Discover the best remote monitoring and management (RMM) solutions. Explore features such as client health monitoring and alerting, analytics and reporting, and patch management.
By Caitlin JonesUpdated September 15th, 2021
Remote monitoring and management (RMM), also known as network management or remote IT management, is a software platform that allows managed service providers (MSPs) to monitor their clients’ endpoints and networks, among other assets, from anywhere, at any time. With RMM, MSPs can proactively detect and resolve issues on a client’s network without having to visit their office site. This means that the clients benefit from powerful risk monitoring and mitigation with little downtime, and for a fixed cost which, in turn, leads to consistent revenue and customer satisfaction for the MSP.
A good RMM solution must gather health and status information about client software, hardware and networks and feed that data back to the MSP so they can stay on top of any maintenance. This feedback should include alerts and tickets for any issues that arise, and tickets should be classified according to the type and severity of the problem to help the MSP prioritize their support. Because the MSP is likely to be monitoring multiple clients and endpoints at the same time, it’s really important that information and analytics are presented in clear, customizable reports that the MSP can access from a centralized admin console. Finally, from this same console, the MSP should be able to remotely configure and automate software updates, administer patches and schedule regular maintenance. “Remote” and “automatic” are the key words here, particularly in the working-from-home world we’re currently living in, when it may not be possible for a technician to go to a client’s site at all.
In this article, we’ll explore the remote monitoring and management solutions designed to help MSPs manage their clients’ networks. These solutions offer a range of capabilities, including automated software updating and patch management, secure remote access, granular report generation and configurable alerting. We’ll give you some background information on the provider and the key features of each solution, as well as the type of customer that they are most suitable for.
The Top Remote Monitoring And Management (RMM) Solutions For MSPs includes
N-able is a cybersecurity vendor that specialises in providing monitoring, security and business tools that allow MSPs to better support their clients and manage their own businesses. N-central is N-able’s flagship solution; an RMM platform designed to maximize efficiency and offer continuous protection, even to organizations that are scaling up rapidly. N-central is compatible with all Windows, Mac, Linux and network devices, as well as virtual machines. As well as its core RMM features, N-central customers benefit from powerful built-in endpoint detection and response (EDR) capabilities.
With N-central, admins can use powerful automation tools to easily and quickly onboard, configure and patch hundreds of devices from a single interface, from any location. The network topology mapping feature allows admins to create a visual representation of their network and auto-detect any changes to it for clear visibility when troubleshooting. Clear, customizable reports give the MSP insight into the health of client networks, as well as demonstrate their own value to their clients. The solution also features a mobile app, which allows admins to identify problem servers, review alerts and provide IT management on the go. N-central also offers a range of security tools including a firewall, web filtering and, should all else fail, it includes backup and disaster recovery capabilities to help MSPs protect their users’ data.
On top of their core RMM features, N-able have recently added powerful EDR capabilities to their N-central solution. Policy-driven automation, forensic analysis an AI engines allow customers to detect and respond to threats such as ransomware even when endpoints are offline. N-central is a great RMM solution for any sized organization looking for integrated RMM and EDR. N-able’s collaboration with Microsoft makes this solution particularly popular amongst MS O365 customers who currently monitor their devices with Intune.
As well as their all-encompassing N-central solution, N-able offer a standalone RMM solution designed to simplify the task of remote managing and monitoring for MSPs. N-able RMM provides organizations with the tools they need to secure, maintain, and improve their customers’ IT systems. These tools can be managed from one centralized dashboard, saving IT admins from having to juggle multiple pieces of software. N-able RMM is compatible for Mac, Windows and Linux devices, and admins can manage each of these OS types via one solution.
With N-able RMM, MSPs can remotely monitor the security of all network and mobile devices, as well as virtual machines. Admins can set granular permissions and automate alerts and performance checks, which are also prioritized so that technicians know where to focus their time. The solution produces reports into key support activities and reviews of critical functions such as system backup, which admins can access via the central management console or the mobile app. N-able RMM also includes managed antivirus software and a web filter to help keep users safe from web-based threats and known viruses. Finally, the solution offers automated patch management and roll-back capabilities. Admins can customize their patch schedules and disable devices as needed.
