Free Engyro Connectors

A number of people have mentioned these are now going to be free. And the general feeling is that this is a good thing. Well free is good isn’t it? I have misgivings. Let me explain with a bit of history.

In the days of MOM 2000 organisations were interested in the product, especially in its ability to monitor Exchange and AD which has always been MOM’s strong point. They generally would have another system like Tivoli for example. The only way that they would consider using MOM was if it could connect to their manager of managers. Skywire’s iWave was a leader in this field in those days. But then the objection came up that if they used a 3rd party connector who do they go to when there is a problem. So they wanted a connector that was either from Microsoft or their manager of managers company. Well IBM (Tivoli), HP (Openview), BMC (Patrol) or CA (Unicenter) had no desire to let Microsoft steal part of the estate that they were managing. So it was up to Microsoft. Except that the product group were less than enamoured by this prospect as they did not want to be tied to the other companies release cycles. With a lot of persuasion (especially from Sally Baldauf, Microsoft NY) they decided that they would do something.

What the product group did was to pay Engyro to make the connectors for them and they then released those connectors (Tivoli and HPOV) as resource kit tools so that they did not have to support them. They were released as free tools. The problem with that strategy was that customers that used them and found issues or needed extra features could not get them. They had to go to Engyro for support and buy a newer version from them if they wanted the latest features.

That is what worries me about making the Engyro connectors free. I would like to have Microsoft give an assurance that not only will they support these connectors but they will be upgraded and new connectors added. The trouble is that if they do not do this there is no longer Engyro to fall back on as there was with the original connectors.

I also think that the timing is interesting. I did speculate that in an earlier post that the reason that Engyro was purchased was more for Service Manager rather than Operations Manager. And as they have recently announced that Service Manager will be delayed until 2010 then it makes sense to release these connectors to get them used. It would be interesting to find out what happened out Engyro’s UNIX monitoring. Whether it has been shelved totally or sold off to someone else.

The other problem I have with the free connectors is that it puts partners (like Skywire and eXc) at a disadvantage. They have invested in building connectors and the majority will go the free Microsoft route which gives then less money to invest in other connectors. If the Microsoft connectors had a price then it would spur organisations to do a comparison. And if there was a price it would help convince me that Microsoft connectors would be supported and enhanced.

So Engyro connectors being free – good or bad? Only time will tell.

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