by Peter Galli on September 24, 2009 08:31am

GroundWork Open Source, Inc., a commercial open source company that produces network management software, last week announced the availability of the GroundWork Connector for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager.

The company has also become a member of the System Center Alliance.

GroundWork Monitor, which already has more than 1,500 plugins available, integrates with System Center Operations Manager and extends monitoring and management coverage to non-Windows systems, applications and devices.

The new GroundWork Connector pulls information from System Center Operations Manager and displays it within GroundWork Monitor Enterprise, giving customers a deeper visibility into the availability and performance of all critical infrastructures on a single console. The connector gives insight into applications, databases, virtual machines and network devices that may be running on Linux, Unix, Windows or embedded operating systems.

I talked to David Dennis, the company's senior director of marketing and business development this week about the move, which he feels is a great follow-up to the release of the System Center Cross Platform extensions earlier this year.

That release broke new ground for using System Center in heterogeneous environments. "In the field, we have more and more users asking about how they can integrate the management of Windows with open source tools for managing network infrastructure, Unix, Linux, and the applications that run on top of them," he told me.

The dialog also no longer seems to be about choice between Windows or Open Source but rather "I want both - now how do I make them work together,"  he says. Even though GroundWork Open Source is an open source company, about half of the operating systems managed by GroundWork Monitor are running Windows.

"The combination of System Center Operations Manager and GroundWork Monitor provides a full-featured alternative to traditional systems management frameworks, but with greater openness and at a much lower price point," Dennis says.