With businesses increasingly reliant on IT systems and connectivity, managed service providers (MSP) are finding that remote monitoring and management (RMM) software is a critical tool for effectively meeting client IT needs.
RMM software helps MSPs manage a range of client IT environments and optimize visibility and operational effectiveness. Fast deployment and network scanning mean MSPs can quickly onboard new clients, networks, systems, and users for monitoring and management purposes. From day-to-day technical support to domain-level policy management, RMM tools are an increasingly essential part of any growing MSP organization.
Though both involve remote services, remote desktop software (RDS) is often a tool included in RMM. RMM software and professional services automation (PSA) software both help streamline service-oriented organizations, so it’s no surprise many of the top vendors also offer a companion or integration option for PSA services.
This article looks at RMM software tools and the best solutions and vendors in 2022.
Best RMM Software of 2022
Tel Aviv-based Atera has specialized in the shift to remote work since 2011. Earning unicorn status in Q3 of 2021, Atera continues to meet the needs of the IT service management (ITSM) community with an all-in-one MSP software that includes RMM, remote access software, PSA, and network discovery.
For Atera’s remote monitoring and management solution, clients have access to real-time tracking, a host of pre-configured and automatable tasks, detailed analytics, asset tracking, and more. Streamlining IT processes is that much easier with automated configurations for defragmentation, system restore points, reboots, and complete system scans. Management tools for tasks and services and Command Prompt Access allow administrators to run scripts, deploy patches, and uninstall applications. Prospective customers can try Atera with a 30-day free trial.
Atera RMM Features
- Automate patch management for specific devices and groups
- Monitoring for networks, IP, SNMP, SQL Server, Active Directory, and Hyper-V
- Holistic activity log for tracing every command or action by users
- Hardware, software, and OS inventory data as well as configuration and status
- Integration with Splashtop remote support and compatible with Windows and macOS
Four decades after its launch, ConnectWise meets MSPs’ needs with an evolving and comprehensive technology stack. ConnectWise’s RMM software is a part of its Unified Monitoring and Management solutions and is known as ConnectWise Automate. As the name implies, ConnectWise Automate offers a bundle of automated capabilities and visibility for administrators across hybrid IT environments.
Automate comes with out-of-the-box script functions, delegated roles, and agent and agentless endpoints monitoring. Using Network Probe Technology, this solution provides administrators with real-time agentless access to virtualized systems like Hyper-V and VMware. Interested clients may request a free trial for ConnectWise Automate or ConnectWise RMM.
ConnectWise Automate Features
- 100 pre-defined commands for automating complex desktop and server updates
- Integrated virtualization managers for agentless management of Hyper-V and VMware
- Friendly configuration console for patching, reports, and third-party app management
- Automated network scans showing health statuses of supported systems and devices
- Alternative to AD Group Policies with enhanced asset discovery and agent deployment
Datto is a business continuity and management vendor offering a comprehensive toolbox for MSPs. The vendor trades as MSP on the NYSE to emphasize their commitment to serving managed service providers. In 2017, the vendor’s acquisition of Autotask extended its offerings with PSA, RMM, and file protection.
Today, Datto Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) is a secure, cloud-based solution with seamless integration to its companion Autotask PSA. Datto RMM offers real-time monitoring of all IT environment devices, including servers, virtual machines, laptops, and network equipment. To help administrators streamline routine tasks, Datto also offers an extensive library of pre-built scripts, extensions, and policies. Prospective customers can try Datto RMM for free with a 14-day trial.
Datto RMM Features
- Remote access tools for troubleshooting without interrupting end-users
- Open REST API allowing MSPs to create custom integrations
- Monitoring and management for wireless networks and crypto-ransomware on endpoints
- IT asset discovery and network topology mapping for visualizing networks
- Dynamic automation by inserting custom scripts or accessing hundreds of free scripts
Launched in 2016, Electric is an emerging unicorn offering a range of IT solutions, including procurement, personnel onboarding, compliance, and management tools for inventory, networks, servers, applications, and cloud environments. Together, the Electric platform dubbed “Turbine” can act as an RMM solution for MSPs.
In three steps, Electric assesses a client’s IT environment, implements best practices modifications to IT processes, and manages day-to-day IT operations and infrastructure management. Network and server management functionality provide ongoing audits and assessment of infrastructures, firmware updates, and recommendations to improve performance. Unlike other solutions listed, Electric also offers its platform services directly to SMB organizations and MSPs. Ideal for organizations with up to 500 employees, interested clients can request a free demo.
