GroundWork Community Edition……Avoid like a plague

Well, I finally got around to installing the Groundwork Community Edition software after battling with it’s installer multiple times. For those of you who don’t know Groundworks is a “polished” interface to several opensource network monitoring/metering projects. Projects including:

  • Nagios® — for event handling and notification
  • SNMP and SNMP–TT — for network management protocol
  • RRDtool — for underlying data collection and management
  • BIRT — for ad–hoc reporting
  • Ganglia — for grid and cluster monitoring
  • Cacti — for graphing and trending

Now the Community Edition is “Fully functional, high quality open source monitoring product” according to their website. It has community support and is a free download. Now I’m not one to bitch about free software as long as I know what I’m getting myself into. I’ve had cacti and nagios installed in the past and have had my share of pain in trying to figure them out. But, when you say “Fully functional, high quality open source monitoring product”, IT BETTER MEAN FULLY FUNCTIONAL.

You see after spending four long days looking around the documentation/interface for something as simple as “How do you get the software to — via SNMP — discover all available/recognizable interfaces on a network device — such as a switch?” that you find out the script name is “discover_snmp_if.pl” and that IT’S NOT AVAILABLE IN THE COMMUNITY EDITION. They say specifically on the help page: “Note: The Profile Tools option is available only in the Professional and Enterprise editions of GroundWork Monitor”. Now I don’t know what you call Fully Functional, but in my book it means “Containing ALL Bloody Functions”.

The Groundwork guys/gals expect you to MANUALLY create a host profile. Try doing that for 8 different 48-port pizzabox switches and two 13U enterprise switches. YES I SAID ENTERPRISE AND NO I WILL NOT BUY THE ENTERPRISE EDITION. I work at a University and as long as companies like Groundwork grab free software and package it (nothing wrong with that), where there is a lot of academic man power invested, I expect a “Fully Functional” version to be FULL AND COMPLETE.

And now I will be “Format C:”ing this stupid thing and installing free AND FULLY FUNCTIONAL SOFTWARE (Cacti/Ganglia/Nagios)….Thanks!!!!!

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