Press Releases

Open Source Network Monitoring for the Enterprise

Zenoss is a network and systems monitoring platform that is targeted to enterprise deployments. The product is Python-based and is a free, open source download for Linux (MySQL is also required). Zenoss is offered and developed by Zenoss, Inc., who additionally provides commercial services and support around the core product offering.

Zenoss provides a collection/monitoring tool for network administrators, enabling them to collect from, monitor, and test their infrastructure components for availability, performance thresholds, inventory and configuration details, and event management. The application itself is agentless, utilizing multiple protocols to both test and obtain information from network objects; protocols that include SNMP, SNMP Trap, Ping/ICMP, SSH/Telnet, Syslog, WMI, Nagios Agents, and an XML/RPC Interface. As alluded to in this list, the platform also supports "commonly deployed agents" in the collection of its information. The vendor states that the platform is capable of monitoring the whole of the network environment, including networks, servers, applications, services, power, and environment.

The platform auto-discovers existing resources, using protocols including SNMP, WMI, and Telnet/SS; automatically building and maintaining a model of the environment that includes configuration details for each resource, change history (including patches), and resource classification. The collection engine of the platform is able to understand relationships between discovered devices and components; a feature that helps it to avoid triggering alarms unnecessarily (it can avoid reporting alarms from a downstream component when another component it relies on has failed, for example) and to properly handle events. The collection engine can be implemented as a stand alone or distributed deployment.

Key capabilities of the platform include availability and performance monitoring, and event management.

For availability monitoring, tests can be scheduled including Ping, SNMP, WMI, and TCP/IP services via Telnet. With TCP/IP testing, standard profiles are available for HTTP, SMTP, IMAP, POP, and SSH and support for regular expression pattern matching on responses is included. TCP tests can be executed on any valid port. Performance monitoring is based on thresholds.

For Event Management, the platform utilizes Syslog as the standard collection protocol; with Windows events gathered through WMI or with assistance of syslog conversion agents. In the latest application release, native SNMP trap collection is supported, as are Nagios plug-ins.

The platform is accessed and managed via Web browser, with Firefox listed as the preferred choice. The vendor states that Safari, and IE will be supported in the future.

New features in the latest application release include built-in support for Nagios plug-ins; the ability to place individual or groups of resources into a "maintenance mode," for better alarm management during maintenance windows; native support for SNMP trap event collection; and support for process-level availability monitoring using SNMP.

Zenoss is a free download and is available now. Visit the Zenoss Web site for further information.