Best Systems Management Tools

Centralizing the management of IT assets makes it easier to stay productive. Maintaining your infrastructure helps to mitigate security and performance concerns so that your employees can work freely without being held back by downtime or sluggish performance.

To manage and monitor lots of systems effectively you need a systems management tool. Systems management software and tools enable network administrators to manage infrastructure and applications from one location.

Here is our list of the best systems management tools and software:

  1. NinjaOne EDITOR’S CHOICE A remote monitoring and management system that automates many standard system management tasks. Suitable for centralized IT departments and managed service providers. Start a 14-day free trial.
  2. SuperOps RMM (FREE TRIAL) A cloud-based package of services that allows MSP technicians to manage the systems of their clients. Start a 14-day free trial.
  3. Site24x7 (FREE TRIAL) A cloud-based platform of system monitors that cover websites, applications, servers, and networks. Start a 30-day free trial.
  4. ManageEngine Endpoint Central (FREE TRIAL) A unified endpoint management solution for local or remote sites that includes regular maintenance routines and onboarding services. Available for Windows Server or as a cloud-based service. Start a 30-day free trial.
  5. Paessler PRTG Network Monitor (FREE TRIAL) A network monitoring tool with autodiscovery that can find devices and recommend appropriate sensors. Start a 30-day free trial.
  6. ManageEngine Applications Manager (FREE TRIAL) A monitoring system that tracks on-premises and cloud resources, following their performance and dependencies. Available for Windows Server and Linux. Start a 30-day free trial.
  7. Faddom This hybrid software package discovers all devices connected to a network and maps them. It also performs application dependency mapping and is able to monitor both networks and applications. Runs as a virtual appliance.
  8. Atera A cloud-based service that offers packages of technician tools for use by remote support teams that can be working for in-house IT departments or managed service providers. Bundles also include MSP management systems.
  9. N-able N-sight A remote monitoring and management tool that enables central IT departments to manage IT systems on remote sites.
  10. SolarWinds Systems Management Bundle A system monitoring bundle of four tools including a server monitoring tool, virtualization manager, storage resource monitor, and web performance monitor.
  11. Nagios XI Infrastructure monitoring tool with graphical displays, capacity planning capabilities, integrated APIs, and a community’s worth of add-ons.
  12. Zabbix Open-source system monitoring solution with out-of-the-box configurations for popular device vendors and network health/performance monitoring.
  13. OP5 Monitor Open source-network monitoring tool that can monitor SNMP devices, with configurable alerts and a reporting system.
  14. KACE Systems Management Appliance Systems management platform that can monitor devices, run vulnerability scans, deploy patches, and generate alerts.
  15. ConnectWise Automate Systems management tool with autodiscovery, automation, and virtual patching.

The Best Systems Management Tools

Our methodology for selecting systems management tools for this list

We reviewed the market for systems management solutions and assessed the options based on the following criteria:

  • A discovery service to generate an asset inventory
  • Automated maintenance task performance
  • Software license management
  • Remote access tools
  • Technician activity logging
  • A free trial or a demo system that provides a free assessment period
  • Value for money from a system that improves technician efficiency

Taking this list of requirements into consideration, we found a group of systems management packages that include both on-premises and SaaS packages.

1. NinjaOne (FREE TRIAL)

NinjaOne System Management

NinjaOne – formerly NinjaRMM – is a cloud-based platform that provides all the monitoring and system management tools that an IT department needs to support multiple sites. The service allows multi-tenant accounts, so it can be used by managed service providers (MSPs) to manage the IT systems of several clients simultaneously.

Key Features

  • Multi-Tenant Architecture: Ideal for MSPs managing multiple client systems.
  • Remote Access: Offers built-in capabilities for troubleshooting without full session initiation.
  • Custom Scripts: Supports deployment of bespoke scripts across multiple clients.

Why do we recommend it?

NinjaOne is an RMM package that includes a ticketing system. This tool has a lot of management functions alongside its automated monitoring services. The package includes patching for Windows, Linux, macOS, and software packages. The tool automates maintenance tasks and also provides remote access for manual maintenance and troubleshooting exercises.

The service includes an initial system scan to discover all of a network and log all devices connected to it. This creates a hardware and software inventory, which is the basis of all system management utilities in the NinjaRMM package.

Device management facilities in the NinjaOne platform include an onboarding system that allows standard configurations and software profiles to be stored. This can automatically set up devices in bulk or individually. Other management systems for endpoints are patch and update management and software license management.

