OpenNMS Helps Keep Tabs On Networks - page 4
Providing a competitive and viable alternative open source network management system is only part of Balog's efforts to keep OpenNMS going. Quality software, for customers, requires quality programmers to do the coding.
Balog's solution to getting good people was to create the "Order of the Green Polo" (OGP) as a way to distinguish OpenNMS programmers from everyone else. Programmers with significant voluntary contributions to OpenNMS are inducted into the group and receive that special, exclusive polo shirt. Kind of like the elusive "Green Jacket" in golf.
His "Order of the Green Polo" idea will soon pay off. Balog is planning to hire five new programmers, this next year, to work on the software. You have three guesses as to where those programmers will come from and the first two don't count. Perhaps other projects should take note of the technique.
When asked about the green shirts and web page theme, Balog said it really came down to him just liking the color green. Interestingly, in the network management world, green tends to equal good. Other colors, like red mean bad things are happening. Seems like green is a natural.
Another successful technique Balog has used to leverage open source software is the idea of multi-level service. You can spend a little or spend a lot, depending on how much OpenNMS application support you need.
$3,295 will get a customer the "Getting to Know You" package. This 2 day consulting engagement provides a way to get started with or evaluate the OpenNMS product. There is no support (after the 2 days, of course) for this package.
Customers might consider the "No Worries" package. Starting at $995 a month Balog and his associates will remotely run a customer's network management system for them. This plan let's the client act on outages, stats and system notifications without having to know the OpenNMS application. The system can be administered over a VPN or by using SSH over the network.
Several other plans are available. Details are on the OpenNMS pricing plan page.
Readers should be aware that there are actually two separate sites associated with OpenNMS and overseen by Balog. The commercial site represents the consulting and service business for customer network management. The open source project site maintains all development with full transparency on SourceForge. All code is published under the GPL.