Electric RMM Features
- Configurable security policies for applications, devices, and network systems
- Real-time support with IT technicians offering SysAdmin support and troubleshooting
- Monitor user permissions, file-sharing policies, and more with cloud policy configuration
- Track device health, roll out patches and upgrades, and automate provisions
- Seamless employee onboarding and offboarding with hardware and access tasks
HelpSystems has an extensive IT product portfolio centering around cybersecurity and automation. In 2015, its acquisition of multi-platform systems management provider Halcyon Software gave the vendor a formidable presence in the monitoring space. Under HelpSystems, Halcyon today includes monitoring software for IBM servers, network other servers, applications, and IBM MQ.
Halcyon’s remote monitoring and management solution is the Advanced Reporting Suite, and it provides performance reports verifying SLAs and ensures identified issues get addressed. Prospective clients can try Halycon with a free 30-day trial or request a demo of its Enterprise Console.
HelpSystems Halcyon Features
- Alert trend analysis offering visibility into recent and historic alert data
- Run reports directly from a browser for faster visibility and provisioning
- Reporting and planning for capacity, analysis for future hardware procurement decisions
- Individual and group-based security configurations and policies
- Cross-platform compatibility supporting IBM i, AIX, Linux, Windows, and SNMP devices
Kaseya is a global ITSM vendor offering a stack of essential tools for MSPs, including RMM, PSA, managed SOC, performance monitoring, and more. Its flagship product Kaseya VSA is a robust remote monitoring and management solution providing a range of remote control, discovery, inventory, patch management, and automation features.
Kaseya VSA includes scripting tools, built-in content packs for onboarding, and best practice policy guides for automating routine IT processes. Interested MSPs can request a demo or try Kaseya VSA with a 14-day free trial.
Note: In July 2021, Kaseya’s incident response team confirmed that Kaseya VSA targeted a ransomware attack impacting up to 60 clients and 1,500 downstream businesses. In the weeks after Kaseya was transparent in its investigation, hardened system security, and deployed patches before the FBI obtained a universal decryptor for Kaseya’s clients. All indicators point to a robust effort to secure VSA, as it remains a popular and effective tool.
Kaseya VSA Features
- Kaseya Live Connect offers seamless endpoint interaction and PowerShell scripting
- Endpoint monitoring including performance, events, and conditions for auto-alerts
- REST API functionality for custom integrations and full multi-tenancy support
- Network and AD domain-based discovery with rapid deployment across environments
- Available as an on-premises or cloud system and compatible with Windows and macOS
Read more: Kaseya Breach Shake Faith in ITSM Platforms
LogMeIn offers an impressive stack of IT services that provide enhanced collaboration, security, access, and support. In the remote monitoring and management space, LogMeIn Central and LogMeIn Pro and Rescue, GoToMyPC, and GoToAssist give MSPs a range of tools to monitor endpoints, access remote devices, and secure client data.
LogMeIn Central comes with remote control for Windows and macOS devices, user and device management, and computer health monitoring. With Pro, organizations get additional tools like remote printing, 1TB of file storage, BitDefender antivirus, and a multi-monitor display. Prospective clients can try LogMeIn Central or Pro with a 14-day free trial.
LogMeIn Central Features
- Collaborate with screen sharing and device or file access for unlimited users
- Unattended remote access for fast, on-demand support with HD quality video
- Two-factor authentication, 256-bit SSL encryption, and password management
- Remote control of client devices with seamless access from anywhere
- File storage and drag-and-drop functionality for transferring and sharing files
Offering over 90 products, including ITSM, IAM, UEM, and SIEM, ManageEngine supports over 75,000 customers and 14 million devices. The longtime IT management software division of Zoho, ManageEngine’s remote monitoring and management solution is RMM Central. This RMM is ideal for MSPs that need licensing for flexible IT environments and a user-friendly central management console.
RMM Central discovers, manages, monitors, and secures network devices within a client’s IT environment in a four-step process. RMM Central is free for up to 20 endpoints and five network devices with much of the same functionality as the Enterprise edition. The exception is that Enterprise RMM Central can extend to large IT environments, offers multi-technician support, and a distribution server for bandwidth optimization. For the enterprise edition, interested clients can request a demo or quote.
