It’s getting more and more challenging to monitor and keep track of ever-expanding networks, especially with the growing popularity of cloud-only and hybrid networks.
With remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools, you can help keep your network up and running because there’s nothing worse than servers that fail – and you don’t know about it.
What’s worse is when you can’t figure out why the servers have failed after finding out that they’re not working.
Thankfully, there’s a whole slew of RMM tools out there – which identify your network devices and offer statuses based on whether the devices are up and running or down and out.
Some such tools trigger alerts, help you with license management, or build up analytics and diagnostic data so you can find out what’s really happening. More recently, some tools come with machine learning (ML) technologies so IT experts can add to their skills in tracking down any potential issues.
SolarWinds is one of the big names in the RMM and infrastructure monitoring market. However, recent events like the Solorigate hacks put the tool’s vulnerabilities in the spotlight. So, it’s not the best at everything.
The SolarWinds Orion software hack led many thousands of users and business owners to ponder over which RMM tools they can use safely owing to the mistake of availing a backdoor to hackers.
Fortunately, there are several more versatile and scalable solutions that don’t have the dark cloud of data breaches hanging over their heads. Below are 15 SolarWinds alternatives to help you narrow down your search for the right tool.
Paessler PRTG is a collection of multiple sensors or monitors that cover the monitoring of servers, networks, and applications. You buy an allowance of the right sensors and activate that number to properly use the solution.
You can extend Paessler PRTG’s capabilities using plugins, add-ons, and scripts. Plus, the PRTG system has APIs that help you interact with sensors from a custom-designed program.
You can also automate using PRTG, but you’ll need ScriptRunner or other PowerShell programs. Paessler PRTG is built to monitor IT infrastructure, so it has no maintenance capabilities and few remediation tools – which SolarWinds also struggles with.
It’s the main rival to SolarWinds, though as it also installs on Windows Server, except that it’s also available in the cloud, unlike SolarWinds.
Both tools also offer a free 30-day trial, are based on SNMP, and have impressive capabilities for network topology mapping. You can also use Paessler PRTG to monitor remote sites, WiFi networks, and cloud-based resources along with traditional wired networks.
Paessler PRTG’s sensors extend to functions like NetFlow monitoring and traffic shaping measures, which you’d find sold separately by SolarWinds. This makes SolarWinds more expensive than Paessler PRTG’s base price.
Plus, Paessler PRTG is more flexible such that you don’t have to pay anything if you only turn on 100 sensors.
Paessler PRTG uses behavioral analysis and root cause analysis to identify suspicious or malicious activity and triage issues faster.
It also has a drag-drop editor for easier development of custom views and reports, and smaller organizations can benefit from the free version of Paessler PRTG.
Also Read: Best BrowserStack Alternatives
Atera is a cloud-based service that gives managed service providers a support package including professional services automation modules and remote monitoring and management functions.
The package can monitor applications, servers, and networks, and comes with other system management functions such as software license management and patch management. This makes it have more functionality compared to SolarWinds.
Both tools use the SNMP processes that offer network discovery, performance alerts, and live network equipment statuses. However, while both install on-site, Atera is an online service, while SolarWinds isn’t.
Atera doesn’t make you maintain servers to host its software, making it even more suitable for smaller managed service providers (MSPs) with small budgets as their network monitoring suite is fully available for those businesses.
Atera also charges its services by subscription per technician so you don’t have to pay all the costs of acquiring it upfront. You can pay annually or monthly with the former giving you lower rates.
Plus, Atera is lightweight, has a dashboard you can access from any browser, and you can scale and support multiple networks in an organized manner.
Explore: Best Istio Alternatives
NinjaOne is a package of RMM tools that deliver separate modules per task, unlike SolarWinds whose service is spread out over several units. What this means is that with SolarWinds, you have to buy multiple products just to get the services NinjaOne offers.
