Subscribe to CIO Magazine »

5 open source network management projects to watch

Mix of community and commercial support available.

Open source software has a long history in lower-level network software so it’s not surprising there is a healthy range of free tools available for network and systems management.

Often with commercial support available, open source network management tools offer an easy way to gain more visibility into the workings of disparate systems and software.

In this edition of 5 open source things to watch, we take a look at network management projects that will allow IT managers to take control of the shop without selling the farm.

1. OpenNMS

OpenNMS is a network management application written in Java. It claims to be the world’s first enterprise network management developed under an open source model. The project was registered on SourceForge on July 2000.

Designed to scale to thousands of notes from one installation, OpenNMS can automatically discover network services and has an API for integration with bug tracking systems.

While commercial development and support services are available through, the project makes a point about not having a proprietary “enterprise” version.

OpenNMS is cross platform and a mobile client for Apple’s iOS is available.

Licence: GPL

2. Zenoss

Zenoss Core is the open source network management product backed by Zenoss Inc. It manages the configuration, health, performance of networks, servers and applications in one system.

Zenoss has an integrated CMDB and it is controlled by a Web-based GUI. Custom devices like temperature sensors can also be monitored.

In addition to the standard uptime and performance monitoring features, Zenoss supports monitoring templates dubbed “ZenPacks”.

Licence: GPL

3. NetXMS

NetXMS is more of an independent open source network management project that has client and server apps for Linux, Unix and Windows. Its main developer is Raden Solutions, a Latvian IT company.

In addition to the standard network monitoring features, NetXMS has business impact analysis tools.

The NetXMS interface is a “fat” client and there is also a Web interface.

Both free and paid support is available for NetXMS.

Licence: GPL

4. Nagios

Nagios is one of the most popular open source network management tools and is widely deployed among Linux users. It began life as “NetSaint” before being renamed Nagios.

The central application is called Nagios Core, with additional functionality available through Nagios Plugins, Frontends and Config Tools.

Regarding the third-party applications and plug-ins for Nagios, there is the Nagios Exchange portal that categorises extensions across various genres.

Both community and commercial support is available for Nagios.

Licence: GPL

5. Hyperic

Hyperic is an open source network management suite that targets itself as being suitable for Web application and virtual machine management.

The commercial Hyperic was acquired by SpringSource, which was then acquired by VMWare.

Hyperic features automatic discovery and records some 50,000 metrics across 75 application stacks.

An Enterprise edition is available for Hyperic which includes more features than the open source edition and commercial support.

Licence: GPL

For more articles in this series, be sure to check out:
5 open source security projects to watch
5 open source virtualisation technologies to watch
5 open source CRM systems to watch
5 open source VoIP softphones to watch
5 open source billing systems to watch
5 open source office suites to watch
5 open source IP telephony projects to watch
5 open source help desk apps to watch
5 enterprise open source wiki apps to watch
5 open source project management apps to watch
5 free project management applications you must try

Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

More about: Apple, etwork, Forge, Linux
References show all
Comments are now closed.
Related Coverage
Related Whitepapers
Latest Stories
Community Comments
Tags: network monitoring software, open source, Network management, systems management
Latest Blog Posts
  • The CIO Paradox
    As there are timeless leadership principles underlying IT value, there are unfortunately also timeless challenges that thwart the IT organisations efforts and make for a rocky path to CIO success. These are the inherent contradictions we call the CIO Paradox.
    Learn more »
  • ERP in the Cloud and the Modern Business
    Businesses are realizing that the cloud is the future of enterprise software and offers many attractive business benefits. But there is much to think about when evaluating the potential move to a cloud model, especially for core systems like ERP. View IDC’s White Paper ERP in the Cloud and the Modern Business, written by Mike Fauscette, Group Vice President, Software Business Solutions, IDC, to review IDC CloudTrack Survey findings, gain expert insight into the challenges and opportunities the cloud presents, and determine which deployment option could provide the biggest benefits for your organization. View the White Paper to discover: How to run your business more effectively in the cloud; How to choose the right deployment model for your ERP solutions; How new technologies create opportunities to innovate, giving you that competitive advantage
    Learn more »
  • Information Management
    Valuable data can be a needle in a haystack, but by leveraging the value in existing information assets, organisations can generate real and achievable gains in revenue generation, IT investments and productivity gains. This whitepaper discusses how Information Management (IM) is a multi-faceted discipline that can be employed to meet or exceed your business objectives.
    Learn more »
All whitepapers
rhs_login_lockGet exclusive access to Invitation only events CIO, reports & analysis.
Latest Jobs
Salary Calculator

Supplied by

View the full Peoplebank ICT Salary & Employment Index

Recent comments