If new devices are added to the network or a device is removed, NinjaOne automatically detects the change, updates the asset inventory, and alerts an operator. NinjaOne provides constant automated monitoring of all system events and network activity.

Who is it recommended for?

This cloud-based system is able to manage multiple sites and it has a multi-tenant architecture for use by managed service providers when running the systems of multiple clients within the same master account. The package rivals Atera, N-able N-sight, and SuperOps RMM. It is able to integrate with PSA packages for MSP business management.

Pros:

  • Integration-Friendly: Supports over 120 integrations, enhancing its value for established organizations.
  • Customizable Interface: Tailors monitoring and management for specific client needs.

Cons:

  • Device List Navigation: Could benefit from improved filters and search functionalities.

The NinjaOne system is charged for by subscription with a rate per monitored device. The console for the platform is accessed through any standard browser. You can access a 14-day free trial of NinjaOne to check it out for yourself. You can also request a free detailed quote for your circumstances.

EDITOR'S CHOICE

NinjaOne is our top pick for a systems management tool because it is designed for a central team of administrators to run multiple sites. The package provides greater efficiency and cost savings by automating many of the tasks that an IT department traditionally performs manually. Greater cost savings are particularly vital for manager service providers. MSPs need to offer companies a better price for looking after IT systems than those businesses can achieve by running those systems themselves. Automation also means that a single technician can look after many business systems simultaneously. Highly skilled human resources are very expensive and removing the need for manual intervention in many IT management functions is the key to bringing down operating costs.

Official Site: https://www.ninjaone.com/freetrialform/

OS: Cloud-based

2. SuperOps RMM (FREE TRIAL)

SuperOps_AI RMM

SuperOps RMM is a cloud-based service that provides all of the tools that an MSP’s technicians need to monitor and manage the systems of their clients.

Key Features

  • Cloud-Based Service: Offers flexibility and accessibility from anywhere.
  • Automated Asset Discovery: Keeps inventory continuously updated with minimal effort.
  • Patch Management: Ensures systems are up-to-date and secure.
  • Alert System: Notifies technicians of issues for prompt resolution.

Why do we recommend it?

SuperOps RMM is a rival to the Atera system and there are a few more RMM systems like SuperOps coming up further down in this review. An RMM is a remote monitoring and management package. It provides all of the tools that the technicians in a centralized IT support entity need.

The SuperOps RMM package is a SaaS platform. It includes routines that scour an enrolled network and document all of the equipment that it discovers. This asset inventory forms the basis of continuous system monitoring. The autodiscovery process repeats periodically, keeping the asset inventory up to date.

The monitoring service queries network devices and endpoints for statuses. It also monitors resource usage. The monitor is driven by thresholds and if one of those gets crossed, an alert gets raised. The notification feature in SuperOps enables automated, unattended system monitoring. Technicians only need to get involved when a problem arises.

Other features in this systems management package include a Patch Management service. This works off a software inventory that is compiled by the asset discovery system. The patch manager constantly polls the sites of software providers for updates. When a patch becomes available, the SuperOps Patch Management system copies over the installer, queues the patch up, and applies it at the next available maintenance window.

Who is it recommended for?

This system is based in the cloud and so can be accessed from anywhere through a Web browser and it is able to manage remote systems anywhere in the world. As such, it is suitable for use by businesses that have many sites to monitor and it is also a good choice for managed service providers.

Pros:

  • Efficient Monitoring: Automatic discovery and documentation streamline system management.
  • Unattended Monitoring: Alert system reduces the need for constant manual oversight.
  • Comprehensive Management: Offers a suite of tools for thorough system management, including patch management.

Cons:

  • Limited Endpoint Support: Does not support Linux or macOS endpoints, limiting its applicability.

The SuperOps service is offered in four plans, which are all charged for by subscription. Three of these four plans include the RMM module and all of them offer a professional services automation (PSA) package. You can experience any of the plans on a 14-day free trial.

SuperOps RMM Start 14-day FREE Trial

3. Site24x7 (FREE TRIAL)

Site24x7 Network Map

Site24x7 is a cloud-based platform of monitoring tools. The platform includes a large number of individual monitoring tools and they are bundled into packages. These packages are:

  • Website Monitoring
  • Site24x7 Infrastructure
  • Application Performance Monitor
  • All-in-one
  • MSP

Why do we recommend it?

Site24x7 is a cloud platform of system monitoring and management tools. The company is a subdivision of ManageEngine and its tools are built to a very high standard. The platform’s system management functions include automated device discovery and inventory management. It also provides log management but it doesn’t offer patch management.

