Friday, January 15, 2016

Latest Version Jalasoft Xian Network Manager IO: No SCOM Support

With SCOM 2012x one can ‘monitor’ network devices out of the box. However, this functionality is limited, basic at it’s best and has quite a few flaws, one of them not being able to handle a real load of network devices to monitor (1500+). Because of that I myself limit the monitoring of network devices with SCOM to a limited set and even those are monitored at a basic level.

Already with SCOM 2007x there was a 3rd party solution available, build by Jalasoft, titled Xian Network Manager IO. This product has seen many changes and has been upgraded many times.

And yes, I’ve worked with this product quite a few times. Basically, any device with a SNMP stack (or NetFlow or SFlow for that matter) can be monitored deeply by Jalasoft Xian Network Manager IO. The integration with SCOM is pretty good and delivers a level of network monitoring which is unprecedented.

Meet the newest version
The latest release of Jalasoft Xian NM v7 is totally revamped. It runs now on Ubuntu and PostgreSQL, where as previous versions ran on Windows Server and SQL server.

As Jalasoft states: ‘…This means that users no longer need expensive software and hardware to be able to run an enterprise class monitoring tool. In addition, the hardware requirements have been brought down to a more acceptable level in order to reach a broader scope of users…’.

No SCOM support anymore…
And it doesn’t end here. Also with the latest release, the support for SCOM is thrown out of the window: ‘…Xian NM will no longer support Microsoft System Center Operations Manager…’.

So one would say: I’ll keep on using the previous version, Xian NM 2012. But that version is end of life after December 31st 2016: ‘…The 2012 version will be fully supported until December 31st 2016, after that date no more public updates will be distributed and as of that moment existing customers will be supported on case to case basis according to their SSA…’

Reason stated by Jalasoft for this change
Jorge Lopez, CEO of Jalasoft states: ‘…we feel that it is time that customers all over the world have access to high end software solutions for a fair price. By disconnecting from the expensive Microsoft solutions we are creating that option…’

My personal opinion
Let me be straight forward here: YES, I understand Jalasoft’s decision to move on and drop support for SCOM, but NOT for the reasons stated by Jalasoft. Why?

  1. As we all know Microsoft is cloud and mobile first;
  2. OMS is one of the show cases for this new mantra;
  3. OMS evolves super fast. No evolution but more like revolution;
  4. It’s only a matter of time before network monitoring will be added. The availability of the OMS Solution Wire Data is already announced:
  5. Looking at the rate of growth, it’s to be expected that this is only the beginning. Meaning: either the Solution Wire Data will be extended, improved and/or additional network monitoring capabilities will be added.
  6. And because Jalasoft NM (2012) costs a lot of $$$ or €€€, many potential customers will opt for OMS instead of another third party solution.
  7. Therefore it’s better for Jalasoft to change direction and revamp their flagship product.

So far so good.

IMHO is a bit sad to see that Jalasoft is kicking at SCOM because of the price, being the main reason to drop support for it. Without SCOM, not many people would have known Jalasoft at all. So to me this kind of goodbye feels unpolite and unreal. Even more so because Xian NM itself is quite expensive.

A new world for Xian NM
In the days of Jalasoft relying on SCOM, Xian NM used premium prices, causing many of my customers choosing for OTHER network monitoring solutions.

Jalasoft steps with Xian NM v7 into an existing arena where some big parties already deliver top notch network device monitoring solutions, like (but not limited to): Solar Winds, PRTG, ManageEngine and Nagios.

Since the CEO of Jalasoft is so focussed on the price of it all, I am curios what the new pricing model will be like. Simply because with the previous versions of Xian NM Jalaosft had the USP the in-depth SCOM integration, allowing them to go for the premium price model.

Now with the Xian NM v.7 this USP is gone which ‘reduces’ Xian NM to Y.A.N.M.T (Yet Another Network Monitoring Tool), thus removing the validation of the premium price model. In this new setup Xian NM has to compete with existing products offering the same functionality.

I seriously wonder on what elements (besides price model) Jalasoft will compete with the other tools available. Only time will tell.

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