ManageEngine RMM Central Features
- Troubleshoot remote devices with file transfers, video, and multi-user collaboration
- Monitor performance data using protocols like SSH, WMI, or SNMP
- Support for managing hybrid servers including Windows, Linux, Solaris, and VMware
- Enroll, profile, and manage mobile devices and IT assets
- Network discovery processes using Layer 2 mapping, subnet scanning, AD, and more
Launched at the outset of the new millennium, N-able today combines the SolarWinds MSP division’s forces and currently works with over 25,000 MSPs and 7 million endpoints. For RMM software, the vendor offers two options: N-central and N-able RMM.
N-central is the firm’s flagship RMM solution and comes with endpoint detection and response (EDR) and managers for backups, mobile devices, automation, and security. Integrations to popular industry vendor applications include Acronis, Barracuda, ConnectWise, ESET, and Kaspersky. With N-able’s Automation Cookbook, administrators have an easy-to-use scripting engine or option to upload custom scripts. Prospective customers can try N-able with a free 30-day trial, talk to sales, or request a quote.
N-able Central and N-able RMM Features
- Automated patching and update management using common application families
- Layered security with EDR, password management, and web-protection
- Processes for onboarding and managing new and complex networks
- End-to-end ticket management for acting on and resolving client tasks
- Remote monitoring and access for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Raspberry Pi
Read more: N-able Connects with Microsoft Intune
The success of NinjaRMM’s remote monitoring and management solution gave the vendor a window to add more MSP-targeted products and its eventual rebranding to NinjaOne in October 2021. Still an RMM specialist at heart, the NinjaRMM solution offers MSPs endpoint monitoring and alerting playbooks, cloud infrastructure monitoring, and a policy management engine for easy automation across networks.
With remote access tools, administrators can also take control of endpoint management to provide support and maintenance. Alternatively, NinjaOne also offers an end-user self-service IT portal for enabling client-agency over devices. Interested clients can try NinjaRMM with a 14-day free trial or get a personalized quote.
- Comprehensive infrastructure monitoring with custom alerts, tickets, and health data
- Built-in cloud file and folder backups for redundancy
- Strong endpoint protection with managed or integrated antivirus solutions
- Automated patch and configuration management for easing deployment
- Compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, SNMP, and VMware devices
What is RMM Software?
Remote monitoring and management (RMM) software offer remote service providers tools to manage client IT systems like desktops, laptops, mobile devices, and servers. RMM software helps administrators automate standard managed IT functions, improve visibility into client machines, respond to threats, and streamline tasks.
Alternative Name: Remote IT Management
As IT infrastructure exploded in the last twenty years, managed service providers increasingly need RMM software to manage a network of remote clients effectively. RMM is the undisputed software of choice for MSPs trying to work efficiently with clients with extensive, distributed IT environments.
RMM Software Features
- Monitoring for an unlimited number of endpoints
- Integration with open network video interface forum (ONVIF)
- Admin configuration options for user and group access and privileges
- Support for protocols like TCP, HTTP, SSH, Telnet, and RDP
- Testing and analysis for network speed and bandwidth
- Network topology mapping for the discovery of network systems and analysis
- Compatibility with workstation, desktop, laptop, and mobile device applications
- Monitoring for the simple network management protocol (SNMP)
How Do RMM Tools Benefit MSPs?
Optimizing Efficiency and Productivity
Organizations today depend on their ability to establish, maintain, and provision IT systems for business continuity. For a remote MSP, the challenge of consistently monitoring clients’ IT environment can mean lost time, effort, and resources. RMM software can be a game-changing aid for streamlining the maintenance of client systems. RMM can automate many standard IT services management processes, giving administrators more time to focus elsewhere.
Mitigating Disruptions and Downtime
Because organizations rely on IT infrastructure, continuous uptime and systems availability for clients and stakeholders are essential. When problems do arise, visibility into the state of existing systems is a necessity for administrators attempting to remediate the event. RMM software ensures MSPs have constant visibility to identify potential problems and act before bugs or threats disrupt business operations. Downtime directly results in lost revenue, productivity, and more, meaning MSPs must be hands-on in maintenance and restoration procedures.
Securing Client and Stakeholder Data
While RMM isn’t an alternative to a full-service managed security service provider (MSSP), it offers clients more security through consistent network scanning and audits. As RMM specializes in monitoring large IT environments and filtering alerts down to the most important, MSPs have the visibility to diagnose anomalous or threat actor behavior for adequate remediation.