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Open Approach To Alliances

Two weeks ago, I noted the trend toward technology alliances and suggested that you all view each one carefully to see how it worked for you and your company. I was also expecting a heads-up on news from Qlusters, the open-source systems management outfit.
Lo and behold, the release lands in my in-box later that night, carrying news got it, a tech alliance among a group of companies setting up the Open Management Consortium to spread the good word about open-source management for the data center.

Once we got done chuckling over the coincidence, Mark Hinkle, VP of business development at founder member Emu Software, told me that the consortium is aiming for anything but a top-down approach. "In a typical consortium, a bunch of vendors come together and try to figure out how they can market their products; you can participate, but it;s based around their approach," he said. "We're more interested in starting a conversation; we like to think ours is a little more democratic right from the start." (Some of you may be wondering if that's the same Mark Hinkle who's editor in chief of LinuxWorld magazine; the answer is yes.) Qlusters technology chief William Hurley added that the companies involved from the outset think that most innovation will be driven by participating members and that the consortium sees its role mainly as providing a base to get those people together for the inevitable brain-storming and tweaking of ideas.

How democratic the Open Management Consortium ends up being is, of course, up to the user members, but we are talking open-source here; there will certainly be plenty of people inclined to dig in and add their contribution to the whole stew. And this is one area where would-be customers will be very interested in developing an open platform for data center management under Linux (for starters); a robust management platform would save a zillion headaches in the data center and plenty of dollars and Euros on the IT budget line. I suspect this is one group that should be interesting to check back in on a year or so from now.