The theme of each package is evident from its name. However, there is a great deal of overlap in the contents of the plans. For example, the website monitoring features in the Website Monitoring plan are also included in all other plans. The Application Performance Monitor and the Infrastructure plan have very similar modules.

Key Features

  • Diverse Monitoring: Offers network, server, application, and website monitoring in one platform.
  • Root Cause Analysis: Facilitates faster issue resolution.
  • Flexible Plans: Suits both small businesses and larger enterprises.

All of the plans include server monitoring and network monitoring features, so all can be said to contribute toward system management.

Another element of all plans is the Site24x7 Log Management module. This collects Windows Events and Syslog messages as well as the log messages that many application s put out. The Log Manager collects log messages, converts them into a common format, and stores them in files. The system also includes a data viewer that includes features to sort, filter, and group records for analysis.

Who is it recommended for?

Site24x7’s strengths are with system monitoring rather than management. The company provides all modules in packages, so you get network, server, and application monitoring plus options for cloud platform and website monitoring. Packages are sized and priced to be accessible to small businesses with capacity add-ons for larger enterprises.

Pros:

  • Cloud-Based Efficiency: Reduces startup costs, particularly beneficial for new MSPs.
  • Multi-Channel Alerts: Supports a range of alert mechanisms including mobile push notifications.

Cons:

  • Trial Period: A longer trial would be beneficial for thorough testing of the platform’s capabilities.

Site24x7 offers each of its tools on a 30-day free trial.

Site24x7 Start 30-day FREE Trial

4. ManageEngine Endpoint Central (FREE TRIAL)

ManageEngine Desktop Central

ManageEngine Endpoint Central is a fleet management service for endpoints. This is a bundle of tools that includes all of the systems that you will need in order to manage the endpoints in your company’s inventory. The service is available in four editions and all of them include functions for system management, such as device discovery, patch management, software inventory tracking, and configuration management.

Key Features

  • Cross-Platform Support: Manages Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, and Linux devices.
  • In-Depth Reporting: Ideal for both enterprise management and MSPs.
  • Flexible Deployment: Available on-premise or as a SaaS offering.

Why do we recommend it?

ManageEngine Endpoint Central is a device monitoring and management service that can be extended by a mobile device management (MDM) package to become a full unified endpoint management (UEM) service. This system is available as a SaaS platform or for installation on Windows Server, Azure, or AWS.

The Endpoint Central system is able to manage devices running Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, and Linux. The highest plan also includes a Mobile Device Management module that supports devices running iOS, Android, and tvOS. This service is available to the other paid plans as an add-on. All plans also have a security monitoring add-on option.

Who is it recommended for?

This system is particularly aimed at IT departments. Its base package will manage endpoints running Windows, macOS, and Linux and the extended UEM also provides management for iOS and Android. There is a Free edition available for small businesses that will manage up to 25 endpoints.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive Management: Provides extensive device management capabilities.
  • Flexible Platform Support: Installs on Windows and Linux, offering more options than many on-premise tools.

Cons:

  • Learning Curve: Requires time to fully grasp the suite of monitoring tools offered by ManageEngine.

ManageEngine offers Endpoint Central in four editions. The lowest of these is Free and it is suitable for small businesses that have up to 25 devices. The three paid versions are Professional, Enterprise, and UEM. The Professional plan gets you desktop and laptop management functions and starts at $795 per year to manage 50 devices with access for a single technician. The Enterprise edition starts at $945 per year to manage 50 devices and it adds on software management and a self-service portal for users. The UEM edition adds on mobile device management and OS deployment features for a starting price of $1,095 per year to manage 50 devices.

You can get the software for Endpoint Central to install it on Windows Server or use the cloud-based SaaS version of the system. Both deployment options are available for a 30-day free trial.

ManageEngine Endpoint Central Download 30-day FREE Trial

5. Paessler PRTG Network Monitor (FREE TRIAL)

PRTG Network Monitor

Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is a network monitoring tool that can monitor infrastructure, traffic, and applications. PRTG Network Monitor automatically discovers devices by pinging IP ranges. Through the dashboard, you can monitor your network with real-time visualizations, including dials, maps, and charts.

Key Features

  • Customizable Sensors: Tailors monitoring to a wide range of applications and services.
  • Live Network Maps: Visualize complex network infrastructure in real-time.
  • Flexible Pricing: Based on the number of sensors used, suitable for various network sizes.

