M. Bulkeley of The Wall Street Journal wrote an article on 9/18/2007 dated paper, entitled “Free IBM Software Is Bid To Challenge Microsoft Office”, announcing the re-investment of the Big Blue into the software application business. Not just any software application business, Open Source Software Application business with its new Office Suite named Symphony. The new product is based on Open Office Project and joins similar offerings from Sun Microsystems’ Star Office and Google’s desktop-software suite.
IBM has a track record of supporting open standards, and open source in order to pursue strategies ultimately benefiting its business objectives. This is very natural of course as IBM is a publicly owned and for profit enterprise. Big Blue’s support for Eclipse Foundation, Linux, and its previous open source based acquisitions are well documented. I once heard a Gartner analyst say “Among the top Enterprise Software companies (Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, and IBM), IBM has the least to lose from open standards and open source.” IBM does not want to be known as a software company, but rather a technology services firm.
IBM, however, will support any software initiative that would pressure its competitors. Their support for Linux and Apache was to check Microsoft’s dominance in the enterprise server software business. Eclipse was a strategic move against .Net and Sun’s Java Platforms among the developers. Symphony is clearly aimed at Microsoft’s Office Suite of products, which we all love to hate.
IBM’s continued interest in the open source software business brings immediate and strong validation to our business model. They plan to give away the software in return for paid support and services, though the prices have not been announced yet. Symphony will be integrated with Lotus Notes and support IBM’s collaboration strategy as well.
Few things that were not clear in the article were all around community based collaboration for Symphony. It is stated that, Symphony will not be available at www.openoffice.org, which is odd given that it is based on Open Office software. At the same time, IBM plans to give code to Open Office, developed by its engineers, that makes it easier to use by people with limited vision. If IBM engineers will be the primary developers and the community of Symphony, they will not be truly leveraging the power of the open source. And that would be a loss for both the IBM and the open source model.
My close friends know all too well why I came to this country. It was to chase my dream of following in the footsteps of my countrymen and founders of Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun, Nesuhi Ertegun and their legendary producer Arif Mardin. They became the guys who revolutionized the music industry in this country, and made it one of the biggest exports with the label “Made in USA.” I wanted to be in the music industry, and make a name for myself just like them. Though my life with the legends would certainly have been more eventful, when I look at the state of the music industry today, I am happy to be in the software industry.
In the recent years, the music industry has gone through a wrenching change. After benefiting from the sales of CDs for years, the major record companies have witnessed their fortunes change dramatically as revenues have plummeted. The Internet hasn’t only enabled music lovers to download music easily, but to exchange it, for free, through P2P file sharing; today, “more than half of the music acquired in the U.S. isn’t paid for.” The percentage of unpaid music rises dramatically for younger groups under the age 21. Music is very important in the lives of young people. In fact, purchasing of music is one of the first commercial transactions in the lives of the youngsters. Around the globe, there is now an entire generation of young people who are growing up accustomed to receiving music, for free, through the use of P2P file sharing from their networked communities.
It used to be that record labels made money by signing up artist with iron clad contracts. Record companies provided the space, technology, distribution, promotion while artists created the content. In return, musicians received 3% to 6% in royalty payments from the sales of records, and the rest of the time they had to go on endless tours to earn money from concert tickets. All of this changed with Napster.
It introduced the concept of P2P file sharing through the use of the Internet technology. People around the world could log on the Napster community of users, share their music library with the community and freely exchange files at the speed of their connection. Napster had caught the music industry napping and the Internet technology enabled communities to create their own way of finding and receiving music, albeit illegally.
Record labels are now fighting back on numerous fronts using legal and creative means. On the creative side, they are offering artist alternative ways to earn a living through ring tones agreements with major telecom companies, concerts, promotions and Web 2.0 sales/marketing. Parts of the music industry, namely music stores, have disappeared forever. The rest is trying to survive.
I think that we in the software industry can learn a lot from the changing landscape of the music business and avoid their mistakes. First and foremost, the youngsters, who are growing up accustomed to receiving intellectual property for free from their peers in their community, are our future customers. Second, we need to look at the new and successful players in the music industry to analyze their ways. I am mainly thinking about Apple with its I-Pod platform through which the company offers numerous products. Last but not least, we need to adapt to our new economy which is fueled by knowledge, interest based networks, collaboration and speed.
In the near future, it will become harder and harder to sell proprietary software solutions to a generation of people who are not accustomed to paying for intellectual property. Software companies who rely on open source business model will be better positioned to tap into the buying habits of this new generation. All open source companies, regardless of their business model, rely on revenues to stay afloat or grow. This is true for RedHat as well as the Apache Foundation. The key to success, now and in the future, is to offer choices to the customers. We need to provide our software offerings in deployment options that users desire. We also need to create platforms that enable the exchange of knowledge and products with ease. Lastly, we need to leverage the new economy by taping into the collective knowledge of people globally. Citizens of this world are now more and more motivated to participate in narrowly defined interest groups in order to collaborate with their peers and create value faster than ever before. Linux was only the first major product of this new economy and it will not be the last.
