Posts Tagged ‘nagios’

WordPress: Starting to slide and opening door for alternative blogging software

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

I you are like me you love open source software. Open source software is a driving force propelling proprietary software to increase functionality while maintaining costs. We can look at Nagios and Tivoli for a comparison. Nagios is adding functionality and providing the organizations with more flexibility than Tivoli in many respects.

WordPress is another great open source project for creating a blog. However, there might be rocky roads ahead for the organization. The fall from grace will come from a bloated core development team and the lack of QA for plugins. Basically, instability in the software.

Instability has resulted in several open source software failures. A reason why many organizations will not use open source software is due to instability within the core development team and the lack of quality assurance. An enterprise cannot afford to implement software within the business model and have the software crash due to poor quality assurance.

How does an open source software team implement quality assurance. One way is to reduce the development to a core group. We see this strategy used with many game related software development. Another method is to close the core to additional plugins until they have be QA’d by the core and thoroughly tested. We see this with open source software like Apache and Nagios. We have also seen this with major operating system vendors, like Microsoft and RedHat, in regard to kernel source code.

WordPress is still the number one open source blogging software on the market today. There needs to be more quality assurance within the project to ensure the core is hardened and nothing is introduced to break that base functionality. Open source communities need to also be concerned with the stability of their base product before adding additional functionality. Do not be afraid to tell a plugin developer “NO” to his or her code.

I hope this helps to enlighten people to the need to hem-in scope creap before the product falls from grace and another product takes the market share.

Mike Kniaziewicz
Master of Information Systems

The REAL truth about open source software (what others do not want you to know)

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Open source software is great for the enterprise that is properly staffed. If you want to deploy software, like Nagios for system monitoring you should have hired a real system administrator. If hiring managers are doing his or her job correctly, the enterprise should be properly staffed to develop open source software that meets the organizational requirements.

One area I would look to is the Windows community. Windows has enabled hiring managers to dumb-down his or her department. How much education does a system administrator need to install the operating system (simply press “Next”), update the system (install automatic updates) and add software (simply press “Next”). Windows has dumbed-down the Administrator community, but in all fairness to Windows, their product was requested by upper management in order to reduce staffing requirements.

Upper management is to blame as well. Many information technology executives are trying to meet operational levels in regard to labor costs. This means reducing staff and automating as many processes as possible. Why would they need to hire professionals when they can train any staff person to press Control-Alt-Delete, call the software vendor or press “Next?” However, these managers are missing out on emerging markets because they no longer have the staff to address information technology issues.

Yes, we even need to point the finger at open source developers. The reason why organizations do not implement open source products is three fold:

  1. Lack of support. Management is looking for software that is not only ready-to-go but also includes support agreements. Sorry open source community, but many organizations cannot implement a software solution unless it includes support and liability. You can look towards SOX for a part of this statement.
  2. Open source project lack of development. Many open source projects are here today and gone tomorrow. Take a look at the most popular web server in the business world today, Apache. The Apache foundation has been around for a long time and are constantly upgrading their product.
  3. Open source undisclosed fees. If you are going to have an open source project then the accessories need to be under the agreement. Why would I want to develop an open source product only to find out I have to pay for a pluggin that is required for my enterprise? If it is open source, then keep all the pluggins under the same license and charge for support.

The way I see it, these are the main reasons for open source failing. How can open source reduce these loses? First, stop the community splits and obtain longevity in the field with your software. Second, offer support from the organization and allow the customer to say “NO.” Third, hiring managers need to start thinking strategically and not short term. I do not care what operating system the administrator is hired to support, if he or she cannot script you should only hire them at the Junior level. How many Windows administrators cannot even write a batch script?

I think open source has a bright future. The “experts” that down open source fail to realize that open source drives proprietary software. Where would Active Directory be without open LDAP? Open source software needs to create longevity with their software, even if group member come-and-go. As long as you have one member of the group with direction, continue to develop and promote the software. As long as open source software continues to push-the-envelop proprietary software will need to close the gap. In the end the entire information technology field will benefit.

Mike Kniaziewicz
Masters in Information Systems