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This is not a technical post, but an open reasoning. Fl0wer has a fixed price which you can find in the store.
Its licensing is based on instances installed in different systems and/or VM (for any doubts refer to T&C). There are no other limits. Altough you have to abide to its licensing terms, once you bought the licensed version, nothing technically prevents you to test different instances for particular configurations that could fit your needs. I'm a technical person and I want to be free to tinker with things and experiment new ideas and solutions, like most technicians do.
Usually in the field of Netflow collectors (but not only) you never know the price of the product you are interested in, because you have to get a quote from the producer/reseller/whatever. And then the commercial people starts asking you how many flow exporters, how many flows per second, the hardware required features and at the end they finally come out with the quote, which is often different from your expectations. They start mailing you, new updates, new offerings, update toour last version for only $amount_of_money and so on.
I think that they do this for the following reasons: justify their work (well, it makes sense), be ahead of competition lowering prices when needed, capitalize where it is possible (big customer, big needs, big bucks). I'm not a marketing person, so this will probably cost me a lot of money in lost incomes, but when I need something, I look at its price, so I can make my own ideas on how the product features fit in my needs.
Fl0wer is a product that probably should cost at least ten times its current price on the market for the features it provides you, but obviously as a newcomer it has to compete in some way. But the reasoning behind this is simple: most Netflow products are oriented towards large organizations (remember, big customer, big needs, big bucks), while Fl0wer tries to target all public/private companies that for some reason run an IPv4/IPv6 network and need an affordable network intelligence solution.
This means from local small organizations (anybody still running an open-wifi uncontrolled hotspot yet ?) to big-data powered companies.
The price is the same, the features are the same. It doesn't have all the colored things, fancy graphs and a lot of things you are probably not using, it's in someway spartan, although I'm working and refining things. But it allows everyone to have a professionally developed network intelligence solution now, ready to use wherever you want (on-premises or in the cloud) for the price of a day of professional consultant paid honestly. It gives you an open-source client (yes, someone noticed it's not Python's PEP8 compliant,sorry, mea culpa, I'm a one-man band too busy improving continuously the fl0wer daemon), an open-source data format and allows you to customize a lot of things and adapt it to your work-cycle. And for the price you pay, it's a deal.
Why isn't open-source ?
Well, there are several reasons. The main reason is that open-source nowadays become the R&D area of Corporates, they lowered their investments in research and development taking things from the OSS "market", repackaging them and making money from this. Look at Linux Kernel or *BSDs, used in tons of appliances and devices, look at Apache, Tomcat, Postgres,the TiVO history, maybe some of them are giving credits to these wonderful projects, but credits don't help you to pay the bills and people working hard. The initial version of Fl0wer was named Neye and it was an open-source product. I started it 13 years ago and I only had some request for features and no contributions of any kind (code/fixes/nothing). Some years ago I discovered it was used by some indian guys in a research project without even sending a mail of "hey, thanks" (their paper is available on http://www.elixirpublishers.co... ). Thanks to a series of bad consecutive events in a few months (lost my father for cancer, my long-term relationship with my girlfriend terminated, and other), the Neye project died. I had to get time to restart my life. Then about three years ago I restarted thinking about it. From the Neye experience, there are probably 10/15 lines of code survived in Fl0wer, it was a complete restart and rewrite. But given the experience I had as an OSS developer, given the fact that some years ago I changed my job from being a full-time Corporate employee (I miss you Sun Microsystems !) to a Freelance fighting everyday to find the "right" gig, I changed my point of view on a lot of things.
This is something that you can or cannot understand, it's up to you.