Zenoss Core

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Zenoss Core
Zenoss running under Linux
Developer(s) Zenoss Inc.
Stable release
Zenoss Core 6.2.0[1] / June 13, 2018; 3 months ago (2018-06-13)[1]
Written in Python 90%, Java 10%
Type Network management system
License GNU General Public License v2
Website http://www.zenoss.com/

Zenoss Core is a free and open-source application, server, and network management platform based on the Zope application server. Released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2, Zenoss Core provides a web interface that allows system administrators to monitor availability, inventory/configuration, performance, and events.

Zenoss Core is by Zenoss Inc., which was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Austin, Texas. The company develops hybrid IT monitoring and analytics software.[2]

Zenoss has three primary software offerings – the free, open-source Zenoss Core, the on-premises commercial software Zenoss Service Dynamics, and the software-as-a-service offering called Zenoss as a Service (ZaaS).[3]

Zenoss customers include government agencies, financial institutions, retail companies, service providers, and technology companies.[4]

Project milestones[edit]

Zenoss maintains an active developer community called TechZen where users can download the latest versions of 4, 5 and 6. Notable project milestones include:

  • June 2018: Zenoss Core 6.2 released.
  • January 2018: Zenoss Core 6.1 released.
  • November 2017: Zenoss Core 6 released. Comes with Apache Solr.
  • August 2017: Zenoss Core 5.3 released.
  • January 2017: Zenoss Core 5.2 released.
  • March 2016: Zenoss Core 5.1 released.
  • February 2015: Zenoss Core 5 released. Comes with OpenTSDB, D3js and Docker.
  • August 2012: Zenoss Core 4.2.0 released.
  • January 2012: Zenoss Core 4.0 alpha code released.
  • September 2011: Zenoss Core 3.2 released.
  • 2011: Zenoss Enterprise 4.0 released.
  • June 2011: Zenoss Service Dynamics announced.
  • February 2011: Zenoss Core 3.1 released.
  • July 2010: Zenoss Core 3.0 released. Comes with fully redesigned web-UI.
  • October 2009: Zenoss Core 2.5 released.
  • May 2009: Zenoss Core 2.4 released.
  • November 2008: Zenoss Core 2.3 released.
  • May 2008: Zenoss Core 2.2 released.
  • November 2007: Zenoss Enterprise 2.1 released.
  • October 2007: Zenoss Core 2.1 released.
  • July 2007: Zenoss Enterprise 2.0 released.
  • June 2007: Zenoss Core 2.0 released.
  • November 2006: Zenoss Core Version 1.0 released.
  • March 2006: Zenoss made available on SourceForge.net.
  • August 2005: Erik Dahl and Bill Karpovich form Zenoss Inc.
  • 2002: Erik Dahl began development on Zenoss.

Technology overview[edit]

Zenoss Core combines original programming and several open source projects to integrate data storage and data collection processes with a web-based user interface.

Zenoss Core is built upon the following open source technologies:

  • Zope Application server: An object-oriented web server written in Python.
  • Python: Extensible programming language.
  • Net-SNMP: Monitoring protocol that collects systems status information.
  • RRDtool: Graph and log time series data.
  • MySQL: A popular open source database.
  • Twisted: An event-driven networking engine written in Python.
  • Lucene: A full text search library written in Java.
  • OpenTSDB: Time series database (from Zenoss Core 5).
  • Docker (software): Container virtualization (from Zenoss Core 5).
  • D3.js: Interactive graphic Javascript library (from Zenoss Core 5).

Zenoss Core provides the following capabilities:

  • Monitoring availability of network devices using SNMP, SSH, WMI
  • Monitoring of network services (HTTP, POP3, NNTP, SNMP, FTP)
  • Monitoring of host resources (processor, disk usage) on most network operating systems.
  • Time-series performance monitoring of devices
  • Extended Microsoft Windows monitoring via WS-Management and Zenoss open source extensions
  • Event management tools to annotate system alerts
  • Automatically discovers network resources and changes in network configuration
  • Alerting system provides notifications based on rule sets and on-call calendars
  • Supports Nagios plug-in format


Zenoss Inc. lists the following operating systems for Zenoss Core on their download page:[5]

Zenoss versions 5.1 support

Zenoss version 4.2 support

A web-based portal provides operating system agnostic access to configuration and administration functions. Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer/Edge are supported.


ZenPacks[7] provide a plug-in architecture that allows community members to extend Zenoss's functionality. The authors are free to choose how they license their individual ZenPacks. ZenPacks are encapsulated in Python eggs and provide instrumentation and reports for monitored infrastructure components. Currently there are over 400 ZenPacks[8] available for various versions of Zenoss.


The enterprise version builds on the core version by providing commercial support and additional features, such as synthetic web transactions and global dashboards. "In the enterprise edition," writes Sean Michael Kerner, "Zenoss is adding something it calls end-user experience monitoring which is intended to more accurately simulate end-user application activity." Kerner continues, "Enterprise users also get certified application monitors specifically geared for Microsoft SQL and Exchange."


Zenoss Core is developed and supported by the Zenoss company of Austin, Texas, which was founded in 2005.

Related products[edit]

Zenoss competes with other open source and proprietary enterprise systems management products. Open source systems management products are available from GroundWork Inc., Hyperic and Opsview. In an interview with Jack Loftus of SearchEnterpriseLinux.com, Bill Karpovich explains what makes Zenoss different:

"Companies like GroundWork are similar to the Red Hat approach, where a company gathers up the pieces and puts support behind it. Our approach is we have always had the code and we are in control of its roadmap and indemnification. The Hyperic model is where a company comes from a commercial background and makes some of the code open source."[9]

Industry reviews[edit]

In a Network Computing review, Jeff Ballard singles out the Zenoss Core 2.0 user interface and event management system as highlights. Of the event management system, Ballard says, "By aggregating all events through a single rules-processing engine, Zenoss Core eliminates duplication, making for a manageable user interface."

In his review, Ballard finds the installation troubling. "Unfortunately, getting started was challenging as Zenoss provided no context-sensitive help to guide us through a truly staggering number of configuration options."

In the "Clear Choice Tests" Network World reviewer Barry Nance offers the following praise for Zenoss Core 2, "Even more impressive than its discovery of our network is its remediation features, which can automatically execute start or stop operations for a Windows service, for example." Nance's review finds that "Zenoss Core doesn’t support as many diverse devices as HP OpenView or Argent Extended Technologies, nor does it monitor Microsoft Exchange or SQL Server as closely as a commercial tool does."

SYS-CON Media awards Zenoss Core the 2007 Enterprise Open Source Reader's choice award for best Linux systems management software. Reader choice awards are nominated and voted on by the community of Enterprise Open Source Magazine readers.


Title Author Publisher Date Length ISBN
Zenoss Core 3.x Network and System MonitoringMichael BadgerPacktMay 2011312 (first edition)ISBN 978-1-84951-158-2
A step-by-step guide to configuring, using, and adapting Zenoss Core 3. 
Zenoss Core: Network and System MonitoringMichael BadgerPacktJune 2008261 pp (first edition)ISBN 978-1-84719-428-2
A step-by-step guide to configuring, using, and adapting this free Open Source network monitoring system. 

See also[edit]


External links[edit]