CNET is not only one of the world's top technology news sites, but it's also a serious software shop. Over the years CNET has developed an impressive array of technologies to support its web operations. Remember Vignette? Its web content management software was originally developed at CNET (intriguingly, this is where Bill Hilf of Microsoft was "born"). This blogging tool that I'm using right now? Home grown by CNET.
This propensity to roll its own software extends to its IT operations, as well. So when I saw that CNET had selected Hyperic's HQ 3.2 platform for applications and systems management across its wide range of web operations, I figured Hyperic had to be pretty impressive. CNET's history shows that it doesn't buy what it can build better.
In Hyperic, it apparently met its match:
To power the various website properties, the underlying infrastructure is a sophisticated array of technologies that are updated regularly and frequently change. To ensure better coverage and service levels, the company's operations team needed a management solution that would automate many of their management tasks, such as inventory and aggregating performance of applications. By automating these activities, the team would then be able to focus more on business critical tasks rather than the overhead of systems management.
Again, this takes on even more significance when you consider CNET's historical propensity to build rather than to buy. Or, rather, perhaps it demonstrates the significance of Hyperic's open-source solutions, which enable a company like CNET to both buy and build.
While not in the news release, I assume that with this deal CNET gets to exercise its desire to tweak and extend the Hyperic platform while still getting the benefit of a rock-solid platform.
Open source: it's not longer about build vs. buy. It's about both.
Disclosure: I blog for CNET (obviously). However, I am not a CNET employee and have no inside information on this deal. I know the Hyperic team but have not asked them for any details beyond what is public in the links provided.