We host a monthly Monitoring, Alerting & Uptime meetup for those in the Front Range. Our DevOps evangelist, Jason Hand, does a wonderful job as host and the group continues to grow in membership every month. Earlier this week, Michael Meredith, our Senior Director of IT, gave a talk about the open-source monitoring landscape. 

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Mike has been managing IT infrastructure in the startup community since the early 90’s, and during that time, he has learned to rely heavily on the open-source toolchain and open-source standards and protocols. While these tools were initially thin on the ground, scale and the evolution of architecture requirements of production platforms has led to serious growth and many adopting OSS tools.

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According to Mike, here are some reasons why OSS tools are so important:

– Easy integration with system management frameworks
– Teams can deploy experimentally without making a big financial commitment
– In a DevOps workflow, these tools can be a process accelerator
– When you plan to use only a subset of features, ROI isn’t a problem

Sidebar: He is also a big fan of using external monitoring services to provide a second line of defense in case the primary monitoring solutions he has employed fail.

Breaking the space down into three main categories of monitoring (functional, time-series, event processing), Mike uncovered the vast array of OSS tools available. These tools are giving users easier access to deeper insights, better visibility into faults, and greater synergy between systems. While these solutions are integral for operational and developmental intelligence, they are also critical sources of business intelligence outside of technical departments.

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Adapting your workflow for one tool is no longer necessary. For shops embracing DevOps methodologies, there is a ton of opportunity to create business value by combining multiple tools in ways that used to be very difficult or even impossible.

If you’d like to learn more, check out Mike’s slides. And, if you’re interested in continuing the conversation Mike would love to hear from you.