013 – Using a Commercial and Open Source approach to Tackle Network Assurance with Keith Sinclair

Have you noticed the rise in trust, but also the rise in sophistication in Open Source OSS/BSS in recent years? There are many open-source OSS/BSS tools out there. Some have been built as side-projects by communities that have day jobs, whilst others have many employed developers / contributors. Generally speaking, the latter are able to employ developers because they have a reliable revenue stream to support the wages.

Our guest on this episode, Keith Sinclair, has made the leap from side-project to thriving OSS/BSS vendor whilst retaining an open-source model. His product, NMIS, has been around since the 1990s, building on the legendary work of other open-source developers like Tobias Oetiker. NMIS has since become one of the flagship products for his company, Opmantek (https://opmantek.com). Keith and the team have succeeded in creating a commercial construct around their open-source roots, offering product support and value-add products.

Keith retraces those steps, from the initial discussion that triggered the creation of NMIS, its evolution whilst he simultaneously worked at organisations like Cisco, Macquarie Bank and Anixter, through to the IP buy-out and formation of Opmantek, where he’s been CTO for over 10 years. He also describes some of the core beliefs that have guided this journey, from open-source itself, to the importance of automation, scalability and refactoring. The whole conversation is underpinned by a clear passion for helping SysAdmins and Network Admins tackle network assurance challenges at service providers and enterprises alike. Having done these roles himself, he has a powerful empathy for what these people face each day and how tools can help improve their consistency and effectiveness.

For any further questions you may have, Keith can be found at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kcsinclair

Disclaimer. All the views and opinions shared in this podcast, and others in the series, are solely those of our guest and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of the organisations discussed.

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