MonitoringForge Redux

A few months ago I blogged about a new site called ““. It seemed to me to be a thinly veiled marketing attempt with little value, but I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and time would tell.

Well, I was reading Coté’s blog today and read a link where they created a press release to trumpet their 2,000th registered member.

This struck me as funny because, in the same sentence, they state that there are “more than 2,000 projects” registered on the site.


So, if only one unique member of each project on their site registered, there should be more than 2,000 of them, yet they have less than that, and this is considered news? Heck, we have nearly 1300 people on the opennms discussion list and we’re just one project, but with their site running at an average of less than one person per project I guess we’re doing pretty well. And while I’m sure that 80 or so of our subscribers are directly working on OpenNMS, that still leaves about 1200 end users.

I’ll leave the similar calculation for MonitoringForge as an exercise for the reader.


Now I’m not one to beat a dead horse, but when the “Chief Marketing Officer” is willing to issue a press release on a site she calls “the epicenter of all open source projects that relate to IT monitoring” with such, in my humble opinion, lame numbers, I’m willing to stand by my original impression that this is just a marketing ploy.

Am I wrong? Can anyone comment who found the site valuable? Inquiring minds want to know.

We’re Going The Distance

Today, the OpenNMS Group joined the ranks of other huge, profitable multi-national companies.

We got us a race car.

My friend Jason Tower has finally decided to get serious about driving, and he’s put together a Spec E30 race car. We were happy to sponsor him and we got the hood spot.

I really like the philosophy behind “specified” racing classes. The rules only allow for a limited number of modifications from stock, so while the car will always play a part in racing success, it is much more about the skills of the driver.

There is an analogy here with commercial vs. open source software. It used to be that just getting started as a software company required a lot of money. At a minimum you had to at least buy a compiler, if not expensive hardware on which to use it. This is similar to Formula 1 or NASCAR where teams require millions just to show up on race day, and the more money you have can directly relate to how successful you are.

Not so with Spec racing. Here all of the drivers are on equal footing and success is measured on merit, not how much money you have.

Open source has helped level the playing field. While having lots of money rarely hurts, today’s market is much more open. A group of people with great ideas and a good product can compete against much larger companies – and often win.

Now the pressure is on Jason – he’d better win. (grin)

UPDATE: This weekend’s race has been cancelled due to the snow storm (sigh).

Red Hat Launches

The domain name is owned by the Open Source Initiative (OSI), but Red Hat owns In talking to friends of mine involved with the OSI, people have been wondering what Red Hat will do with it.

Now we know. Today they announced that has been launched with a new site.

It looks pretty slick and is worth a poke around. As someone who holds open source concepts near and dear to my heart, I am always eager to see how they are promoted. After all, we did register as a reaction to the dilution of the term “open source” but at first glance I’m pretty happy with what I see on the new site. Now if I could just find some time to participate.

To reheat, set the oven at 350F …

At OpenNMS we are thankful that we have clients who believe in us and use our services. As a result, we also try to buy from them when we can. Our shirts come from Lands End (since Sears is a client). I always request a USA Today paper when I travel, since they’ve been using OpenNMS for years.

And we luvs us some Papa John’s pizza.

We’ve had three guys up to PJI headquarters in Louisville working on OpenNMS, but I’m the only one who missed out on a tour of the dough room (sigh). I did get to see the famous Camaro that you’ll see featured in some of the ads.

Anyway, this week is a training week, and I am in charge of getting all of the students fed at lunchtime. We don’t have a Papa John’s in town, but Phil was coming down through Chapel Hill and offered to pick up some pies.

Lucky Ihenyen at the Chapel Hill Papa John’s

I love training week, but man does it take a lot out of me. Yes, even I have a problem talking for eight hours straight. We have eight people in training, which is just one shy of our maximum of nine (we keep our classes small on purpose) so it has been a lot of fun with lots of great questions.

We have two guys up from Honduras, two over from Seattle, two down from Ottawa, one guy from Atlanta and a new hire who is local.

Everyone seemed to like the pizza, and it was fun ordering it on the web especially knowing that OpenNMS was insuring the service was working (and of course, it went flawlessly).

Remember – never re-heat pizza in a microwave as it will destroy the crust. Place it in a hot oven (350F) and wait until the cheese just starts to bubble.


I can’t wait for the Super Bowl, as my party will be catered by Papa John’s (grin).