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RMM tool: Pulseway debuts MSP-specific monitoring product

Pulseway has joined a number of upstarts in the remote monitoring and management software market, aiming its new tool specifically at managed service providers.

Pulseway, a provider of remote monitoring and management software, has unveiled a version of its product specifically geared toward managed service providers.

The RMM tool is in use among IT administrators at such companies as Dell, Louis Vuitton, Conde Nast and British Columbia Institute of Technology. But managed service providers (MSPs) have adopted the technology, as well, suggesting features that paved the way for Pulseway MSP. The product, now available, starts at $2.40 per server, per month under a pay-as-you-go model. There are no contracts or setup fees, according to Pulseway.

Pulseway, with its MSP-specific offering, continues a trend of relatively new competitors entering a market inhabited by long-time incumbent vendors, such as CA Nimsoft, Continuum, Kaseya, LabTech Software and SolarWinds N-able. Vendors entering the fray in recent months include Comodo Group Inc., which launched Comodo One MSP in 2015, and Atera, which provides an integrated MSP platform that includes RMM software, professional services automation and a remote connection tool. Atera released its all-in-one platform in January 2016.

Chris Martinez, founder of Integrated IT Solutions, an MSP in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., said his company began using Pulseway about two years ago "out of sheer frustration with several other tools we have tried in the past."

With other RMM software tools, the company "spent more time working under the hood than actually driving the car," Martinez noted. He said other products took a month to deploy and required frequent calls for support once in production. Pulseway required minimal effort to deploy, he said. He added his company has made 15 to 20 calls for Pulseway support over the past two years, compared with 10 to 20 calls a day to resolve issues with one tool he had previously used.

It is a Swiss army knife of administrative tools.
Scott Weaverfounder and partner, Schema Networks

Pulseway's RMM tool also beat out more established monitoring products at Schema Networks.

"It's a complete game-changer in terms of monitoring," said Scott Weaver, founder and partner of Schema Networks, an outsourced IT firm in Irvine, Calif.

Weaver said he had used four other monitoring tools but has standardized on Pulseway. Schema Networks began using the RMM tool in late 2014 and primarily uses the product to receive notifications on outages and device failures before the customer detects an issue. The company uses other tools, including LabTech for inventory and remote control via ScreenConnect integration, Remote Desktop Manager for passwords and user accounts, and Bomgar for remote control.

RMM tool offers mobility features

Pulseway's biggest asset, according to Weaver, is its mobile component. Pulseway provides native mobile apps for smartphones and tablets and also offers an HTML5 web application for web browsers.

Weaver said he was accustomed to monitoring systems sending email alerts to a mobile device. But Weaver said he started working in a different way once he installed the Pulseway mobile apps on his iPhone and iPad. From those devices, he said he is able to perform tasks such as creating users and mailboxes, rebooting servers, and managing VMware and Hyper-V environments.

"It is a Swiss army knife of administrative tools," he said.

Pulseway leverages Windows PowerShell, command prompt (CMD) and Bash in the background to handle remote tasks. The RMM tool monitors Windows, Linux and Mac systems and can also support applications using Pulseway's monitoring API.

CareTech Solutions, an IT outsourcing, data center and IT monitoring services company, is another early Pulseway user. Brian Heersink, system administrator at CareTech, said the company initially tested Pulseway on a few servers and now has about 100 servers under management. He said the product's dashboard is one of its most useful features. The dashboard, which CareTech projects on a large-screen TV in the office, provides a live preview of what is happening with all of its servers, Heersink said. Everyone in the office can see whether the servers are running normally or whether an alert has been triggered.

Heersink also cited Pulseway's mobile features and the ability to get PowerShell and command-line control of servers remotely.

The RMM tool "saves us so much time," he said.

Adding features

Despite Pulseway's plusses, the RMM software product lacked a few features useful for MSPs. Accordingly, Martinez opened a dialog with Marius Mihalec, Pulseway's CEO. He said Integrated IT Solutions gave Mihalec "a lot of input" with regard to what the product should include. Specifically, Martinez asked for particular types of reports and alerts to be part of the package.

Weaver said he has sent suggestions for Pulseway features, as well. "Quite a few of them have made it into the product," he said.

Features incorporated into Pulseway MSP include the ability to customize and white label reports and IT automation for backup jobs, security checks and other functions, according to Pulseway.

Mihalec also cited Pulseway MSP's integration with ticketing. The product ties into Pulseway's Business Management Software, a professional services automation tool. In addition, Pulseway offers MSPs a remote access capability via its Remote Desktop tool.

Next Steps

Read about RMM selection considerations

Find out about RMM's prospects for 2016

Learn about the pros and cons of integrated RMM security


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