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Zendesk (see Ben’s previous coverage of Zendesk at Cloud Ave), an elegant and simple on-demand helpdesk tool, is now bundled with GroundWork Open Source (GWOS), a network monitoring appliance built on top of Nagios, to offer an enterprise ready IT Management tool. Enterprises are still reluctant to embrace SaaS wholeheartedly. However, we are seeing a slow adoption in some of the areas of enterprise IT. This announcement is part of this trend.

GroundWork Open Source is an open source system, network and application monitoring tool built for medium and large enterprises. By using a combination of server and a suite of network monitoring tools, it is possible for IT and Ops teams in big enterprises to keep a close watch on their infrastructure proactively. This product helps enterprises to reduce outages and also to help maintain service levels. GroundWork has been built as an open portal based applications so that it can be tightly integrated with other tools used in the enterprises including third party tools. These open portal based applications offers a tight two way integration that makes it easier to integrate with the other tools seamlessly.

GroundWork Open Source is a combination of several successful open source products that are heavily used by enterprises. These projects are combined into a single package offering a

  • simplified deployment
  • single console for managing and monitoring
  • comprehensive view of all the IT operations

The tools that are part of GWOS include Nagios, SNMP protocols, RRDtool, JBoss Portal, ICEfaces, MySQL, BIRT, Ganglia and Cacti. All these open source tools are widely deployed by enterprises already. GWOS makes it easier to deploy as a single unified product.

Zendesk has been widely covered on Cloud Ave by Ben and I don’t have much to add. As an user of Zendesk, I want to say that it is one of the most elegant and easy to use SaaS products I have used. Another reason why I like Zendesk is that it aligns well with my belief that SaaS applications should be interoperable with applications from other vendors. Zendesk, with its integration to wide variety of SaaS and other web applications like Salesforce, Basecamp, Highrise, Jira, Drupal, Get Satisfaction, Freshbooks, etc., is one of the widely integrated SaaS applications I have used. Long back, when I wrote my SaaS Risk Reduction Series, I was talking about how it helps reduce risk if we don’t keep all the eggs in the same basket. Zendesk is an application which fits well into this strategy with their integration with wide variety of vendors.

GWOS Enterprise Quickstart – Zendesk Connector Virtual Appliance makes it easy for IT to integrate ticketing and monitoring solutions so that they can reduce costs and increase their service levels. This appliance synchronizes data between monitoring events and help desk tickets making it easy for IT to keep the infrastructure going. This appliance offers

  • an easy way to access Zendesk from inside GWOS using Single Sign-On
  • making it easy to create tickets on Zendesk from inside the event console of GWOS
  • track Zendesk tickets from inside GWOS monitor
  • Automate ticket resolution based on events without manual intervention

The cost of this appliance is $299 per year and compared to the peace of mind this offers, the cost is nothing. This is one of the advantages of using Open Source and SaaS. The cost can be kept very low saving tons of money for the enterprises at a time of financial instability.

CloudAve is exclusively sponsored by

Krishnan Subramanian

Krish dons several avatars including entrepreneur in exile, analyst cum researcher, technology evangelist, blogger, ex-physicist, social/political commentator, etc.. My main focus is research and analysis on various high impact topics in the fields of Open Source, Cloud Computing and the interface between them. I also evangelize Open Source and Cloud Computing in various media outlets, blogs and other public forums. I offer strategic advise to both Cloud Computing and Open Source providers and, also, help other companies take advantage of Open Source and Cloud Computing. In my opinion, Open Source commoditized software and Cloud Computing commoditized computing resources. A combination of these two developments offers a strong competitive advantage to companies of all sizes and shapes. Due to various factors, including fear, the adoption of both Open Source and Cloud Computing are relatively slow in the business sector. So, I take it upon myself to clear any confusion in this regard and educate, enrich and advise users/customers to take advantage of the benefits offered by these technologies. I am also a managing partner in two consulting companies based in India. I blog about Open Source topics at and Cloud Computing related topics at

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