We recommend N-able RMM as a strong solution for MSPs of any size looking for an RMM solution with granular permission and automation controls, and integrated antivirus and web filtering. Customers praise N-able RMM for its excellent customer support and user-friendly interface.
NinjaRMM is a unified IT operations solution that specializes in RMM, system backups, and IT support operations. Their RMM solution is compatible with Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems, as well as virtual machines, and allows MSPs to easily manage all of these devices from any location. NinjaRMM also includes built-in endpoint management tools that allow IT admins to remediate threats without interrupting their clients’ work.
NinjaRMM delivers out-of-the-box alerts and remote access, both via the central console and the NinjaRMM app, to allow IT admins to remediate responses more quickly and reduce their clients’ downtime. Admins can automate the remediation and scripting processes, as well as automatically synchronize tickets, alerts and devices with the MSPs existing PSA. Alerts and reports can be customized according to the team’s needs, and provide admins with up-to-the-minute health and performance data. From the management console, admins can configure patching preferences to a granular level to update both OS and third-party applications.
NinjaRMM also includes strong antivirus integrations and in-built endpoint protection capabilities to help keep the network safe, as well as integrated cloud backup for all of the MSPs clients. Finally, NinjaRMM offers free and unlimited training, onboarding and support, so that customers can access help whenever they need it for no extra charge. This makes it a great solution for small- to mid-market MSPs with smaller IT departments that may need more support.
ManageEngine, a division of Zoho Corporation, produces comprehensive IT management software solutions that allow organizations to optimize and integrate all of their IT processes, from device management to helpdesk software. Their solutions are trusted by 9/10 of Fortune 100 companies. ServiceDesk Plus is ManageEngine’s ITIL-ready RMM offering, available to deploy both on premise or as a cloud-based solution. With integrated asset and project management features and ITSM functionality, ServiceDesk Plus enables IT admins across the globe to improve and streamline their client support offerings.
ServiceDesk Plus’ incident and problem management features allows admins not only to solve problems, but also to classify and analyze them so as to avoid repeat incidents. From the management console, admins can discover, tack and manage all IT hardware and software assets, including vulnerability management and compliance assurance. A CMDB repository allows admins to track all configuration items and map their relationships visually to help make better decisions and analyze the impact of any system changes. ServiceDesk Plus generates both canned and custom reports to give admins insights into system health and performance. Finally, the solution features a “service catalog”, which allows the MSP to showcase their services with custom SLAs for increased end user satisfaction and better IT visibility.
ServiceDesk Plus comes in three editions: Standard, which includes the staple help desk software; Professional, which also includes asset management tools; and Enterprise, which includes both asset and project management functionality. ServiceDesk Plus is available in 29 different languages, making it a strong RMM solution for MSPs with a global client base and/or a largely remote workforce based in multiple countries.
Datto is a cybersecurity vendor dedicated to providing cloud-based software and tech solutions for exclusive use and distribution by MSPs to SMBs. Their products are designed to solve complex IT challenges faced by MSPs, whilst enabling them to grow their business and client base. Datto Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) is their cloud-based RMM platform that enables MSPs to remotely manage and support all of the endpoints contracted to them. It aims to reduce the MSPs cost and increase the efficiency of their service delivery by providing centralized management of a powerful, scalable feature set.
Datto RMM features flexible patch management with configurable, automatable policies that save admins time and keep clients secure from the most current known threats. Admins ca automate patching for all Windows, MacOS and Linux devices, as well as third-party applications natively or through Datto’s Chocolatey integration. Datto RMM also features real-time monitoring and reporting that enables admins to proactively solve issues and ensure that all security tools are functioning correctly and efficiently. Auto-response to alerts allows for instantaneous problem resolution, and simplifies troubleshooting by providing IT technicians with key diagnostic data. Admins can also access on-demand and scheduled reports into their clients’ system health, which allows the MSP to take action as soon as it’s needed.
