GroundWork Open Source Monitor

In contrast to Zenoss Core and Hyperic HQ, GroundWork Open Source’s free-for-the-download open source network monitoring and management product, called GroundWork Monitor, is quite basic and lacking in features.

We didn’t test the vendor’s GroundWork Monitor Professional product (which has a $16,000 annual subscription fee) or its GroundWork Monitor Small Business product for fewer than 50 devices ($8,000 per year), which the company claims add a better user interface with a customizable dashboard as well as SLA business reports and support for monitoring a greater variety of devices.

We found GroundWork Monitor to be essentially an entry-level monitoring and management tool.

Although it lacks many of the monitoring features (such as accurate discovery of our devices and servers) and sophisticated threshold settings of Zenoss Core and Hyperic HQ, GroundWork Monitor does do a good job of detecting problems and notifying administrators of those problems. GroundWork Monitor alerted us, via e-mail and pager, whenever we subjected the network to router, server or switch errors.

Drilling down to network fault, event or historical data through GroundWork Monitor’s user interface requires a few clicks.

The browser-based user interface is simple and unadorned, but it did provide us with real-time status views, historical data for trending and fault lists for troubleshooting follow-up.

GroundWork Monitor completely lacks the remediation features of Zenoss Core and Hyperic HQ for automatically fixing problems whose solution consists of, for example, deleting disk files, rebooting a server or restarting a Windows background service.

Extending GroundWork Monitor via programming to query the Nokia D50 unit was fairly easy and took only a few days to code and thoroughly test. GroundWork Monitor is a compendium of various open source efforts, including Nagios (developed by Ethan Galstad), Ganglia, RRDtool, Nmap, Sendpage and MySQL.

GroundWork Monitor runs on Red Hat Linux Enterprise, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and CentOS. The online documentation is too brief and lacks explanations for many of the programming design approaches in GroundWork Monitor. GroundWork Monitor installs in less than an hour, and you can even obtain a bootable CD-ROM version of GroundWork Monitor.


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