Why do we recommend it?

Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is a system for tracking the performance of networks, servers, middleware, services, and applications. There aren’t many system management tools in the package, however, it will assemble an IT asset inventory by automatically scanning the network and recording all of the devices that it encounters.

The server monitoring capabilities of PRTG Network Monitor are particularly diverse. The product can monitor mail servers, web servers, database servers, and file servers. There are unique sensors for databases like MySQL, Microsoft SQL, and Oracle SQL.

To keep you updated on security events, PRTG Network Monitor has an alerts system with an API for creating custom alerts. Whenever the system detects problematic activity it sends an alert through email, SMS, or push notification. Push notifications are available for users who download the free Android or iOS apps.

Who is it recommended for?

PRTG is a bundle of monitors, which are called “sensors.” you pay for an allowance of sensors and then you decide which to activate. If you only turn on 100 sensors, you don’t have to pay. PRTG is a software package for Windows Server and it is available as a SaaS platform.

Pros:

  • Integration Ecosystem: Supports many ticketing systems and messaging applications.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Monitors a broad spectrum of network, server, and application metrics.

Cons:

  • Technical Expertise Required: Setting up and integrating sensors necessitates a solid technical background.

There is a freeware version of PRTG Network Monitor for enterprises using less than 100 sensors. Then there is a range of versions that increase in price depending on the number of sensors you need to support. PRTG 500 starts at $1600 (£1,237) for 500 sensors and one server installation. You can download a 30-day free trial.

Paessler PRTG Network Monitor Download 30-day FREE Trial

6. ManageEngine Applications Manager (FREE TRIAL)

ManageEngine Applications Manager

ManageEngine Applications Manager is a vital monitoring system for the modern IT infrastructure. This tool is able to track both on-premises and cloud resources and track the implementation of virtual infrastructure as well as map the applications landscape that serves an organization.

Key Features

  • Application Dependency Mapping: Highlights interdependencies for better operational insight.
  • Cloud and Virtual Monitoring: Tracks both on-premise and cloud-based resources.
  • Log Monitoring: Offers detailed metrics for database and server health.

Why do we recommend it?

ManageEngine Applications Manager is able to discover all applications, services, middleware, and server resources on a system. It then draws up a dependency map, which shows which modules contribute to a user-facing application and which resources support them. The system is also able to track and map virtual infrastructure.

The applications that this system will monitor include fundamental, essential services for any business, such as databases, Web servers, and mail servers. In fact, this service can monitor 500 different applications.

Reaching out across the Internet, the Applications Manager will monitor cloud services, including virtual servers and storage facilities. The system also includes tools for testing and monitoring websites. These services include availability and response time monitoring and synthetic monitoring tools that exercise interactive elements in web pages.

ManageEngine offers the Applications Manager in three editions: Free, Professional, and Enterprise. The Enterprise plan includes very important distributed tracing functions, which are vital for businesses that use Web APIs and microservices. The Professional edition still includes plenty of useful tools, such as application dependency mapping and performance alerts.

Who is it recommended for?

The Applications Manager is available in a Free edition. This is able to monitor servers, databases, middleware, and cloud platforms but it is limited to five monitors. The paid editions have more capacity and they are also able to provide synthetic and real user monitoring for websites.

Pros:

  • Deployment Versatility: Can be installed on-premise or used in the cloud, offering flexibility.
  • Automated Detection: Identifies databases, server hardware, and devices in real-time.

Cons:

  • Complex Feature Set: Takes time to explore and understand all available options and features.

The Free edition of Applications Manager is limited to running five monitors. However, that isn’t the only path to getting the Applications Manager for free. ManageEngine Applications Manager is available for a 30-day free trial. If you choose not to buy the service pay the end of the trial period, your software switches over to the free version. The software installs on Windows Server and Linux.

ManageEngine Applications Manager Download 30-day FREE Trial

7. Faddom

Faddom Connections Map

Faddom is an on-premises software package that specializes in the discovery and mapping of any collection of assets. The system is particularly useful for application dependency mapping and network topology mapping. Once the discovery process has run the first time, you are presented with a plan of your system with each node providing a click-through to a details page. The system is able to provide ongoing monitoring of network and application performance.

Key Features

  • Continuous Mapping: Constantly updates environment mapping for accuracy.
  • Application Dependency Discovery: Identifies and monitors application dependencies.
  • Network Health Monitoring: Keeps track of network device health and bandwidth usage.

Why do we recommend it?

