Archive for the 'Order of the Blue Polo' Category

Order of the Blue Polo: British Telecom

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

It’s nice to be able to post a new Order of the Blue Polo entry. We haven’t had one in while, so it’s good to have an excuse to remind everyone about the program.

One of the best ways to promote OpenNMS is through customer stories. If a company like your company is using OpenNMS, then it makes it easier to convince the decision makers in your company to consider it. However, it can be a real pain to get approval to share a story. A lot of companies are hesitant to talk about the software they use for a variety of reasons, ranging from a perceived liability that they are “endorsing” a product up through security issues. In fact, the short testimonial in Rob’s entry had to be approved by BT lawyers, and you can see what little remained.

Thus, in exchange for taking the the trouble to get such an approval to use a story on the website (complete with company name), Order of the Blue Polo members get a nice little certificate, the coveted blue OpenNMS polo, as well as being immortalized on the wiki page. (grin)

A few weeks ago I got to go to historic Adastral Park near Ipswich, Suffolk, UK to spend a week with BT working on their OpenNMS deployment. I was a little nervous (this is British freakin’ Telecom after all) but Rob and John made me feel at home. They really understood what we are trying to do with OpenNMS, and John would even go home and play with the application after a long day of working on it with me, They were tasked with coming up with a management solution for a large number of remote sites, and their current standard of using $COMMERCIAL_PLATFORM coupled on $COMMERCIAL_OS was not only cost prohibitive it would have been hard to maintain, not to mention that it wouldn’t meet their needs. OpenNMS running on Linux, coupled with a high level of customization, fit the bill just fine.

I did miss seeing the sun, however (usually I bring great weather with me to England but my luck didn’t hold out this trip) but they made it up to me by finding a pub with a bar billiard table for Friday’s lunch.

I love playing this game, but I’ve only had the opportunity to do so twice. Both times I shot out to an early lead only to lose it after the bar fell.

I guess I need more practice, more ale, or both.

Order of the Blue Polo: Bill Daniels

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

I just added a new person to The Order of the Blue Polo: Bill Daniels.

Bill works for Vision Net in Montana and is responsible for managing their Enhanced 911 infrastructure. For those of you outside the US, 911 is the emergency telephone number for police, fire and amublance, similar to 112, 999 and 000 in other countries.

It was cool to get his e-mail for a couple of reasons. First, we haven’t had an Order of the Blue Polo submission for awhile now. In exchange for his story, he got a really nice, limited edition, royal blue OpenNMS polo shirt, and this is open to anyone who is willing to tell us about why they like OpenNMS. The only caveat is that for these stories to be perceived as genuine as possible, we ask that we be able to publish your company name. With all the astroturfing going around these days, being able to actually name a company goes a long way.

Second, one of my jobs at Northern Telecom was working on E911 software, so when he wrote to me about his PSAP project, I knew exactly what he was talking about.

Finally, even though at 627 nodes his installation isn’t large by OpenNMS standards, those devices would add up if choosing a commercial solution. One vendor charges US$150/managed device which would be over US$94,000 per year whereas Bill is able to get all of that functionality for free.

I’m happy Bill took the time to share and I hope he enjoys his shirt. I’d love to be able to send out more, so please send in those stories.

Sourceforge CCA Voting Ends Monday

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Just in case you haven’t voted yet, this is one last reminder that the Sourceforge Community Choice Awards voting ends on Monday.

If you like OpenNMS, please be sure to give us some love with a vote (the link should pre-select OpenNMS for “Best Project for the Enterprise and if you don’t have a Sourceforge account you can just enter in an e-mail address).

Remember to vote early and often, and we really appreciate your support.

Plus, if you haven’t had a chance to check out our video, I think it’s worth a look.

OpenNMS 1.7.4 Released

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Just a quick note that OpenNMS version 1.7.4 has been released. This is the next developer/unstable version that will eventually become OpenNMS 1.8.

This is mainly a bug fix release (as 1.7 is getting close to being a release candidate for the next stable). Maps are now mature enough that they are enabled by default. Also, the installer has moved to using LiquiBase to handle database upgrades. While this will make it more robust, be extra careful when upgrading for the first time, and as always backup your DB before starting.

We hope you find it useful, and if so please tell us about it.

Order of the Blue Polo Profile: Alex Hoogerhuis

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

I first came into contact with Alex in 2003 when he started buying things off of our Wishlist (which is looking a little bare at the moment). It was nice to know that someone appreciated our work enough to actually spend money, and Alex was one of the first people to regularly appear on our IRC channel (#opennms on

Alex travels a lot, and when I started doing a large amount of international travel he would often promise to meet me. After a number of “missed connections” we started to think that he was simply an IRC robot. However, at one of the LinuxWorld UK shows in London he did manage to show up, but that didn’t prevent us from naming the robot in our channel “_sndbot” after Alex’s “_snd” nick.

He lives in Norway, and he was kind enough to host me at his house last year. It was a fun, if hurried, trip, and I hope to return sometime soon.

Alex has posted a nice testimonial for the Order of the Blue Polo. We target OpenNMS for people just like Alex who make their living as open source experts, and I for one am happy that he is able to make his clients happy with our project. He is also the first and only person to have a running installation of OpenNMS in Africa (at least that I know about).

Please check out his note to see how well OpenNMS fits as a tool for solutions providers such as Alex. He also lists a number of his clients (with their permission, of course) who are able to benefit from the combination of our software and Alex’s talent.

Finally, I got the last shipment of Blue Polos out today. Those of you in the US should see yours by the end of the week. For those of you overseas, please give it a week or two to get there by mail. Let me know if you don’t get your shirt after that time.

If you haven’t already posted on the OBP, it is still open. We’d love to hear from you.