Open Source Monitoring: Hyperic adds BI to IT Operation in an Open Core Cross-selling Fashion

Hyperic, the provider of open source web infrastructure management software, on Monday announced the addition of an advanced business intelligence platform (Hyperic Operations IQ) to its  web application performance monitoring offering.

After receiving growing attention in Europe, Hyperic lower the bar to systems management utility embedding the Jaspersoft Professional Edition into the Hyperic IQ framework, enabling executives to read web performance data.

Andrew Lampitt, Jaspersoft development director, some months ago wrote a pretty famous post about open source core licensing, explaining how companies like Jaspersoft segment users and customers by features, selling addictions for a price.  

Javier Soltero, Hyperic CEO, told me why Hyperic Operations IQ is proprietary.

Hyperic Operations IQ is a complimentary application to our flagship Hyperic HQ Enterprise product.  We have historically drawn the line between what is included in the core Open Source vs. the Enterprise versions of HQ based on the idea that large companies and companies the support mission critical applications require additional performance intelligence and scale than our open source product users. Hyperic IQ provides intelligence and scale at a level beyond anything Hyperic has previously developed, and thus passes this litmus test.

There are also a few technical reasons that IQ is only available commercially and for our other commercial product.
 – We license Jasper’s Professional Edition software for Hyperic IQ.
 – One of the most innovative aspects of IQ is the Hyperic Report Definition Language (RDL), which abstracts queries into something more easily written from a reporting tool like Jasper’s iReport.  RDL is only available in Hyperic HQ enterprise.
 – IQ integrates with HW Enterprise security and automatically verifies the user running the report has proper permissions to access the data as part of the query. This was written with enterprise needs and HQ’s RBAC model in-mind.

Hyperic and Jaspersoft approaches to draw the line between the functions in the community edition and in the enterprise one are overlapping here. The result is that it would be more complex to create an open source solution if you need the proprietary extensions of both platforms. Setting the bar higher might help open source vendors adopting the open source core licensing to delay the moment to release it as open source as well. 

Time matters  with open source. Companies differentiating on features their commercial and community products need to keep adding more features, working hard on retaining good relationships with their communities of developers, users and customers.

Tarus Balog of the OpenNMS fame, commenting a Matt Aslett’s post reporting the Hyperic-Jaspersoft partnership argued about the use of the expression “open source vendor”, a subject he extensively covered in his War of Open Source. As a matter of fact vendors are blurring the borders, from both sides.

While gateway partnerships among open source communities is an efficient way to create more open source value, partnerships like this between open source vendors seems an effective way to cross-sell enterprise editions.