Faddom is an asset inventory management system that is based around a mapping system. The tool maps physical and virtual infrastructure on a site and also reaches out to cloud platforms. The system is also able to identify all applications and then crawl through all related components. This results in an application dependency map.

The discovery process repeats continuously, so the device inventory and maps get updated if any changes occur in the environment. The tool also provides a software inventory, which can be used for license management and patch management.

The application dependency mapping service provides a basis for activity monitoring for all layers of supporting services. It also enables you to implement Web application security.

Who is it recommended for?

The Faddom tool runs on-premises on its own virtualization system. This is a very expensive tool and won’t be suitable for small businesses. The tool is suitable for use by large companies that have constructed a complicated application landscape on a hybrid environment that includes physical, virtual, and cloud infrastructure.

Pros:

  • Dynamic Discovery and Mapping: Automated updates keep inventory and mappings current.
  • In-Depth Application Monitoring: Tracks application dependencies for comprehensive oversight.

Cons:

  • No Cloud Version: Lack of a cloud-based option limits deployment flexibility.

There are two editions for Faddom. The price for the package increases with the number of nodes that you want to track. The installation package for Faddom includes its own VM, so the service will run on any operating system. You can try out the Faddom system with a free trial.

8. Atera

Atera Dashboard

Atera is a bundle of software for managed service providers that includes professional service automation (PSA) and remote monitoring and management (RMM) systems. This is a multi-tenanted service.

Key Features

  • Patch Management: Ensures systems are updated and secure.
  • Monitoring Alerts: Alerts based on performance thresholds for proactive management.
  • Remote Access: Facilitates management of remote systems with ease.

Why do we recommend it?

Atera is a cloud platform that provides remote monitoring and management tools. The systems that an account on this platform can run can be located on multiple sites and it is also possible to include isolated remote devices. The package provides automated monitoring and management tools that include endpoint patching.

The package is able to manage endpoints running Windows, Windows Server, and macOS. When a system is enrolled in the monitoring service, an agent needs to be downloaded onto each monitored device. This facilitates remote access and it also gathers software information. This creates a software inventory.

The patch manager refers to the OS and software versions registered in its inventory and regularly checks with the providers of those packages for updates. When one is available, the Atera system copies over and saves the installer. This will be installed during the next available maintenance window.

As well as offering these system management features, Atera includes automated monitoring services. These are based around a system of thresholds placed on each of the performance and resource utilization metrics that it tracks. When one of those levels is crossed, the Atera system raises an alert.

Atera’s PSA functions add on client and contract management features that also include automated timesheet generation for billing. As well as offering these system management features, Atera includes automated monitoring services. These are based around a system of thresholds placed on each of the performance and resource utilization metrics that it tracks. When one of those levels is crossed, the Atera system raises an alert.

Who is it recommended for?

Atera produces two versions of its platform. One is multi-tenanted for use by managed service providers and the other is a consolidated account for IT departments. The package includes a ticketing system for serving a user community. Subscriptions are priced per technician, which makes this platform accessible t businesses of all sizes.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive Device Management: Includes discovery, inventory scanning, and remote access.
  • Automated Maintenance: Streamlines system upkeep with scheduled and on-demand patching.

Cons:

  • Limited OS Support: No support for Linux agents, restricting its use in mixed-OS environments.

Atera is a subscription service with three plans. The system can be paid for monthly or yearly with a lower monthly rate for the annual subscription.

9. N-able N-sight

N-able N-sight Server Monitoring

N-able N-sight is a SaaS remote monitoring and management software package that supports the management of all types of IT resources.

Key Features

  • SaaS Model: Offers scalability and easy access via the cloud.
  • Asset Management: Efficiently manages IT assets with automatic discovery.
  • Task Automation: Streamlines routine maintenance and incident response.
  • Data Security Features: Tracks sensitive data for compliance purposes.

Why do we recommend it?

N-able N-sight is another RMM package and it also provides a ticketing system, which makes it a very close match to Atera. The system includes automated monitoring utilities for networks, servers, and applications and it also provides asset management functions, such as equipment inventory creation and patching for endpoints.

The system monitors networks, servers, endpoints, mobile devices, and applications and it includes extensive systems management facilities. The systems management functions in the software service include task automation for regular maintenance jobs and for problem resolution and incident response. The system also includes a network discovery feature that takes care of inventory documentation and it is able to track down PII and track access to it for data security standards requirements.

Being a SaaS system, this service includes all of the supporting resources needed to run the RMM. This means that the company using this RMM doesn’t need to provide server space for file storage or processing power to run the monitoring and management software.