My three heros from the Atlantic Records are all gone now. Ahmet Ertegun was the last of “Grand Messieurs” of the music industry and he died, fittingly, at a Rolling Stones concert in December of 2006. I never got to meet them in person. To touch and feel the 3 legends now, I will have to go to The Rock & Roll and The Jazz Hall of Fames in Cleveland and New York respectively. I am afraid that companies failing to adapt to the realities of our new economy are destined to end up in the Software Hall of Fame.
I was browsing our web logs this week and realized that a lot of other open source (and some proprietary) monitoring companies spend a great deal of time on our web site trying to figure out what we are up to. So today's post is dedicated to saving them time so they can focus on making really good software and spend less time worrying about us. Here's a little video sneak peak of Zenoss 2.1 Beta produced from their point of view :
If you are in the Raleigh/Durham area Zenoss is sponsoring the Triangle Linux Users Group tonight at 7:00 p.m at Red Hat World Headquarters. We will do a short presentation on Zenoss Core before the main program. We would love to see any Zenoss users that can make it.
Welcome to the August edition of the Zenoss Newsletter. It’s summer in Annapolis, and that means it’s beach season. We hope you get a chance to enjoy yourself. So take some time off and let Zenoss monitor your network while you relax.
Using Zenoss’ sophisticated alerting you can send pages to the on-call operator while you are at the beach. Or you can choose to only get the alerts that really matter while your gone. (Our recommendation is to send them to someone else).
Without any further adieu, here’s the news that’s fit to print.
Zenoss 2.0.4 is Available
Zenoss Core Version 2.0.4 is primarily a maintenance release that addresses many minor issues.
Browser incompatibilities for both Firefox and IE 7
Correct alerting rules issues for users and administrators
Bug fixes and improvements in Zenperf, Zenevents, Zenmodel, and Zenhub
Zenoss Inc. provides a complete suite of software and services to help you succeed in monitoring your IT infrastructure. To find out about all our product offerings, including our subscriptions, please review our support matrix for all your Zenoss service needs.
Zenoss Core Wins Enterprise Open Source Reader’s Choice Award
Zenoss is proud to have been awarded the Enterprise Open Source Magazine Reader’s Choice Award chosen above our peers by the reader’s of EOS Magazine. Anytime you receive praise from a group of users it is especially satisfying. Thanks to all of you who voted for us.
Zenoss Tip: Running Commands from the Zenoss User Interface
Zenoss allows commands to be run though the user interface. Zenoss comes with several built in commands such as ping and traceroute. This way you can select and run these commands without exiting to a terminal window and also see the output of commonly used commands. Commands run from the Zenoss UI can be run on a single device or also on a grouping of devices. To do this:
Navigate to the Device or Device Group where you want to run the command (and where the command is defined).
From the Device page menu, select Run Commands and then the command name you want to run.
The command is run and the output appears on the screen.
You can even execute scripts and other commands remotely. You can also run additional commands via SSH or remotely through the Zenoss system.
To define custom commands, from the Settings menu on the left navigational menu, select Settings and then click the Commands tab. Here you can use Tales expressions to define new commands or edit existing commands.
Zenoss in the News
Zenoss has received numerous news mentions and blog mentions this month, here are some of the highlights:
Network World – What has become of last year’s open source companies to watch?
Tech Target - Open Source System Management Suites: A Viable Alternative?
CIO.com - Seven Financial Reasons to Use Linux in the Enterprise
From the Blogosphere
Coup d’Oeil – Brent Toderash blogged about Zenoss on his Strategic Intuition blog.
John M. Willis – John spoke about Zenoss a lot this month on his enterprise systems management blog. We highly recommend you add him to your RSS Reader.
Cote’ People over Process – Redmonk analyst Coté did a man on the street video with systems management guru John Willis, BMC’s whurley and Mark Hinkle from Zenoss.
” He [whurley] said when he first arrived at BMC a few Sales guys who found out that he was the open source guru came to him to get some intelligence on Nagios. They wanted to know who these Nagios guys where. They told Whurley that the Nagios guys were everywhere. Whurley asked “What Nagios guys.” The sales guys where ranting about this army of Nagios guys and how they are killing them. Then Whurley told them there is only one guy who is Nagios (Ehtan Galstad) and they didn’t believe him.”
We love to see open source software have such and impact on proprietary companies. Also we always wish Ethan and the Nagios the best but someday we hope that they are running through the halls at BMC going the Zenoss guys are everywhere.
I got this as part of the Zenoss comment spam today and it was too funny. Note the highlighted portion of his pitch.
"hello , my name is Richard and I know you get a lot of spammy comments , I can help you with this problem . I know a lot of spammers and I will ask them not to post on your site . It will reduce the volume of spam by 30-50% .In return Id like to ask you to put a link to my site on the index page of your site. The link will be small and your visitors will hardly notice it , its just done for higher rankings in search engines. Contact me icq XXXXX or write me XXXXXX(at)yahoo.com , i will give you my site url and you will give me yours if you are interested. thank you"
I was tempted to reply to Richard with this note:
Richard, this sounds like an excellent deal. Can your provide some references? Can you introduce me to your friends? I am trying to help the deposed billionaire prince of Nigeria get his fortune out of the country, maybe they can help me get the word out. Best Regards, Mark