Plus, NinjaOne is specifically designed for MSPs while SolarWinds has the N-Able brand, which specifically caters to the MSPs market.
NinjaOne’s MSPs-first structure ensures that its users get multi-tenant capability so they can keep different clients’ data separate. And, NinjaOne’s setup enables credential management such that technicians cannot know remote system account passwords.
Another thing about NinjaOne is that IT Operations departments can use it to support several sites despite it being built for MSPs.
It’s also cloud-based so the local network is remote to the RMM software while SolarWinds is an on-premises package, meaning its strength lies in monitoring the local system.
NinjaOne also offers a configuration and automated patch manager, which in SolarWinds is available in specialist packages that you must buy separately and add to the endpoint and network monitoring packages.
Another major difference between the two tools is that NinjaOne has a ticketing system that channels tasks for allocation and scheduling while SolarWinds uses email and SMS notification for alerts – it lacks a ticketing system.
Check Out: Best Gradle Alternatives
SevOne is a popular network monitoring tool that offers a different approach from SolarWinds. While SolarWinds is Windows-based and can be run as a virtual machine with visual displays like charts and graphs, SevOne deploys as hardware directly to the data center to support upscaling possibilities.
SevOne’s features aren’t segregated by modules like those of SolarWinds, so if you want to access something like NetFlow monitoring, you don’t have to click a new tab – it’s part of the dashboard.
Plus, you can monitor NetFlow, SNMP, IPFIX, ICMP, and more in SevOne, whereas SolarWinds doesn’t offer support for NetFlow – you have to purchase it instead.
SevOne operates an alerts system based on a particular threshold so the user gets notified when pre-configured alert thresholds are violated. SolarWinds uses an email and SMS notification – not threshold-based alerts.
However, you can still view alerts in SevOne via email, dashboard, or through its mobile app to keep in touch with what’s happening and be alert in case of anything that can cause unexpected downtime.
NetBrain is not as popular as other RMM tools on this list, but it’s still highly functional and stands out especially for its network discovery feature.
The software has its own auto-discovery feature that builds a mathematical model from live data while collecting CLI information from devices connected to the network.
This makes it stand out from SolarWinds’ SNMP polling because NetBrain can collect data from all devices while SolarWinds only gets it from SNMP-enabled devices. So, NetBrain gives you more visibility because you can view all devices connected to the network.
Plus, NetBrain’s compelling visualization lets you create on-demand topology maps of your network to see how it works. These maps are built from live data so everything you view is accurate and in case the network changes, the platform updates the map so you don’t need to do it manually.
SolarWinds’ setup for creating topology maps is similar but NetBrain has a higher production value so the overall monitoring experience is more satisfying.
NetBrain also has an alerting experience but also lets you configure a ticketing system that once an alert is raised, triggers an analysis. This way, you can run informed troubleshooting and find out where the issue stems from.
You get a Dynamic Network Map that displays the problematic area and use APIs to configure escalation so you won’t have to email log files to get quick responses.
NetBrain also beats SolarWinds in terms of automation owing to the distinct edge it provides.
Splunk is another great alternative to SolarWinds. The network monitoring solution is highly-regarded as it monitors your network in real-time using machine data from devices connected to your network to measure how well the environment performs.
The solution offers a Search Processing Language (SPL) to look through the data in real-time and provides automatic detection capabilities. For example, if there are abnormal patterns across your network, it will detect those anomalies.
You can recognize common cyber-attack patterns that can damage your network and help identify performance and security concerns that can cause significant issues later on.
Splunk’s visual design is akin to that of SolarWinds, with charts and graphs to show you what’s happening along with a clear dashboard design.
However, Splunk offers its own alerting capabilities unlike SolarWinds – which offers email and SMS notification alerts. With Splunk, you can create real-time alerts to know as and when things happen, schedule alerts for minimal impacts, and effects on performance while you monitor and stay updated on network changes.
