Top 5 Upstart Monitoring Vendors

Updated: August 09, 2006

According to Gartner research, the 2005 worldwide IT operations management market was estimated at $9.9 billion (a 12.6% increase over 2004) and looks set to continue its upward rise. Historically, this market has been dominated by the likes of IBM Tivoli, CA, BMC, and HP, each with its own proprietary solutions. However, in the past five years a new crop of companies has risen to challenge the enthroned leaders. Below, find five of the up-and-coming vendors in the IT Monitoring and Management market space.


Privately held and based in San Francisco, California, Hyperic LLC is a leading provider of predictable and open IT management solutions. Its goal is to deliver IT management solutions that unify management of diverse technologies by combining ease of deployment, low overhead, and comprehensive support for both open source and commercial technologies with predictable, open pricing.

Hyperic delivers web and open source management products that enable their customers to manage their web operations environment from a single portal at an effective cost. Hyperic combines an easy to deploy solution with subscription pricing providing their customer cost predictability and low risk.

Hyperic believes their product is architecturally and functionally superior to products from other companies. Hyperic HQ manages many of the world's largest Web infrastructures, including those for several Fortune 100 companies. It also believes its product support is superior. Its support team works as part of the product development team to deliver a high quality experience to its customers.

Founded: March 2004

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Public/Private: Private

Venture Backed: Accel Partners, Benchmark Capital

Customers: eHarmony, National semiconductor, Ogilvy, Stanford University, AOL

Flagship Product: Hyperic HQ. An open source solution that manages a wide array of products. The five main actions provided by HQ are monitoring, control, alerting, log aggregation and monitoring, and auto-inventory configuration

IT Management's Take : With customer success among the Fortune 100, strong venture backing, an open source product, and subscription based business model that continues to gain traction, Hyperic has positioned itself well for the future. Look for Hyperic to continue to increase its market presence and visibility in the upcoming years.

Quote from the Company

"The combination of an open source community along with the Hyperic HQ Enterprise Subscription gives customers a level of freedom and security not available from any other IT Management vendor."

--Larry Augistine, Hyperic Board Member--


GroundWork is a recognized leader in the fast growth market for enterprise-class open source-based IT management software and services. Combining supported open source software with business process, GroundWork has successfully brought to market the first practical, yet enterprise-ready, open source solutions for IT management.

GroundWork Monitor Professional, the company's flagship product, provides customers with a pre-integrated, open source solution for monitoring IT assets—enabling companies to significantly lower costs while gaining better visibility and control over their IT infrastructure.

Founded: 2004

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Public/Private: Private

Venture Backed: Canaan Partners and Mayfield Venture Capital

Customers: ATC, Rudolf & Sletten, Phoenix Technologies Ltd., Contra Costa Water District, StubHub, Inc., Nuasis Corp., and Yodlee.

Flagship Product: GroundWork Monitor Professional. The complete version of GroundWork's GroundWork Monitor Open Source, GroundWork Monitor Professional integrates Nagios 2.0 into its core monitoring capabilities, enabling agile monitoring of network activities.

IT Management's Take : Based on the Nagios monitoring tool and with an ever expanding range of supported systems, Groundwork has positioned itself well to target the mid-size enterprise.

Quote from the Company

"What we offer is 80% of the functionality [of an HP Openview type product] at 20% of the cost."
--Tony Barbagallo, VP of marketing--


Zenoss, Inc. was formed in the fall of 2005 by Erik Dahl and Bill Karpovich. Zenoss' strategy is to provide a simple, low-cost alternative to the large enterprise systems management suites for midsize organizations by leveraging the power of open source software development, modern software architecture and social networks.

Founded: Fall 2005

Headquarters: Annapolis, Maryland

Public/Private: Private

Venture Backed: Boulder Ventures, Intersouth Partners

Customers: Zenoss targets midsize customers; from 50-5,000 employees with $50 million-$500 million in revenue. Current customers include Mercy Hospital.

Flagship Product: Zenoss Enterprise Monitoring. In development since 2002, Zenoss Enterprise Monitoring includes Configuration Modeling, Event Management, Alerting, Availability Monitoring, Self Healing, Administration, Performance Monitoring, Change Tracking, and Reporting. Its four most used modules are its inventory configuration, availability monitoring, performance monitoring, and event management.

IT Management's Take : While still in its infancy, Zenoss has already gained recognition within the industry. If it continues to expand its product and customer base, Zenoss should place well in the future.

Quote from the Company

"We want to do something that's somewhere 'in the middle,' offering a very rich solution with enterprise-grade monitoring at a price midsized organizations can afford."

--Bill Karpovich, CEO--


Centeris's core product allows Linux and Windows systems to interoperate more easily. The company was formed around the goal of giving customers the freedom to choose the server platform best-suited to their business needs.

Founded: 2005

Headquarters: Bellevue, Washington

Public/Private: Private

Venture Backed: Ignition Partners, Intel Capital, Trinity Ventures

Customers: Omneon, Eastern Financial Florida Credit Union

Flagship Product: Centeris Likewise. Centeris Likewise is a server management solution that allows IT organizations to manage Linux machines like Windows servers.

IT Management's Take: Centeris has created a product to take advantage of the continuing rise in popularity of Linux servers. If the company continues to expand its support of Linux variants, it is positioned well for the future.

Quote from the Company

"We make Windows and Linux work better together. Our focus is to make Linux easier and the central aim is to let end-users manage Linux servers with Windows management tools."

--Manny Vellon, Vice President of Product Development--


Qlusters is the founding member of The Open Management Consortium. The company's flagship product provides software to manage the Linux data center. Qlusters allows a data center to operate industry-standard servers with the same quality of service found on legacy systems. Large corporations around the world use Qlusters software to expand their Linux investments and deliver the highest level of service.

Founded: 2001

Headquarters: Palo Alto, California

Public/Private: Private

Venture Backed: Benchmark Capital, Benchmark Israel, Charles River Ventures, Duff Ackerman & Goodrich LLC, Israel Seed Partners

Customers: Tradeware Global

Flagship Product: openQRM is the leading open source data center management and automation solution. It's open plug-in architecture easily integrates with existing data center applications, including Nagios, and VMWare.

IT Management's Take: With more than 22,000 downloads since January, 2006, Qlusters has shown that it has widespread appeal. Further, Qlusters successful efforts to create an open-source community supporting its product should pan out well in the future.

Quote from the Company

"Qlusters's approach differs from vendors that lock customers into proprietary products and expensive, time-consuming deployments. Data centers can now stop paying the proprietary tax of closed source systems management."

--Fred Gallagher, Vice President of Marketing--

The large enterprise IT monitoring and management market is still dominated by the likes of CA, IBM-Tivoli, HP-Openview, and BMC, but the contenders are rising. While often not as fully featured as the proprietary solutions offered by The Four, the lower costs for solid functionality that they provide can make them attractive choices, especially for the midsize enterprise. If you haven't heard of them yet, you soon will; Hyperic, Groundwork, Zenoss, Centeris, and Qlusters: five of the up-and-coming challengers in the IT monitoring and management market.

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