The dashboard for the service is hosted on N-able servers and it can be accessed through any standard web browser or a special mobile app. The systems being monitored and managed can be located anywhere, as long as they are connected to the internet. The management functions also give controls over cloud-based resources.

Who is it recommended for?

N-able N-sight is designed for use by IT departments and smaller managed service providers. N-able provides N-central RMM for large MSPs. This package aims to provide a service efficiency of 100 endpoints per technician. That’s a great cost saver and the cloud-based provision of this tool brings costs down further.

Pros:

  • Versatile Monitoring Dashboard: Suitable for MSPs and NOC teams of various sizes.
  • Remote Administration: Offers a wide range of automated options for remote support.

Cons:

  • Complexity: The platform’s breadth of features requires time to fully understand and utilize.

There are no setup fees for N-able N-sight and the service is charged for by subscription with no deposit required. N-able N-sight removes all of the upfront costs that other system management tools usually require. N-able N-sight is available for a 30-day free trial.

10. SolarWinds Systems Management Bundle

SolarWinds Systems Management Bundle - AppStack Environment systems status view

SolarWinds Systems Management Bundle is a system monitoring bundle that includes four different tools: SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor, SolarWinds Virtualization Manager, SolarWinds Storage Resource Monitor, and SolarWinds Web Performance Monitor. These tools automatically discover infrastructure and applications throughout your network.

Key Features

  • Comprehensive Monitoring Suite: Offers a full range of monitoring for servers, applications, and web performance.
  • PerfStack Dashboard: Visualize performance data with graphs and charts for easy analysis.
  • Orion Platform Integration: Seamlessly integrates with SolarWinds’ Orion platform for enhanced capabilities.
  • AppStack View: Provides a holistic view of application and network health in one dashboard.

Why do we recommend it?

SolarWinds provides a range of system management and monitoring packages that are all based on a common platform, called Orion. The company provides bundles of modules including the Systems Management Bundle. This group includes the Server Configuration Manager, the Server & Application Monitor, the Log Analyzer, and the Virtualization Manager.

Performance can be monitored through the PerfStack dashboard. The dashboard displays performance data as graphs and charts. There are also over 1,200 infrastructure monitoring templates to help you get up and running ASAP.

SolarWinds Systems Management Bundle - Appstack Environment view

Overall, we particularly like the AppStack dashboard view that helps network admins visualize application instances, server instances, transactions, hosts, virtual datacenters, and more all in the one view.

Who is it recommended for?

This is a package that is suitable for use by large organizations. The software runs on Windows Server and SolarWinds actually has more system management modules that you can add on. These include the Network Configuration Manager, the IP Address Manager, the Database Performance Analyzer, and the Access Rights Manager.

Pros:

  • Extensive Coverage: Monitors a wide range of systems including applications, networks, and infrastructure.
  • Rapid Deployment: Over 1200 templates for quick setup and immediate insights.
  • Customizable Alerts: Configurable notifications via SMS, email, or third-party apps for real-time updates.
  • User-Centric Customization: Allows creation of personalized dashboards and reports for tailored monitoring.

Cons:

  • Complexity for Non-IT Users: Designed primarily for IT professionals, challenging for non-technical users to navigate.

You can pick and choose which products you want to use in the bundle. SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor is the server monitoring solution and costs $2,995 (£2,316). SolarWinds Virtualisation Manager is the virtualization management component that costs $2,995 (£2,316).

SolarWinds Storage Resource Monitor is a storage management platform that starts at $2,995 (£2,316). SolarWinds Web Performance Monitor is a website monitoring tool that starts at $1,995 (£1,543). You can start a 30-day free trial.

11. Nagios XI

Nagios XI

Nagios XI is an infrastructure management tool that provides a top-down perspective of network performance. Customizable dashboards give you complete control over how your network is monitored. There is a range of displays, including graphs and maps you can use to monitor network performance.

Key Features

  • Extensive Customization: Offers a customizable dashboard for tailored monitoring.
  • Automated Capacity Planning: Assists in resource allocation and planning.
  • Robust API: Facilitates integration with custom applications.

Why do we recommend it?

Nagios XI is a system monitoring tool for networks, servers, services, middleware, cloud platforms, and applications. An autodiscovery feature in the package records all devices on your network and creates a topology map. The tool also compiles a network device inventory and updates this with constant checks.

Features like automated capacity planning graphs keep you aware of the status of your current systems. Scheduling capacity planning reports help you to make sure that your usage requirements don’t exhaust your resources and put you out of action.

