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The Ultimate Guide To Server Management Software

by Jen Seitz
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The step-by-step guide to determining what server management software works for your organization. 

Server management software can become the framework that supports the communications and operations of your organization. Your choice of the perfect server management software can impact the physical, virtual, and logical health of your network. Of course, your needs differ from other organizations, and the right software application has to address your specific hardware, software, and security requirements. 

While every organization has different needs, it’s a universal trend that enterprises are relying heavily on server management software tools to optimize and support their IT architecture, automation, and design. 

Why Network Server Management Matter 

An optimized and well-functioning network is imperative in today’s interconnected, highly competitive world. Gartner quantifies the estimated cost of network downtime in the ballpark of $5,600 per minute, which may be a low estimate for technology-dependent businesses such as e-commerce enterprises. The structure of your network may grow more and more complex over time as it expands to support your business objectives, requiring even more technology solutions to keep things running smoothly. Server management software tools abound to simplify processes, automate, and add layers of security. Let’s explore what they have to offer your organization.

 Also read: Enterprise Networking Trends in 2021

What Network Server Management Software Can Do for Your Business 

Before diving into which server management software is best for your business, it’s a viable exercise to set expectations of the pros and cons of the solution.

  • The Pros of Server Management Software Include: 
    • Centralized Visibility - You can create a centralized address for your IT stack, which can allow you to manage your licenses, streamline a dashboard for stakeholders, and add a layer of security.
    • Eliminated Silos - One of the biggest challenges of any business is extra capital tied up in overlapping roles. Your server management software software can streamline communications and destroy silos that drain productivity.
    • Management Made Easy - When updates or changes are needed, the IT team can tap in and deploy with a fraction of the time and effort.

  • Some Disadvantages include:
    • Costs do exist - There is a real cost to taking on server management software that can be prohibitive to some tight budgets.
    • Labor will still be required -  Management can be needed for license setup, procurement, and deployment processes.
    • Updated equipment is needed - If your company's IT assets are older, they may need to be updated to work with the server management solution you need.

Also read: New Momentum for IPv6 Deployment

Top Network Server Management Software

LogicMonitor 

LogicMonitor is a popular choice for those seeking a hybrid software-as-a-service (SaaS) network monitoring and management platform. This solution will fit your needs if your IT infrastructure is mostly in the cloud. Here are some quick facts to help you get to know LogicMonitor:

  • Supports both Windows and Linux systems
  • Agentless installation 
  • Automatically scans your network to locate all connected devices (manual option available)
  • Easy-to-use dashboard with a library of pre-built templates still offering customization
  • Custom alerts via email and SMS 
  • Supports both VMware ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Must have a web connection to operate. 
  • Custom pricing only

Datadog

Datadog is a simplified SaaS server management product that serves the main purpose of helping organizations monitor the applications they host in the cloud. It can monitor apps hosted in house. Some of the features of Datadog include:

  • More than 350 integrations with APIs and services and supports a number of network protocols, including TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) and SSH (Secure Shell). 
  • Easy to master interface with clean view of data 
  • Customization can be more cumbersome
  • Comes with in-depth Quick Start Guides and helpful pulldowns that walk you through the process  of customizing data views.
  • Varying pricing options that could make it fit into any budget 
  • Installation can more complex with the requirement to install multiple agents on each host system in your network

ManageEngine OpManager 

ManageEngine OpManager is an integrated network management solution that allows IT pros to do a wide range of things. Let’s dive into the reason many IT decision makers look to this solution for comprehensive support:

  • Supports many operations such as network performance monitoring, bandwidth analysis, configuration management, firewall management, storage monitoring, IP Address Management (IPAM) and Switch Port management (SPM)
  • View everything from your highly custom dashboard 
  • Offers automated workflows, intelligent alerting engines, configurable discovery rules, and intuitive dashboards
  • Offers extremely user-friendly GUI
  • No third-party code
  • 24x5 technical support
  • Discovery Rule Engine speeds up your device configuration by 10X
  • Free training tools, live webinars, and demos 

Paessler PRTG Network Monitor

Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is a popular on-premise server management software solution with a feature-rich design that offers extended device support. Here are some of the highlights of this product for consideration:

  • Must be installed on-premise, not cloud-based 
  • Caters to knowledgeable system administrators and IT teams but user-friendly 
  • Expensive, perpetual licensing model starting at $1,750 for 500 sensors
  • Additional cost for support
  • Installation is complex and requires a Microsoft Windows Server machine with at least two CPU cores and 3GB of RAM, as well as 250GB of storage space
  • Interface is web-based
  • Network maps provide deep insights into your network’s performance.
  • Offers auto-discover feature to populate all of the devices on your network with manual option

Progress WhatsUp Gold

Progress WhatsUp Gold is a popular option that’s been around for a while. Let’s drill down on some of its features and how they might fit into your needs:

  • Per-device licensing plan starts at $2,740 for 25 devices, custom price quote may be required past 25
  • Solely for Windows-based systems and can only be installed locally, but installation is a simple
  • Slick and user-friendly interface that is a cinch to configure
  • No support customized reports, but exporting to Microsoft Excel or Adobe Acrobat files is an option
  • Large suite of plug-ins available to add on at an additional cost

Effectively Monitoring Your Network 

Monitoring everything connected to your network is more important than ever, and simultaneously more complicated than ever. As you seek insights and views of your physical and virtual devices, switches, routers, wireless access points, firewalls, cloud resources, services, and applications as well as how they impact end users and the organization as a whole, you are forced to seek multiple vendors. Fixing problems fast to eliminate downtimes and limit risk exposure is tougher when layers get thick. Your choice of the right server management software can make this task simplified, streamlined, and successful. In fact, it can be the backbone of your visibility into your entire technology suite. The key is choosing the one that works with your needs and your budget.

  Also read: NinjaRMM vs. ConnectWise Automate: A Head-to-Head Comparison

This article was originally published on Tuesday Feb 2nd 2021