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RMM software (short for Remote Monitoring and Management Software) is a software type used by IT professionals and organizations to remotely manage and monitor networks and endpoints.

How Does RMM Software Work?

A service provider has to deploy the agent software on the client’s endpoints and servers to be able to connect the RMM software to the client’s systems. Next, the agent harvests information on machine health status and then transmits the data to the RMM’s dashboard, from which the MSP is able to monitor and control all the processes.

Remote monitoring and management software also includes a ticketing system: whenever the agent senses any endpoint or network issues, it produces a warning (or ticket) and delivers it to the MSP (managed service provider) to alert it of the issue. Therefore, it enables the service provider to choose how to proceed and address the problem, sorting the issues based on their severity.

This process helps the MSP gain access to a real-time overview of the customer’s network and keep devices up-to-date. In addition, MSPs can track and handle the problems proactively before they enter the equation as a major disaster and remotely address them, from any location in the world.

RMM software typically supports Windows, Linux, and macOS devices as well as Android and iOS compatibility.

Key Functions of RMM Software

The key functions of any RMM software are:

  • monitoring, alerting, and reporting capabilities: systems and networks are monitored 24/7 as IT admins can proactively be alerted on potential issues, establish automated workflows and generate analytics on several reporting aspects like asset inventory or network activity;
  • IT management functions (such as patching or ticket tracking) can be performed on the client’s systems: this helps with patch management and troubleshooting;
  • all tasks can be conducted remotely rather than on-site.

What Are the Benefits of Using RMM Software?

Here are the benefits of RMM software:

  • gives you comprehensive analytics and reporting: you would be able to run reports that monitor and track your assets, networks, and overall system health and performance and keep a reliable record for compliance purposes;
  • offers proactive management and maintenance due to its automation capabilities: Remote monitoring and management software allows you to automate routine tasks like OS updates and software patching (be them Windows or third-party), maintain an asset inventory, detect and fix cybersecurity mishaps as well as automate script scheduling;
  • all is managed from a centralized dashboard: an RMM software includes a real-time, unified dashboard, with a single-pane-of-glass view of all clients and the machines that need to be monitored and managed, which will enable a faster reaction time to critical problems and make for a stable and reliable tool in your cybersecurity strategy;
  • offers mobile device management: mobile devices must also be accounted for by today’s IT management solutions, as remote workers make up a great part of today’s workforce;
  • easy setup: the RMM tool quickly discovers devices and easily installs agents, which decreases the time it takes you to get your remote IT management program ready to launch;
  • helps MSPs keep employment costs down and work efficiently;
  • MSPs can remotely support their customers, thus cutting down the amount of time they would otherwise need for on-site visits;
  • enables MSPs to close deals with customers beyond their local markets;
  • SMBs (small businesses) can benefit from enterprise-class automation and monitoring;
  • customers have to pay a fixed monthly price;
  • the end-user experience is improved because there are no interruptions during maintenance.

A Brief List of Open-Source RMM

Now that you’ve learned what RMM software means and what are its benefits, you’d want to know about some free tools that might help you. Here is a list of some useful open-source RMM:

#1 ITarian

  • lets you perform operations management, troubleshooting, system tracking, file control, and scheduling maintenance;
  • has role-based permissions that enable secured access to resources;
  • serves as a patch management tool;
  • lets you implement audit logs;
  • allows you to control remote devices from different locations;
  • supports automated monitoring of device status;
  • tickets are automatically assigned to agents;
  • has an online product community forum;
  • has LDAP and Active Directory integration;
  • supports backup and recovery.

#2 OpenNMS Horizon

  • includes tools for monitoring services, measuring performance, provisioning devices, and managing events;
  • allows overall network performance tracking.

#3 OpenRSM

  • supports three main modules: Connect Managed control, network monitoring, and asset management;
  • includes functionalities like user credential management, path distribution, server setup, software delivery, and system auditing as well as status reporting;
  • works both on Windows and Linux;
  • has the capacity to bypass virtualized resources which means that it can query the OS and hardware of virtual machines instances.

#4 Mesh Commander

  • only for devices with the Intel AMT platform;
  • supports backup and recovery;
  • includes network monitoring, patch management, IT asset management, and mobile access;
  • real-time terminal troubleshooting;
  • supports user authentication protocols for access control to server resources purposes.

#5 Tactical RMM

  • supports remote desktop control through MeshCentral;
  • includes Windows patch management and remote command and script execution;
  • thanks to automating check you can be alerted via SMS or email;
  • includes hardware and software inventory, service management, and real-time remote shell.

How Can Heimdal™ Help?

Of course, a free tool is handier, however, it comes at a cost: limited functionalities. A paid tool or a set of tools gives you a broader perspective and capabilities when you want to implement your remote monitoring and management strategy.

From the Heimdal broad range of products we can recommend Heimdal eXtended Detection and Response, so you can benefit from:

  • alerting on infection, environment monitoring, and validation of policy checking;
  • accurate detection enabled through data collected from your network;
  • systemized reporting on online threats, potential risks, and vulnerabilities;
  • smooth customer experience;
  • human expertise combined with Artificial Intelligence for a 24/7 live assistance;
  • and many more you can learn about in the corresponding Product Sheet.

Or Heimdal Remote Desktop that will provide you with:

  • compatibility with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS;
  • easy connection with your employees and customers;
  • custom data-transmission engine;
  • screen, clipboard, and content sharing as well as ultra-high-quality streaming;
  • 3 ways to function: agent-to-agent, dashboard-to-agent, and dashboard-to-no-agent communication;
  • improved remote session security through double encryption;
  • and many more you can learn about in the corresponding Product Sheet.

However, feel free to explore and learn more about our products by checking out our HOME PAGE.

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Bottom Line

As an MSP, you are in charge of the health and security of the IT ecosystems of your clients, which means you need to have access to the proper instruments that will efficiently track and control their environments. Stay away from a break-fix model and choose preemptive IT remote management that comes with great RMM software.

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This article was initially written by Bianca Soare in 2020 and edited by Andra Andrioaie in 2022.

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Andra Andrioaie

Security Enthusiast

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Hi! My name is Andra and I am a passionate writer interested in a variety of topics. I am curious about the cybersecurity world and what I want to achieve through what I write is to keep you curious too!

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