Lately, there has been signficant chatter about ability of certain companies to operate massively distributed systems built with low-priced h/w and s/w and how this gives them competitive advantage against those who rely on high end computing systems. Traditionally, for most IT shops, the system management cost has been a major determinant when it came to deciding for a small no. of high-end systems versus a large no. of low-end systems, mostly resulting into a decision in favor of a small no. of high-end systems. However, as the linked story points out, companies like Google, Akamai, eBay, Amazon and Yahoo! are bucking the trend by developing their own management infrastructure.
Given that these companies may not want to market their management infrastructure for obvious reasons (a no. of readers didn find the reasons to be so obvious, so I will list them here: (a) they are not in the business of system management; (b) most of them would have used GPLed code which would make it difficult to sell packaged products; (c) they would want to keep their expertise as competitive advantage) and traditional management vendors may be too busy serving their existing markets, it appears to me that the field is rife for a fresh batch of startups that would promise off-the-shelf management s/w for such massively distributed systems built using low-cost machines.