The extensibility of Nagios XI makes it a top-notch product. There are APIs for integrating with external applications and a range of add-ons developed by the community on the Nagios Exchange. The plugins on Nagios Exchange allow you to further customize your monitoring experience.

Who is it recommended for?

Nagios XI installs on Linux but you can also run it over VMware or Hyper-V if you only have servers running Windows. The package is quite expensive and small businesses with tight budgets should look at the free version, Nagios Core. Explore the free plug-in library to extend functionality.

Pros:

  • Open-Source Flexibility: Provides transparency and customization through open-source architecture.
  • Diverse Alerting Options: Supports a range of notifications including SMS and email.

Cons:

  • Technical Setup: Installation and configuration can be complex and demanding.
  • Integration Limitations: Could benefit from more integrations with ticketing systems.

There are two versions of Nagios XI available to purchase; Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition. The Standard Edition starts at $1,995 (£1,512) with features including configuration wizards and reports. The Enterprise Edition starts at $3,495 (£2,703) and includes features like capacity planning reports, audit logging, and more. You can download the free trial.

12. Zabbix

Zabbix screenshot

Zabbix is an open-source system monitoring solution. Zabbix blends server, cloud, application, and network monitoring into one platform. You can monitor network health, bandwidth usage, and configuration changes. The visualization capabilities are vast with everything from charts and graphs to cluster displays (logical maps of clusters).

Key Features

  • Comprehensive IT Asset Management: Tracks a wide range of metrics for device health.
  • Flexible Alerting: Supports various notification methods, including third-party integrations.
  • Adaptable with Add-ons: Enhances functionality with free, community-provided add-ons.

Why do we recommend it?

Zabbix is a respectable, free system monitoring service that competes well with paid tools, such as Nagios XI. This package runs on-premises and you can customize and expands it through a library of templates. This system will discover and map your network, creating an equipment inventory.

Templates provide you with out-of-the-box configurations, graphs and discovery rules for a range of vendors. There are templates available for Cisco, Dell, Intel, Juniper Networks, Huawei, Netgear, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and more. There is also a range of additional templates and modules that can be found on the community site.

Who is it recommended for?

Zabbix is written for Linux and it has agents that will monitor devices running Windows and macOS across the network from its Linux host. The package can also be run over Docker, virtualizations, or hosted on cloud platforms. The free tool is attractive for small businesses but it is also used by large organizations.

Pros:

  • Free and Open-Source: Offers a no-cost solution with premium features.
  • Wide Monitoring Range: Tracks connectivity, power consumption, temperature, and more.

Cons:

  • Community-Dependent Support: Relies on the community for support and bug fixes, which can be unpredictable.
  • Linux-Only Deployment: Limits usability to Linux environments, excluding other platforms.

Zabbix is recommended for enterprises that want a low-cost tool with premium functionality. Zabbix is available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Oracle, Linux, Ubuntu, Debian, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and Raspbian. You can download the software for free.

13. OP5 Monitor

OP5 Monitor

OP5 Monitor is an open-source network and SNMP monitoring tool. OP5 Monitor has an auto-discovery feature that automatically discovers devices connected to the network. Once the program discovers your SNMP-enabled devices, you can start to monitor performance and availability. There is out-of-the-box support for a range of vendors to reduce the level of configuration needed.

Key Features

  • Automated Inventory Management: Keeps track of assets efficiently.
  • Performance Monitoring: Offers insights into network and server performance.
  • SLA Templates: Facilitates service level agreement compliance.

Why do we recommend it?

ITRS OP5 Monitor tracks the performance of IT assets in hybrid environments. The tool includes a discovery routine that registers all assets in an inventory. This process repeats so that the inventory is kept constantly up to date. This is a network monitor but it will also track the performance of servers and cloud platforms.

However, you can configure your own alert rules and notifications and configure notifications for networks, databases, and OS resources. For example, if key resources are running low on disk space or CPU load is unusually high then the software will send you a notification.

Reports allow you to further analyze your network activity. There is a range of reports including alert summary, alert history reports, availability reports, SLA reports, and more. Reports can be saved as PDF or CSV files.

Who is it recommended for?

OP5 Monitor runs on Linux. However, its capabilities for monitoring systems are not restricted to the site on which it is hosted. ITRS stresses the suitability of this tool for monitoring multiple sites and cloud platforms. This system probably won’t appeal to small businesses but it is suitable for mid-sized and large enterprises.

