GroundWork Builds on Open-Source Monitoring

The company will announce at Interop a major update of its GroundWork Monitor line, which brings together open-source projects to provide an IT operations management solution.

GroundWork Open Source on Sept. 18 at Interop will announce a major new release of its GroundWork Monitor line for managing servers, applications and networks.

GroundWork Monitor 5 delivers an enhanced user interface that can be customized for different types of users as well as for more sophisticated reporting on service-level agreements.

The 2-year-old company, which provides IT operations management for midsized enterprises that cant afford the price tag of an HP OpenView or Tivoli enterprise management system, will also show off its recent Network Management Suite in the shows InteropNet network in New York. GroundWork was chosen as the show networks only open-source network monitoring provider.

GroundWork Monitor Professional, the companys most comprehensive offering, draws on the data collection provided by open-source projects such as Nagios availability monitoring and alarm processing, and integrates and correlates data from 150 different projects into a single, lower-cost offering.

/zimages/4/28571.gifTo read an eWEEK Labs review of GroundWork Monitor Pro, click here.

"We write a utility that looks at a flat file of SNMP traps gathered by polling SNMP devices, develop plug-ins to monitor servers from Nagios alarm processing, and theres a project for performance monitoring that also stores its data in a flat file. With these you have three pieces of information about an infrastructure, but the data isnt correlated and these dont talk to each other," said Tony Barbagallo, vice president of product management at GroundWork, in San Francisco.

"We create an integration layer that takes all the data, normalizes it, stores it in a consistent database—MySQL—and then we create a portal framework and graphical user interface utilities which allow an IT administrator to graphically configure the hosts they want to monitor. And they can get graphical representation of host uptime or downtime, they can click on a host and get CPU utilization—all in an integrated way and all from very innovative, but disparate, open-source projects," he said.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read more about the state of open-source systems management.

The tool costs $16,000 for an annual subscription. That is a fraction of what the large enterprise management systems from vendors such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, CA and BMC Software cost, Barbagallo said.

"A typical installation for a midmarket customer is 20 to 30 percent of the cost of an OpenView or IBMs Tivoli. That is a significant cost savings for an organization that needs much of that same functionality," he said.

New in GroundWork Monitor 5 is the ability to create dashboards specific to the individual, whether a CIO or a business user. "For example, as the CIO of a large, midmarket company, I might want to get the health status of a certain group of servers responsible for back office processes or a group of servers responsible for financial information. With Version 5 I can create a dashboard that just shows those aspects, accessible via a Web browser," Barbagallo said.

Version 5 also integrates the Eclipse BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools) reporting engine for monitoring IT service levels. GroundWork Monitor Professional is bundled with service-level reports that provide a view of multiple data feeds, maps and events. The reports show a consolidated view for monitoring SLAs. Using the BIRT report designer, users and MSP (managed services provider) customers can develop customized reports.

Version 5 also includes the ability to automatically discover all network devices in the customers network and graphically depict network traffic in GroundWork dashboards.

The new release is due in mid-October.

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