Open source marching on system management space

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Open source marching on system management space

BMC, CA, IBM and HP forced to respond.

The system management market will be the next market for open source to attack, analyst firm 451 Group predicts in a new study.

In the past venture capital investors have poured significant funds into open source startups. It will be a long time before they will form a threat to CA's Unicenter, HP's Openview, IBM's Tivoli and BMC. But Raven Zachary, research director for the group's open source practice, said that "the long term does look troubling".

Adoption of open source management software from vendors such as Alterpoint, Hyperic or Zenoss will initially be limited to a few non-mission critical systems, he projected. But following a path similar to that of the Jboss application server, they will grow their installations and threaten the large vendors within three to four years.

Incumbent vendors, meanwhile, are likely to respond by releasing parts of their technology under an open source licence, which would essentially amount to a price drop. BMC recently hired a chief open source officer, IBM is already moving parts of Tivoli to the Eclipse open source project and CA has successfully open sourced and spun off its Ingres database.

Alternatively, they could launch a free, limited functionality version of their software to fend off the threat of an open source alternative.

The open source vendors for now focus on selling a premium, proprietary version of their software. Hyperic is following this business model, and the enterprise software have had some success with it. But Zachary pointed out that customers consistently indicate that they prefer a Red Hat like subscription model bundled with support over a paid premium product.
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