Because it’s 100% cloud-based, Datto RMM is highly scalable and accessible anywhere, at any time. This makes it perfect for any organization that needs secure remote access to their clients’ machines. It also integrates fully with existing PSAs, allowing single-click access between the two systems, as well as over 200 third-party tools and solutions, to make it easier to get up and running. Datto is fully focussed on supporting their MSP community, so we recommend their RMM solutions for any MSP serving SMB clients, who are also looking to become a part of a supportive MSP partner community.
Atera is an RMM vendor specializing in remote-first management. Atera’s eponymous solution combines RMM, PSA, remote access and reporting in one user-friendly platform. It successfully helps MSPs in 75 countries to proactively solve problems, rather than reactively respond to support tickets, by streamlining and automating their management processes. It’s compatible with Windows and Mas OSs, as well as Linux and SNMP devices.
Atera monitors client systems in real-time and provides IT admins with alerts about potential problems before they happen, so that they can be solved in advance. Most administrative and maintenance tasks, such as system scanning, update checks and system reboots, can be automated quickly and easily. From the management console, admins can also automate their patch management at a granular level, applying settings to individual devices and device groups. The console also includes remote maintenance capabilities, including application install and uninstall, and running scripts. Atera also includes comprehensive activity logging capabilities that note every action issued by all users, allowing MSPs to have complete transparency of their IT systems.
Atera’s RMM solution integrates seamlessly with Splashtop to provide continuous remote support for all of the MSPs clients, allowing the MSP to securely connect to remote computers and troubleshoot problems from anywhere, at any time. We recommend Atera as a reliable RMM solution for organizations of any size looking to offer their clients a completely remote support service.
ConnectWise is a market-leading vendor in software for technology solution providers (TSPs). Their flexible services are designed to grow with your business. ConnectWise Automate, formerly Labtech, is ConnectWise’s RMM solution that enables organizations to provide their clients with more proactive support and system monitoring. Powerful automation saves the MSP valuable time which they can dedicate to improving customer experience, and valuable technology insights pinpoint which tech is working well and which isn’t a good fit.
ConnectWise Automate’s asset discovery feature allows admins to automatically detect devices on client networks for quick management and enhanced accountability. This helps keep downtime to a minimum when solving IT problems. The solution features out of-the-box, user-friendly patch management for Windows and third-party software, and admins can automate these roll-outs in additions to regular maintenance tasks in order to reduce costs and save time. ConnectWise Automate also provides powerful monitoring and reporting tools that act as a single source of truth for remote control session auditing, agent and agentless device management and technology status analyses.
Customers praise ConnectWise Automate for is easy-to-use scripting and automation functionality and detailed alerts. The remote session capabilities ensure that admins can reach their customers from any location, at any time. We recommend ConnectWise Automate for small- to medium-sized MSPs looking to implement an RMM solution.
Pulseway is an IT and asset management software platform that gives MSPs the ability to control their clients’ IT environments and critical systems from any location. Their native Android and iOS mobile apps allow admins and IT technicians to access key management functions to resolve issues remotely, before the end-user even know that there’s a problem.
Pulseway’s solution is extremely mobile-friendly – admins can access all core features, including mobile remote control and a complete system overview, from the mobile app, as well as receive instant push notifications for speedy troubleshooting. Pulseway also features a powerful automation engine that combines their workflow technology with intuitive UI to auto-remediate issues on behalf of the MSPs IT technicians. The engine comes with a wide range of built-in scripts and templates to minimize downtime. Pulseway’s patch management enables admins to automatically patch OS and third-party applications both on-demand and according to a configured schedule. The solution also provides reports into which patches have been rolled out on which systems. Finally, the remote control and support features offer fast, secure connections between the MSP an all of their clients’ machines that allow technicians to reolve all IT issues remotely from the desktop or mobile app. This includes remote machine control, file transfer and user chat capabilities.
Pulseway RMM is easy to deploy straight out of the box without the need for onboarding or training. This is made possible via mass discovery and deployment features and the solution’s central policy management. This, along with the solution’s mobile-friendly architecture, make Pulseway a strong RMM solution for MSPs of any size that are looking to offer remote support and management of their client’s servers as soon as possible.