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4/30/2009
03:23 PM
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Paring Management System Costs

Network and systems management has been a troublesome area for small and medium businesses. While many companies would like to deploy these products and get a clearer picture about their system and network usage, product pricing has often been too high for them to make that switch. Consequently, one successful vendor decided to retool its product line by adding a lower cost option.

Network and systems management has been a troublesome area for small and medium businesses. While many companies would like to deploy these products and get a clearer picture about their system and network usage, product pricing has often been too high for them to make that switch. Consequently, one successful vendor decided to retool its product line by adding a lower cost option.GroundWork has taken an open source approach to building its GroundWork Monitor line. The company found that many firms used the free GroundWork Monitor Community Edition, wanted to buy something more sophisticated, but were deterred by the cost of the GroundWork Monitor Enterprise, which typically sells for about $40,000. In response, the company announced the GroundWork Monitor Starter Edition, which is priced from $4,000 for monitoring 100 devices to $11,500 for 250 elements.

The product features dashboards, advanced reports, best-practice profiles, and a Network Operations Center console. The low cost management tool monitors up to 250 devices  compared to an unlimited number for the Enterprise version. In addition, the Starter Edition is geared for use in single sites, with no support for standby or Child servers. The vendor is also pushing sales and support to the Web, offering email customer service rather than live Customer Service Representatives.

Ironically, work on this new version began in the summer of 2008, months before the economic downturn. Since the meltdown, many companies have been looking for low cost IT products. The new pricing version could fit with small and medium businesses that have the need for better management tools, dont want to spend a lot of money, and have a staff experienced in troubleshooting network problems.

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