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Why Split Observium?

Over the past 7 years Observium has grown from a collection of PHP scripts tracking CDP neighbour relationships on a handful of Cisco routers at a small ISP to a large and complex network monitoring platform.

It grew to the point where it's no longer realistic to maintain and grow the platform as a weekend project, so in April 2013 we launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund development of a threshold alerting system. The campaign was successful, and the alerting system is well on its way to being in a usable state.

The April 2013 Kickstarter campaign demonstrated to us that there is a desire within the Observium user-base for the platform to graduate from a project limited by the availability of spare time to a professional platform maintained, improved and supported on a full time basis.

To achieve this goal we've decided to split the platform into Open Source and subscription supported Professional editions.

The Editions

Open Source

Observium Open Source is distributed via 6-monthly .tar.gz releases under the QPL Open Source license. Releases are currently scheduled for April and October.

The Open Source edition only receives critical security updates between 6-monthly release cycles and is best for small non-critical deployments, home use, evaluation or lab environments.

Professional

Observium Professional is distributed via an SVN-based release mechanism, providing rapid access to security and bug fixes as well as new features. This includes automated database schema upgrades. Updates can be performed automatically via cron or manually.

The Professional edition receives daily bug fixes, security updates and new features. A summary of fixes and improvements can be found in the monthly [Changelog]. This edition is best for Service Provider and Enterprise deployments.

What does this mean for Kickstarter supporters?

All Kickstarter supporters of £100 and above will be eligible to receive at least a 1 year subscription dated from their Kickstarter contribution.

Kickstarter supporters of below £100 will be eligible to have their kickstarter pledge put towards their first year's subscription dated from the Kickstarter contribution.

Kickstarter supporters should email a password hash and a desired username to adama@observium.org to be added to the svn user list.

How much will it cost?

We're initially setting the cost for the subscription at £100 per year. We believe that this is insanely cheap, and low enough that any organisation who wishes to use Observium can easily afford.

You can subscribe by using the button on this page.

Note that due to the large number of customers who suggested our pricing was too low, we increased it to £150 as of September 2014.

What exactly are we paying for?

The purpose of the subscription system is to support continued development of Observium.

In return for supporting development we give you access to new features and improvements 6 months before the Open Source release, we give you access to the SVN updating mechanism which allows us to provide rapid bug fixes and new feature delivery.

Subscription also gives you access to specialist features which have a higher complexity and lower potential audience, such as the billing system and BGP session tracking.

To protect the subscription system, code provided as part of the subscription is provided under a license which prohibits further distribution. The standard subscription permits you to install a single production installation and a reasonable number of non-production installations within your organisation for testing and development purposes. Please contact us for special licensing for use in a SaaS or reseller environment.

Is commercial support included?

Subscription is specifically priced low to not include support. We've found little interest for support options in the past, and we believe it better to offer the code at a lower cost than to force everyone to pay for support they don't want.

Observium's target sector is primarily Service Providers, a sector traditionally populated by high-skill users with little desire for basic support services.

How do I move to the Subscription Edition?

Firstly you should subscribe using this page.

Because we have moved the SVN respository, it's necessary to check out a new copy of the code and move your existing config.php and rrd directory to it.

Assuming you have installed to /opt/observium :

cd /opt 
mv observium observium-old
svn co http://svn.observium.org/svn/observium/trunk observium
cp observium-old/config.php observium
mv observium-old/rrd observium-old/logs observium
cd observium
./discovery.php -h none

Note that you will be prompted for a username and password when you update. You must provide a unique username and password hash when you subscribe, instructions are on the subscription signup page.

It's probably best to stop your cron daemon (or at least disable the Observium cron jobs temporarily), because starting the poller when you're half way the checkout, or during the rrd directory move, may cause adverse effects.

How do I move to the Open Source Edition?

Simply follow the installation guide again, using the .tar.gz installation method. You will need to retain your config.php, your database and your rrd directory.