GroundWork Inc., which develops monitoring software, has released a free version of its platform called GroundWork Monitor Core. It's a move that GroundWork CEO and Co-Founder Dave Lilly says that the company has long been planning.

Before diving in to GroundWork Monitor Core, a little background. GroundWork's original solution is called GroundWork Monitor Enterprise. It's a real-time availability and performance monitoring system that gives users customizable dashboards to see data trends and reports. It can also track and record network availability, identify problems and notify IT administrators. And if you can't guess by it's name, the IT monitoring solution is tailored to enterprise businesses.

GroundWork Monitor Core comes with all of the IT monitoring features included in GroundWork Monitor Enterprise. The catch? Core lets businesses monitor a maximum of 50 network devices, whereas the enterprise version comes with a no-limit license. It seems as though GroundWork is making a pitch to the SMB market, as the company says its Core version is "ideal for small environments." Time will tell whether the SMB market agrees.

This isn't the first time GroundWork has released a free version of one of its products. In August 2011, GroundWork released a free monitoring platform  called GroundWork Monitor NPO for non-profit organizations and open source projects.

GroundWork is an interesting one to keep an eye on. It's one of many companies trying to prove that there is room for an open source platform within a managed services strategy. GroundWork debuted a website and software pricing specifically for MSPs back in September 2010. Most recently, GroundWork added the Chicago-based MSP MKAdvantage to its MSP customer portfolio. We'll be catching up with GroundWork brass this week to get an update on the company's progress in the MSP market.