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Anturis Launches IT-Monitoring Service For Small Business Market, But Open Source Critiques Are Unfounded

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Anturis is an IT-monitoring service for the small business market (SMB) that launched this week at the Parallels Summit with the intent of providing a service that fits between enterprise software and open source offerings. It looks like a decent service, but its critiques of open source offerings are disingenuous.

The Anturis SaaS enables customers to download and add a simple script that monitors data across multiple parameters. A customer can keep tabs on different data centers, platforms and branch offices around the world. In addition, it analyzes the data to alert customers of any potential issues from the different layers of the infrastructure and provides reports about specific problems, as well as historical analysis.

Anturis executives say that enterprise-level IT monitoring software is bloated. I can accept that. But they also make the claim that open-source software requires fine tuning. Sergey Nevstruev, Anturis CEO, said this in a statement:

Up until now IT infrastructure monitoring has still basically come in two packages, bloated with features and expensive, or open-source with a great need for fine-tuning and customizing. Ultimately both options become costly to businesses either in terms of money or staff time.

That’s an argument commercial shops like to fall back on, but it doesn’t hold well. It is true that open source software requires customization. Anturis executives point to Nagios, the open source IT monitoring service. I don’t buy this argument, though. Nagios is regarded as an industry standard for IT monitoring. Hundreds of thousands of people use it. It is a free software run under the GNU General Public License, and there are any number of resellers who compete to offer support.

It may cost a bit more but the price is far less compared to building an enterprise solution. The cost paid for support services is traditionally much less than what is paid for professional services. Analyst Krishnan Subramanian points out that competition to support open source technology is pretty intense, making an offering like Nagios pretty affordable.

Anturis looks like a solid service, but the company needs to focus on the merits of what it offers instead of using arguments that come from the old-school playbook used by enterprise giants to scare off customers from using open source.

Anturis is in beta and currently free for the first six months of use.