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Hyperic SIGAR Technology


I've written about Hyperic before when they open sourced their stack management and monitoring software.  Hyperic's HQ product is the best way to manage a software stack in production, whether it's an open source LAMP stack, a closed source stack or, more likely, a hybrid combination.  The HQ product was a spinoff from Covalent and was in development for several years before it was open sourced earlier this year.  CEO Javier Soltero had a vision for creating a company around the technology and he's been able to do just that without compromising on the things that have made the technology successful. 

HQ is an extensible system and so not only does it monitor all kinds of operating systems, web servers, app servers and database servers, but it can be extended to monitor just about any kind of application, both at a technical level and at a business level.  One of the interesting things about the Hyperic architecture is that they also developed a cool API for accessing system information in a portable fashion.  The SIGAR API (System Information Gathering And Reporting) provides access to low-level system memory statistics, CPU information, process statistics, file level information and so on.  Every platform has its own unique way of getting this information which makes it a pain-in-the-something to deal with. 

We ran into these same issues on MySQL Network and so for our next generation version, we decided to use Hyperic's SIGAR API rather than re-invent the wheel.  Of course, there's a lot more to Hyperic HQ than just SIGAR, but its nice to know that we can leverage the work that they've put into the base API and ensure compatability.  And the SIGAR technology is also open source.  In the meantime, HQ is getting a lot of traction both with their open source download version as well as their Enterprise subscription.  If you need a monitoring solution and don't want to break the bank with the expensive proprietary solutions, HQ is the way to go.

The photo below shows Marten Mickos from MySQL and John Spencer from Hyperic as we formalized our deal to use SIGAR.  Unfortunately, Javier missed the meeting, but hopefully we'll all go out for some Mojitos real soon. 



Great post, Zack. I wanted to add that SIGAR is distributed as open source under the GPL, so we invite anyone interested in incorporating it into their projects to download it and participate.

Oh, and on the mojitos, I'll take mine with puerto rican rum!

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