dcsimg
 

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

by Bobby Frank
article-image

Understand the differences between NinjaRMM and ConnectWise Automate, two of the top RMM systems. 

RMM Basics

Remote monitoring and management (RMM) systems streamline troubleshooting, managing, updating, and controlling hardware and software tasks across a network. RMMs allow internal IT departments and managed service providers (MSPs) to optimize performance and ensure that software and credentials are up to date. The automation built into RMMs dramatically reduces the time required to onboard and update endpoints. The resultant efficiency gains mean fewer IT personnel can support more endpoints which ultimately leads to cost savings and greater productivity for organizations of all sizes.

RMMs are built to manage complex enterprise networks. A typical network includes thousands of multi-platform endpoints, dozens of software applications, servers, IoT devices, networking devices and the bandwidth that connects everything. An optimized RMM provides a single-pane-of-glass view of an entire network that displays network health and highlights problematic areas and endpoints. Issues that once required hands-on attention are easily automated, which frees up resources to address more complex support and security tasks. An RMM also allows enterprise network managers to ensure policy compliance and create a secure environment through managed antivirus and automated patching. Ultimately, RMMs transform support into a proactive function focused on demonstrable and consistent performance at both the global and most granular levels.  

Core RMM functions include:

  • Real-time monitoring and alerts provide an immediate view of endpoint and network health and spotlight trouble with devices, servers and software before a user notices, reports or escalates.
  • Automation eliminates IT’s burden of performing routine updates, patches and configuration tasks. Preconfigured and user-built scripting provides full control of actions, timing and reporting.
  • Patch management seamlessly deploys software updates through planned/automated pushes or ad hoc in response to a threat or vulnerability.
  • Desktop and mobile device management provides a single-pane-of-glass view of all assets and allows stealth or visible remote access into any device for troubleshooting and maintenance without sharing credentials.
  • RMMs generally will automatically detect and add endpoints so IT can remotely configure and assign credentials securely.
  • Comprehensive reporting on endpoints, usage and issues document an RMM’s impact and demonstrate its value while built-in asset management functions provide a view of an organization’s software and hardware assets.     

NinjaRMM Overview

NinjaRMM is consistently ranked as a leading RMM solution for internal IT departments and MSPs. It is a full-featured solution that includes all of the tools typically built into an RMM. Users applaud the easy on-boarding, robust documentation, user interface, and the functionality of the mobile app. Setup is fast with a stated time to go-live of 18 days, which is considerably shorter than the industry average of 40-plus days. NinjaRMM includes script templates, but automations and custom scripting are easily added using Powershell, Batch, Javascript, Shellscript, or VBScript. There are nearly two dozen third-party integrations for remote access, security, backup, automation, asset management, and business intelligence including:

  • TeamViewer
  • ConnectWise Control and BrightGauge
  • Webroot
  • Bitdefender
  • Accelo
  • SherpaDesk
  • IT Glue

The software is sold on a subscription basis with graduated pricing starting at $3 per month per endpoint after a free trial period. On-boarding and training are free of charge and there are no maintenance fees or hidden costs. NinjaRMM claims that users can expect a 6-month ROI compared to more than 12 months for other solutions. Benefits include:

  • Rapid deployment
  • Fast payback and ROI
  • Graduated pricing
  • US-based support and excellent documentation
  • Intuitive UI
  • Cloud native application
  • Highly flexible with granular control at organizational, dynamic group or endpoint levels
  • Custom branding for MSPs

NinjaRMM functions seamlessly in an enterprise network context. The highly scalable cloud-native application easily handles tens of thousands of endpoints and provides best-in-class automation, monitoring, alerts, and documentation. Since the full feature set is browser accessible, NinjaRMM is well-suited for Covid-driven remote and decentralized work environments. 

ConnectWise Automate

The ConnectWise Automate (formerly LabTech) RMM is one component of a suite of products from ConnectWise that also includes business management, security management and expert services. The platform is sold as a comprehensive system, but since it is modular, each product can stand alone. Automate’s RMM features are also built into ConnectWise Command, which includes a fully staffed NOC and other complex enterprise-level features. While ConnectWise products are used by internal IT departments, the RMM is especially well-suited for MSPs.

As the name suggests, Automate’s toolset is focused on automating general IT maintenance to reduce the time and expense associated with remediating routine support issues. The platform is SQL-based and features a wide range of out-of-the-box scripts for common functions like managed antivirus, backup and recovery, software patching, system automation, messaging and maintenance-related tasks. While hundreds of scripts are a click away, every implementation is unique so having a Powershell resource available to write custom scripts may still be a good plan. Since the platform architecture makes it easy to deploy custom scripts across multiple clients, it is an efficient solution for MSPs.

Because it is part of a comprehensive suite, there are dozens of integrations available through the ConnectWise Marketplace that may be especially attractive in an enterprise network environment. These include other ConnectWise brands, but the integrations are primarily third-party services that have been vetted and certified. Users give high marks for extensibility as well as:

  • The library of scripts 
  • Device and asset management functions
  • Remote connection speed
  • Ease of adding endpoints and alerts
  • The ability to deploy self-service remediation tools for use by end users.

On the negative side, Automate is not cloud native and requires on-premise installation.  Not surprisingly, the .net client is full-featured but the web application only includes a fraction of the functions. Ease of setup, configuration and use are frequently rated less favorably than NinjaRMM, as is the quality of support. Pricing is non-standardized and must be negotiated based on the number of agents (endpoints) and features. ConnectWise charges an implementation fee that is based on the scope of the implementation and monthly fees for each agent running on the installation. Compared to NinjaRMM, Automate may be the more expensive option.

ConnectWise Automate is a proven solution that also offers additional business automation options through the larger company platform. Key features like device auto-detect, snappy remote access speed and the flexibility of pre-built or custom scripts match enterprise network-level requirements. The platform is highly scalable and can accommodate any endpoint and the asset management functions provide insights into network composition for informed purchase and end-of-life decisions. 

 Summary

Out of the box, NinjaRMM offers a flexible, cloud-native solution that is equally as attractive for in-house IT and MSP applications. ConnectWise Automate is best suited for MSPs and is especially powerful when combined with other components of the ConnectWise platform. It bundles all of the core RMM functions with a wide range of pre-written scripts and integrations that seamlessly connect third-party tools. Overall, NinjaRMM is considered to be the more user-friendly and economical option while users rank Automate’s core features like device and asset management slighter higher.

 

NinjaRMM

ConnectWise Automate

Monitoring & Alerts

X

Automation

X

X

Scripting

X

X

Patch Management

X

X

Managed Antivirus

X

X

Desktop and Mobile Device Management

X

X

Remote Access

X

X

Endpoint Auto-Detect

X

X

Reports

X

X

Asset Management

X

X

Pricing

Ease of Use

Setup

Documentation

Support

Integrations

Out-Of-The-Box Scripts

Self Service (End-User) Remediation

Custom Branding

X

X

Customizable Dashboards

X

X

Cloud-Native

HIPPA Compliant

X

X

GDPR Compliant

X

X

This article was originally published on Tuesday Dec 22nd 2020