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Top 5 Remote Monitoring And Management Tools

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By: Nihad Hassan

March 11, 2021

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has forced most organizations to adopt the work from home model. The workforce's major shift to work from home has significantly impacted how businesses operate and use technology in their daily operations. According to Global Workplace Analytics, they estimate that 56% of the U.S. workforce holds a compatible job (at least partially) with remote work, and 25-30% of the workforce is projected to work from home multiple days a week by the close of 2021. Not all home workers are computer savvy; thus, managing the remote workforce's increased volume requires using sophisticated tools to offer technical assistance when needed.

Remote monitoring and management (RMM) is a software program used to track, monitor, and manage endpoint devices, servers, and networks remotely. RMM is commonly utilized by Managed Service Providers (MSP) to provide technical assistance for organizations who cannot afford to have in-house IT support. However, during the ongoing pandemic, RMM programs are widely utilized to access and manage IT infrastructure and support workforce endpoint devices from a remote location.

This article will cover the most popular five remote monitoring and management solutions. However, before listing them, let us talk a little about how RMM works and its benefits to IT service providers.

How RMM works?

RMM client is deployed on client's devices (e.g., workstations, servers, laptops, tablets, IoT devices, and networking equipment such as firewalls). The RMM agent will collect and send various technical information about the monitored devices' status and health to the RMM dashboard. Many duties can be performed using RMM software. IT pros group them into the following three areas:

  1. Real-time monitoring of endpoint devices and networks: RMM programs can monitor remote systems' health and functions, allowing system administrators to fix any arising problem before they cause crises or disrupt critical systems.

  2. Remote maintenance: Install and configure software remotely, patch operating system, and update installed applications silently without disrupting users' work.

  3. Help with IT management: Such as changing client devices policies, running scripts to automate various IT tasks, managing third-party applications, and installed security solutions such as antivirus and firewalls.

Benefits of RMM

RMM helps IT service providers to achieve the following key benefits:

  1. Reduce technical support costs as the IT provider employees can remotely manage their customer's devices without an on-site visit.
  2. Help in IT assets discovery by having complete visibility to the customer's IT environment.
  3. Enhance client systems security by automating software patch and vulnerability management.
  4. Save time by automating IT tasks such as antivirus scans and backups.
  5. Save software and hardware license through efficient IT management.

Top Five RMM programs

There are various RMM programs. The following lists the five most popular tools:

NinjaRMM Ninja is a powerful RMM tool that works on major OS's like Windows, Mac, Linux, or VMWare devices. It offers rich features such as:

  • patch management of installed operating systems and installed applications,

automate repeatable tasks,

  • customize scripts written in any of the following languages (Powershell, Batch, Javascript, ShellScript, and VBScript) to automate IT tasks,
  • issue custom alerts and notifications,
  • support a variety of remote access tools such as TeamViewer, Splashtop, RDP, or Connectwise and
  • offer integrated cloud backup.

Atera Atera is another popular RMM software. It offers extensive features such as real-time monitoring and alerting to solve IT problems instantly before it escalates, give real-time status notifications for the following services/programs: System resources, logged in users, network & IP monitoring, SNMP monitoring, Windows updates, SQL server, exchange, active directory, Vmware, hyper-v & SNMP enabled devices. Atera comes equipped with various administrative templates to support different IT automation tasks such as Create System Restore Point, Delete Temp Files, Delete Internet History, Reboot, Shutdown, Defragment (All disks), Run Checkdisk (All disks), Run Full System Scan, Check for New Updates.

LogMeIn Central Another RMM program, LogMeIn works on both Mac and Windows; it comes equipped with LogMeIn Antivirus program (powered by Bitdefender). This tool has user management capabilities. For instance, it can control permissions, enable two-factor authentication, and extend computer access in addition to its ability to group computers according to location, function, access permissions, or other user-defined criteria.

Auvik Auvik is a cloud-based network management software; it offers numerous features like real-time network mapping and inventory, automated configure backup and restore on network devices, deep network analysis, and spot potential security vulnerabilities. Auvik can integrate with various systems (e.g., slack, freshdesk, pasPortal) to allow efficient workflow.

SOLARWINDS Remote Monitoring & Management Solarwinds offers a comprehensive set of RMM tools for performing various remote management and monitoring tasks like patch management, managed antivirus, web protection, data-breach risk intelligence, backup, and recovery. Solarwinds works on Mac and Windows and offers rich features for Mac clients like Cloud backup for Mac documents. This includes file formats unique to Mac like plists and Macs' protection from viruses and malware.

Summary

The ongoing spread of COVID-19 globally will increase the number of people working from home. Many studies found that the pandemic will permanently increase remote working even after the crisis. This fact will significantly increase organizations' dependence on RMM tools to handle a remote workforce's increased volume.

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