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GroundWork 6.0 Offers Color-Coded Systems View

The sixth version of the GroundWork Monitor, an open source systems and network manager, became available Monday with a revamped user interface that can display a network topology in a color-coded manner.

Monitor 6.0 includes enhanced tools for large deployments. It has a console that can provide context sensitive information, such as software events taking place, networking capacity limits being approached, or server application performances that lag healthy user response times, in one view. The view is achieved through "a Seurat view" of fine-grained color information.

The name is derived from Georges-Pierre Seurat, the French painter who helped popularize pointillism, a form of impressionism based on concentrations of dots of mixed colors, explained Simon Bennett, senior director of product management.

The firm that produces the system, GroundWork Open Source, is "going to include what they call a 'Seurat View' in version 6.0. they're clearly onto one of the problems in today's increasingly virtual environments and that is how can we display information in a meaningful way for a large number of managed objects," wrote Gartner analyst Cameron Haight in an Aug. 19 blog.

Instead of presenting a typical network topology map or systems management tree, "It takes advantage of how we see and process images to essentially enrich the picture," Haight added in his blog. Sections of the server cluster of network that are running close to capacity could be built with orange and red dots; underutilized sections with cooler colors.

Large enterprise deployments make up 49% of Groundwork Monitor's customer base, said Bennett in the announcement. The Seurat imaging can used to reflect "large, heterogeneous environments" with hundreds of servers and network devices, he added.

In addition, the 6.0 version includes:

  • A new user interface based on the Red Hat JBoss portal, with fine-grained access controls based on roles in an organization for added security.
  • A redesigned Status Viewer with availability and performance data in a single view for quick identification of problem areas and troubleshooting.
  • Dashboards for personal and role-based monitoring.

The Version 6.0 updates apply to the free Community Edition as well as the subscription-based Monitor Enterprise.

GroundWork Open Source competes with other open source system management suppliers, including Zenoss, the Hyperic systems management unit of SpringSource, and Bluenog, an aggregator of open source management systems.

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