Open Source versus Software – System Monitoring

car analogy

I am often asked the difference between open source monitoring tools and Itheon.  When once asked this by a sales person I sent them the above diagram. As a metaphor it’s almost perfect and one I have often used since.

The car on the left

The Kit car laid out on the left is like open source, yes it has all of the pieces of the car on the right. However as you can see it will be a long time before you can drive it.  If this car were delivering or supporting your business critical processes it would be a long time before it could even begin to start  doing so.

When the car breaks down who is capable of fixing it, probably only the person who made it. It is a bespoke build made by the creator. Who in tackling all of the challenges of building a car for the first time has made very many compromises.

The person that built the car on request of you is being paid while doing so. This makes Kit cars expensive things used by hobbyists.  So far from a cheap way of getting on the road they are expensive labours of love.

Also how do you improve the car? Sometimes this is easy, sometimes hindered by challenges the kit car designer never foresaw?

I have never seen a taxi, ambulance or police car that is a kit car. Why? Because they simply aren’t made to a professional standard and suffer all of the encumbrances listed above.

So just like open source they are far from free, they take time to deliver an end result ultimately of a much lower standard than the car on the right.

Why are you building a kit car? Ultimately because you need to get from A to B. Quite often these trips are essential . Why would you rely on something as untested as a car built in your garage?

The car on the right

Represents a proper software solution built by a software house.  Itheon our solution has already had 1000 years development built in. The glitches have long ago been ironed out.

Itheon is ready to go out of the showroom, every function easy to use and tailor to your needs.

It is of a professional standard built by experts in this field rather than someone “working it out”

It is ultimately LESS EXPENSIVE because it delivers the task you need without taking masses of internal resource and it delivers the essential service you need every time.

So next time you think about open source kit car solutions think about the real costs in creation, development, maintenance, robustness and quality. When you add these into your decision-making processes then surely you realize that “open source” delivers poorer quality, harder to maintain, solutions much more slowly.

Also how cheap are your staff, how much more time will they have to spend delivering, deploying, tailoring and improving a solution. Only in IT do we still labour under the illusion that “perceived” as cheap solutions deliver the same as proper solutions built by experts.

I myself stopped buying cheap cars a long time ago. Why, because I rely on my car and the service it delivers. As you rely on your software and the service it delivers.


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