Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Open Source Meets Business - Day1

Heise Verlag held its annual Open Source meets Business conference in Nuremberg last week.

The conference was quite well attended, reportedly over 700 participants with approximately 699 from Germany, all in business suites ... Redhat was present with a booth (showing olpc, Novell was nowhere to be seen - strange.

Most presentations had about 80% marketing content, 10% about the business model and 10% actual information. Redhats virtualization talk was especially contentless, a marketing talk given by a 'solution architect'. I had to leave early.

Presentations where limited to 30 minutes (incl. Q&A), with 6 to 7 tracks in parallel. I tried to choose the one with systems management or software architecture relevance.

Presentations - Day1


Ralf Wirdemann gave a good and easy to follow introduction to the REST architecture style. Nothing new, but its good to see that such topics are presented to (reportedly) CIO level management.
Too bad he had little 'real world' experience with either REST or Rails as his (non-)answers to questions showed.

SugarCRM: Is open source a viable business model ?

Short answer: Yes. Look at recent acquisitions: RedHat/JBoss 420M, Citrix/XenSource 500M, Sun/mySQL 1B. Nothing about SugarSRM as a product, but about the development (open) and business model (service & support).

Network Monitoring with Nagios

This was the first of four (!) talks about Nagios.
Monitoring is a hot topic for most IT admins. The presenter spend most of the time fighting the incompatibilities of MacOS Powerpoint with Windows Power Point and OpenOffice (doesn't show speaker notes ;-))
Filtering out the company marketing blurb, one learned that Nagios allows for cross-platfrom device and service monitoring. It uses its own client agent (available for Linux, Unix and Windows) but can also process SNMP management information from network devices. The client agent has a pluggable API for gathering information and there is a whole website dedicated to plugins.
The Nagios server, running on Linux only, provides the management infrastructure including a sophisticated alarm and notification system.
Customers seem to be quite happy with Nagios and only miss a reporting function. But this is planned for the future.


I presented my favorite topic, Web Services for Management. A remote management protocol providing true interoperable management capabilities between Linux and Windows.
Slides are available in german (I said it was a german conference, didn't I ?)

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