The open-source community will see yet another offering in the systems management arena when Qlusters Inc. introduces its OpenQRM project.
The Palo Alto, Calif. company opted to take its server management automation platform to the open-source community to fill a void that executives saw in the market for an open-source server automation tool.
“There is no open-source systems management play right now. Pre-launch activity shows people are looking for this. Weve already had 350 downloads,” said William Hurley, CTO in Palo Alto.
Qlusters plan is to distribute the OpenQRM software through SourceForge.net, using a modified Mozilla Public License.
Qlusters will market support and subscription services as well as proprietary applications and plug-ins to OpenQRM.
OpenQRM complements the existing Nagios open-source system monitoring tool by adding a management framework that allows users to provision servers, manage virtualization, and policy-based monitoring, according to Hurley.
“We have a policy that says if a server reaches a certain amount of virtualization, it can pull more servers into satisfy demand,” he said.
It also integrates with Nagios, providing it with notification when a new server is provisioned through OpenQRM and details on how to monitor it.
Nagios in turn can send events to OpenQRM when a threshold is breached.
In addition, the extensible architecture in OpenQRM allows users to create their own integrations with existing, proprietary tools by writing command line interface scripts.
Using the OpenQRM platform, one user who paid for the license was able to greater reduce his companys ratio of systems administrators to server ratio, according to Henry Mayorga, vice president of operations at Tradeware Global LLC in New York.
“Our ratio was about one administrator to 13 servers. By going to QRM, Im supporting 37 production Linux servers with two people,” he said.
Mayorga believes his operation will benefit from the open-source project.
“We rely on a lot of open-source software. By having access to parts of the code, we can make changes based on whats good for us. Were very concerned with how many fixed messages go through our server at a given time. Thats a very specific feature. Well continue to pay for support because there are a lot of things we have to handle,” he said.
The OpenQRM systems management platform competes with proprietary offerings from IBM/Tivoli, Hewlett-Packards OpenView and CAs Unicenter.
It tracks data center usage, provides utilization reports, assigns servers to users and applications based on user-defined policies, re-deploys applications, manages software images, supports partitioning technologies such as VMWare and Xen, and provides a plug-in architecture that allows new components to be added.
Tradewares Mayorga hopes that by releasing OpenQRM to the open-source community, he will see someone develop support for additional versions of Linux.