Pros:

  • User-Friendly Interface: Simplifies monitoring for team environments.
  • Onboarding Support: Provides assistance for new users, easing the adoption process.

Cons:

  • Community-Dependent Support: Relies on community for bug fixes and support.
  • Limited Compliance Reporting: Could benefit from more options in compliance-based reporting.

You can request pricing from the company directly (the price will depend on the number of devices that you are looking to support). Download the 30-day free trial.

14. KACE Systems Management Appliance

KACE systems management appliance

KACE Systems Management Appliance is a systems management platform that allows you to monitor computers, laptops, servers, tablets, printers, storage, and more. The software helps you to manage resource allocation, manage your inventory of IT assets, and perform software license management.

Key Features

  • Software License Management: Keeps track of software licenses and compliance.
  • Vulnerability Scanning: Identifies security risks for proactive management.
  • Comprehensive IT Management: Manages a wide range of IT assets effectively.

Why do we recommend it?

KACE Systems Management Appliance provides asset management with a particularly strong capability for software management. This extends to deployment automation and patching. The software deployment system lets you create software profiles for job roles or device types and then install them in bulk through a package. You can add on mobile device management.

The platform doesn’t just give you more visibility but also allows you to perform tasks like vulnerability scans and patching. Checking for vulnerabilities and remotely patching devices saves you time and reduces vulnerabilities that could potentially be exploited by an attacker. There are also alerts that notify you about performance events.

Who is it recommended for?

The KACE system is a good solution for mid-sized businesses. It is part of a large series of tools under the KACE brand that can all be integrated together. These include a Service Desk system for managing IT department tasks. The software for all KACE units runs on VMware or Hyper-V.

Pros:

  • Integrated Asset and License Management: Streamlines software and device management.
  • Security-Focused Features: Enhances IT security posture with vulnerability scanning and patching.

Cons:

  • Not Ideal for MSPs: Better suited for in-house IT rather than managed service providers.
  • Pricing Transparency: Requires direct contact with the sales team for pricing information.

KACE Systems Management Appliance will work well with enterprises that want to manage IT assets from a single location. However, you will have to contact the sales team to view the pricing information. You can download the free trial.

15. ConnectWise Automate

ConnectWise Automate screenshot

ConnectWise Automate is a systems management platform that combines infrastructure monitoring with automation capabilities. ConnectWise Automate automatically discovers devices so they can be monitored. There are remote control sessions so you can automatically record remote sessions to monitor user activity and comply with auditing requirements.

Key Features

  • Automated Patching: Keeps systems up-to-date with minimal manual intervention.
  • Performance Monitoring: Tracks system performance for optimal operation.
  • Remote Management: Facilitates distant administration of IT assets.

Why do we recommend it?

ConnectWise Automate is a remote monitoring and management package that includes task automation features to optimize the capabilities of technical staff. The system management features of this package include system discovery and asset inventory creation, remote access for endpoint maintenance, and patch management.

ConnectWise Automate has an alerts system so that you receive notifications about performance issues and security events. Notifications ensure that you never miss any vulnerabilities or other issues that could affect your network.

Systems patching is one of the most useful features included with ConnectWise Automate. With the patching feature, you can patch Windows devices remotely. Patching devices remotely make your IT management process more efficient.

Who is it recommended for?

This package is suitable for use by in-house IT departments. This is a cloud-based system and you manage it through a Web-based console. This interface will guide you through the installation of an agent onto a host on your site. The tool is suitable for use by mid-sized organizations.

Pros:

  • All-in-One Dashboard: Integrates remote management, inventory, and reporting in one place.
  • Customizable Interface: Allows creation of tailored views for individuals or teams.

Cons:

  • Complex User Interface: Some areas, especially in reporting and management, can be confusing.
  • Limited Trial Period: A longer trial would be beneficial to fully explore the platform’s features.

ConnectWise Automate is a platform designed for environments where administrators seek to automate network monitoring tasks and reduce manual administration. To view the price for ConnectWise Automate you will have to contact the company directly. You can download the free trial.

Choosing systems management tools and software

Choosing the right systems management tool or software can be the difference between a normal productive day at the office or going back to the dark ages! All of the tools listed in this article are suitable for system management in modern IT environments.

If you’re looking for complete systems management packages, then the SolarWinds System Management Bundle or Paessler PRTG Network Monitor are great starting points. The latter would also work well in environments that desire a freeware product. If you want to go the open-source route then Zabbix is another excellent unified monitoring solution.

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