Zenoss Unveils Open-Source Platform for MSPs

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

The open-source platform will allow service providers to offer customized infrastructure monitoring and management for SMBs. 

Open-source network monitoring and management vendor Zenoss March 20 unveiled a new platform for managed service providers that will target small and midmarket customers.

"Our sweet spot has traditionally been above the midmarket," said Bill Karpovich, CEO and co-founder of Zenoss, adding that Rackspace, a hosted application provider customer, uses Zenoss software to monitor and manage about 12,000 devices.

Karpovich said service providers are key to tapping the SMB market, since many function as the IT department for SMBs that cannot afford an in-house IT staff.

"Service providers have really been aggressive adopters of open source," said Karpovich, since many have to innovate and come up with creative solutions that fit their SMB customers' budgets. Zenoss' open-source framework gives service providers the opportunity to customize their service offerings based on the individual needs of their customers, he said.

Zenoss software provides a core set of discovery, monitoring, troubleshooting and management tools that can monitor and manage entire IT infrastructures, including networks, servers and applications. On top of this core functionality, MSPs can create build-to-order add-ons based on customers' needs.

The ability to tailor the product is a key differentiator in a crowded market, said Karpovich. "The service provider market is becoming commoditized, and these folks are forced to compete for business based on price.  Our open-source framework means service providers can compete based on other factors."

Service providers have the option to resell a private-label services offering or can co-brand their service with Zenoss. Karpovich added that service providers who develop custom code for a customer either can choose to contribute the code for those functionalities back to the open-source community or can choose to package their service offering as a proprietary offering.

Price is still an important factor, especially for service providers targeting small and midmarket customers. Karpovich said entry-level pricing for service providers is based on a "pay as you grow" model, whereby service providers only pay for the amount of services they actually use. Service providers set their own end-customer prices, in essence setting their own margins, he said.

Karpovich said Zenoss also understands that, for service providers, monitoring certain types of devices demands higher rates than others, and that service provider pricing is also determined based on the types of devices monitored.

Service providers' usage amounts are "trued up" each quarter to ensure they aren't over- or underpaying, and as service providers grow their business, they are eligible to receive volume discounts. All service providers have access to 24/7 support from Zenoss, said Karpovich.


Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

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