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OpenNMS Helps Keep Tabs On Networks

Introducing OpenNMS

  • April 7, 2005
  • By Rob Reilly

OpenNMS helps network administrators track machine uptime, outage and usage information so they can keep their operations healthy.

In the late '90s one of the big buzzword phrases was service level agreement (SLA). Users entered into contracts wherein service providers (network services) were bound to supply a certain level of computing availability. IT departments and vendors were required to adhere to the SLA, or risk monetary penalties.

Network management software was born to monitor network resources, track uptime and automatically alert someone, when a resource went down. The idea was to automate many of the mundane monitoring functions and free up the network administrators for more important jobs...like fixing network problems. Service level agreements were a definite impetus for network management software.

Today, there are several open source and commercial network management software packages available, including Big Brother, Nagios, HP's OpenView.

OpenNMS is an open source package that has not only been successful as a tool to help network managers run their networks, but also as an example of how open source software can be leveraged to create a service business. The latter will be the focus of this article.

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