Here are the top  open source IT management products that do a solid job replacing  big suites from HP, IBM, CA and BMC.that may costs thousands and thousands of dollars in licenses and support .they offer a low-cost or free professional services and free software downloads. They differ primarily in the features they offer and in the operating systems they support.

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1. QUEST BIG BROTHER
This Web-based systems and network monitor supports most Windows, UNIX and Linux OSes, plus a repository of user-contributed scripts allow you to easily customize Big Brother to your network. Its GUI features a universally understood color code, where red means bad and green means good.
Big Brother simplifies IT systems management by allowing both system administrators and management to quickly and easily assess the health of the environment through a series of customizable, web-based, business dashboards. It features tests to notify administrators when defined events occur, thus facilitating proactive problem resolution to prevent critical outages or service breaches.

2. GROUNDWORK MONITOR PROFESSIONAL
Launched in 2004, it’s one of the first enterprise-scale open source network management offerings. It integrates more than 100 best-of-breed open source projects, including Nagios, Apache and NMap, onto one framework with additional features, such as a Web-based interface. Monitor Professional provides centralized management and monitoring of your enterprise network, including Linux, Unix and Windows servers, apps, databases and network boxes.
Optimized towards a single-site or department-level monitoring deployment, GroundWork Monitor Professional is designed to provide a comprehensive, supported solution that satisfies the monitoring, alerting and reporting needs of the organization, from system administrator to executive.
3. HYPERIC HQ ENTERPRISE
Aimed at the datacenter, there’s a commercial and open source offering Hyperic’s software is built to manage and monitor all layers of Web infrastructures, including hardware, middleware, virtualization and Web and open applications. You can use HQ's Live Exec to run diagnostics on remote resources in different locations it gives a performance and health of the network from operating system diagnostics to custom tools you build-in to HQ
It also offers trending and analysis. It supports Apache, JBoss, Linux and more
4. OPENNMS
This Java-based network management tool focuses on service polling, data collection and event and notification management. It currently supports a variety of open operating systems, including Linux, Mandrake and Solaris, as well as Mac OS X; Windows support is planned for OpenNMS 2.0.
5. OPENQRM
openQRM is the next generation, open-source Data-center management platform. Its fully pluggable architecture focuses on automatic, rapid- and appliance-based deployment, monitoring, high-availability, cloud computing and especially on supporting and conforming multiple virtualization technologies. openQRM is a single-management console for the complete IT-infra structure and provides a well defined API which can be used to integrate third-party tools as additional plugins.
, OpenQRM can manage thousands of Linux and Windows servers as well as track your datacenter’s usage and utilization. It also does automatic, policy-based provisioning. It, too, integrates Nagios for monitoring.

6. ZENOSS CORE
Written mostly in Python, this management platform offers events management and availability and performance monitoring of servers, network devices, OSes and applications. Zenoss runs on Linux, FreeBSD and Mac OS X; it will run on Windows with a VMplayer and the Zenoss Virtual Appliance.
Key monitoring and management features:
Discovery & Configuration Tracking
Availability & Performance Monitoring
Fault & Event Management
Alerting & Remediation
Reporting & Analysis

FOUR UNSUPPORTED PROJECTS

These four projects round out the top 10 open-source network-management tools. Unlike the other six products, these don’t have commercial service offerings or enterprise-scale enhancements. But they’re absolutely free, and may have everything you need to check the health of your network.
7. NAGIOS
This open-source host, service and network monitoring program runs under the Linux OS.

8. JUST FOR FUN NETWORK MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (JFFNMS)
Called, JFFNMS can monitor standard SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) network devices, servers, routers and TCP ports. It works on Linux, FreeBSD and Windows 2000/XP.

9. BIG SISTER SYSTEM AND NETWORK MONITOR
This project includes a real-time system and network health monitor, a Web application framework and a system administration application.
10. NETDISCO
This Web-based application is designed for mid- to large-sized networks and supports most SNMP network devices.

If the features of these low-cost network management tools haven’t convinced you of their enterprise-readiness, perhaps their customers will. Hyperic counts among its customer’s eHarmony, the online matchmaker, and La Quinta Inn and Suites, which operates more than 500 hotels. Groundwork’s customers include the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and construction company Rudolph and Sletten.

“Don’t settle on [a solution that] is not going to solve your problems and leave you open to risk. You will find innovation out there – and mostly you’ll find it in open source,” says Stacey Schneider, senior director of marketing at Hyperic.

By Joe: Intrusecurity