Based on the feedback of our loyal readers, we’re proud to bring you product reviews as a new editorial inclusion this year. Because of the growing interest in the managed services business model, we kicked off our testing with RMM software. Remote Technology Management (RTM), an MSP based in the Boston area and headed up by CEO Eric Brown, performed the testing over a four-week period. Brown, along with his team of technology consultants, tested seven RMM tools and shared feedback on the highlights and lowlights of each one. The seven RMM tools tested were from the following vendors: Continuum, GFI, Kaseya, LabTech, Level Platforms, N-able, and Dell packetTrap.
Below are RTM’s comments on one of the vendors tested. To view the entire product test, which compares all seven RMM products, click here.
Does the RMM vendor have a NOC?
GFI announced NOC support for its resellers in late November 2012 through California-based Cloud Services Depot. For an additional monthly fee, GFI resellers can incorporate this service into their GFI MAX managed services offering.
Agent vs. Agentless
GFI uses an agent, which installs easily, and does an immediate verification of its default checks. The agent allows the installer to specify an alternative password. Also, the agent can be installed manually, via Group Policy, or as an executable for a remote worker to run.
SaaS vs. On-Premise
GFI is deployed as a SaaS, apart from the agents that run on any managed servers and workstations. The rest of the system is cloud based. No hardware is required. You can designate one of the existing servers or workstations as a "Site Concentrator" so that software patches and updates are downloaded once rather than individually for each node.
MDM (mobile device management) Support
GFI recently acquired VizualMobile and is expected to be integrating MDM functionality into GFI MAX in Q1 of 2013. It's not clear whether MDM will be considered a regular node in terms of pricing. Also, it's not yet clear whether MDM will be part of the basic GFI package or an optional add-on (i.e. extra expense) like managed antivirus and managed backup.
In addition to included services such as remote access and patch management, GFI offers managed antivirus and managed online backup add-ons for a small monthly fee.
Note: Currently, the GFI Vipre (antivirus) will not remove competitive AV products. Vipre can only be installed after other AV products are manually removed.
Patch Management: Can centrally manage when patches are installed and whether required reboot is done, but cannot selectively apply patches (e.g. install critical security patches but not IE v9).
Alerts can be sent via email at no cost or SMS messages at $0.10/message.
What’s Your Overall Assessment? Explain
Pros: GFI offered the fastest onboarding time of any vendor (2 hours). For a VAR/MSP that already understands RMM software, this is a nice convenience.
Cons: Last Reboot Time not always accurate. (TEST-PC didn't reflect recent manual reboot; tried to re-run DSC Checks and got the following message: "This action will be performed when device RTM-TEST-PC comes back online.")
During another test, one other inconsistency was noted:
On the GFI dashboard, it showed, "No patches found." But on the workstation being monitored, Automatic Updates listed 18 patches to install.