Project of the Month, July 2006

openQRM

Description of project

openQRM is the world's first open source systems management platform. Its plugin architecture manages monitoring systems and virtual servers, and automates common day-to-day tasks in enterprise data centers.

Trove info

  • Operating System: All BSD platforms (FreeBSD/NetBSD/OpenBSD/Apple Mac OS X), All POSIX (Linux/BSD/Unix-like OSes)
  • Programming language: Java
  • License: MPL
  • Translations: English

Why and how did you get started?

The proprietary world of large-scale systems management was overdue for an open source solution. Businesses clearly needed a freely available, open source licensed systems management solution.

What is the software's intended audience?

System administrators, IT managers

How many people do you believe are using your software?

There are hundreds, but we don't know the actual number since the software doesn't perform any invasive user tracking.

What are a couple of notable examples of how people are using your software?

Primarily, openQRM is used to create high availability environments for applications, perform monitoring through Nagios, and act on alerts.

What gave you an indication that your project was becoming successful?

In the first 90 days of the project being publicly available, we passed 10,000 downloads, added 12 external developers, and broke into the top 25 projects on SourceForge.

What has been your biggest surprise?

The number of users and downloads. This is a systems management tool for data centers, and we didn't expect such quick, widespread adoption.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Supporting the numerous Linux/Unix flavors that are used by the community.

Why do you think your project has been so well received?

We attribute our success to the fact that we're filling a need in the community. The project also has contributors from around the world, so no matter what time it is when you post a question, someone is usually available to answer it.

Where do you see your project going?

Currently, we're expanding the number of plugins available for the project. While we can manage Nagios, Xen, VMware, and others, we receive new requests and contributions from the community on a weekly basis. We also see the number of external developers increasing between now and the end of the year.

What's on your project wish list?

While we're constantly trying to improve support for the various flavors of Unix/Linux, full Windows support for both the server and the nodes is at the top of our list. We're also working on stronger integration with storage devices.

What are you most proud of?

That our team is made up of people from around the world, all with different perspectives on the problems we're trying to solve. It gives the project a unique advantage.

If you could change something about the project, what would it be?

Documentation and testing. We've done a good job on documentation, but there is always room for improvement. On the testing side, we could use additional developers/users to help keep up with the plugins and other submissions we get from the community.

How do you coordinate the project?

We have a list of things that need to be done, and people choose what they want to do. If there are things that are still open, we assign them according to a particular developer's skill set. Bugs are assigned according to the developer who maintains a particular component.

Do you work on the project full-time, or do you have another job?

Half of the developers work for Qlusters (the company that sponsors openQRM), the other half come from the community. Several of the community members are from projects like Nagios and openSIMS. Others actually use and maintain openQRM installations in their day-to-day jobs.

If you work on the project part-time, how much time would you say you spend, per week, on it?

It varies from person to person. We have people working on it only 10% of their time, and others who spend 100% of their time on the project. The people who spend all of their time on the project are sponsored by Qlusters.

What is your development environment like?

Variety of x86 boxes running various Linux distros, Solaris, FreeBSD, etc. We use the gcc compiler, Java, the Eclipse IDE, VI, Bugzilla, kDevelop, and many other common tools.

Milestones:

  • openQRM 2.1 - 02/06/06
  • openQRM 2.2.1 beta 1 - 03/14/06
  • openQRM 2.2.2 beta 2 - 04/04/06
  • openQRM 2.2.3 release - June, 2006
  • openQRM 2.2.4 - July
  • openQRM 2.2.5 - September
  • openQRM 2.3 beta 1 - October

How can others contribute?

We're always looking for people to contribute to the project. Currently, we're looking for help in the following areas:

  • porting to other Linux flavors
  • porting to Unix
  • testing
  • plugin development
  • documentation review and writing

More projects of the month


Project Name: openQRM

Project leaders:

Name: whurleywhurley
Age: 35
Occupation or experience: Apple R&D, IBM, Symbiot, openSIMS
Education: None
Location: Austin, Texas

Name: Dror HarelDror Harel
Occupation or experience: Sanctum, Veon, Philips
Education: Computer Science and Economics degree from Tel Aviv University
Location: Palo Alto, Calif.

Name: Ofer Shoshan
Occupation or experience: Entrepreneur in Residence at Israel Seed Partners, Coretech, RichFX, Comsec, Checkpoint
Education: MBA from INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France
Location: Tel-Aviv, Israel

Key developers:

Name: Matthias RechenburgMatthias Rechenburg

Name: Aaron PetersonAaron Peterson

Name: Ofir ReichenbergOfir Reichenberg

Name: Mahesh KunjalMahesh Kunjal

Name: Ittay DrorIttay Dror

Name: Aaron Urbain

Name: Ohad Aviv

Name: Ethan GalstadEthan Galstad

Name: Tarus BaulogTarus Baulog

Name: Jordan GreenbergJordan Greenberg

Name: Michael BestMichael Best

Quote about SourceForge.net?

By placing our project on SourceForge.net, the openQRM project gained instant exposure to the world's leading open source community, which dramatically accelerated both the adoption of the project and the development of new code contributions.

Why did you place the project on SourceForge.net?

It required little thought. SourceForge provides us with a reliable infrastructure and a community of developers to expose our project to. By placing the project on SourceForge we we're able to instantly gain access to a community we knew would be interested in co-developing our project.

How has SourceForge.net helped you?

SourceForge has given the openQRM team more than just the technological infrastructure for our project. It also provides the world's leading community for open source development.

The number one benefit of using SourceForge.net is:

Community.