"Recently Gartner warned of the open source threat to the Big
Four systems management vendors, but I don't think the current open
source solutions are quite ready to take on the big four yet.
Systems management just isn't easy. People tend to treat it like
electricity and only realize its value when the power is out, but
behind the scenes enormous complexity is battled in an effort to
keep the lights on.
"Most entrants are going to lose the battle of scale. Scale
seems like such a simple issue. Say you've got 150 Linux boxes
you're monitoring. Whenever you need to you can just add another
150 boxes to double the capacity, right? You and I know that's
ludicrous. But since this is a hotly debated topic, and since scale
can be hard to visualize, let's use a simple analogy we can all get
behind: a fast car..."