You can also create alert conditions that specify when you want notifications, which makes it easy to set up the behavior you’re monitoring for. Ultimately, you’ll get an environment where you’re involved when the system monitors a problematic event.
Also Read: Best Splunk Dashboard Examples
Continuum and ConnectWise Automate to offer complete management of your network. Not many RMM tools are as well-designed as itself, what with its fresh-faced network monitoring solution.
As a high-performance RMM solution, Auvik offers real-time network inventory and mapping, meaning it registers when new devices connect to yours and further analyzes them after adding the devices to a topology map.
On the map, you can select each device to get more information about it including device bandwidth. And you get automated device configuration restoration and backup. This way, you’re not at risk of losing all your data in case the device goes down, thereby adding new security levels that rival what SolarWinds offers.
Auvik also offers password management and IPAM, which rivals SolarWinds as the features enable you to see the devices using your network subnets and which IPs are defined to what. SolarWinds users have to buy the IP Address Manager to get this feature.
The Auvik password manager lets you encrypt and store passwords in your network so they’re always available within reach for you. This way, you only have to remember one password to monitor your network. SolarWinds doesn’t have such a feature.
ExtraHop is an RMM solution that fixes its sights on preventing threats by providing innovative networking monitoring that helps you eliminate unwanted data and see information about exactly what’s happening.
The tool’s dashboard helps you conduct monitoring through its approach differs from SolarWinds and other providers because it’s more focused on data analytics. However, you can still see past usage data in various time windows, whether you want data on events by day, week, or more.
ExtraHop has the ExtraHop Addy system – a cloud-based machine learning service designed for wire data. This feature scans your network for usage data patterns to detect performance issues and abnormalities, reducing the manual troubleshooting needed to resolve faults in your network.
Plus, it can Autodiscover devices across the network, so any new device added or connected is included to the monitoring environment where support for over 50 protocols and almost all UDP and TCP systems exists.
ExtraHop is high performance as it can run traffic of up to 100 Gbps and provides a more interesting machine learning package – which SolarWinds lacks.
ConnectWise Automate offers optimized RMM automation so you can monitor and maintain your network from one browser screen.
The solution has a primary interface where you can see all devices, group them based on logical categories, and then perform operations on them in a batch or individually.
You can get a feel of each group at a glance via clear icons and comprehensive filters that allow you to view overall machine and individual machine statuses.
One of its key benefits is you can patch third-party apps easily as you would with assets in your operating system – often without needing user or device owner attention.
The support it offers for automation and scripting really takes this tool to the next level over SolarWinds, as it lets you build comprehensive custom script sets. This way, you can manage, patch, and configure all your network needs in a few quick clicks.
Datadog is a cloud-based deep network monitoring and analytics tool that works with multi-vendor and modern cloud networks.
The software boasts a huge list of cloud integrations unlike SolarWinds, which is designed for on-premises network monitoring, which can report data to and work with the solution’s reporting, recording, and analytics engine.
Datadog can give you a peek and glimpse into the inside apps, monitor traffic flow and user experience, and explore log data. You can also set alerts so you can get to know more potential failure points in your network environment, and use its machine learning capability – which SolarWinds lacks – to surface issues you may not have known initially or been aware of.
If you have an application or network issue that requires troubleshooting, Datadog works in concert with other debugging tools to deep dive into the history of your network’s performance, find, and identify issues and their solutions.
Icinga is an open-source solution that’s used to monitor infrastructure and it’s completely free to use. The company behind the product sells support subscriptions compared to product licenses, so unlike SolarWinds, you won’t be penalized for scaling up your business or growing bigger.
You can monitor as many machines as you want without paying a per-device fee so you can have as few as five to as many as 5,000 machines and still not pay anything.
Plus, Icinga meters its pricing by availability so you don’t pay support subscriptions – you pay based on the number of Icinga servers you run and the number of support cases – as and when they provide their service, which is usually on weekdays during work hours or 24/7.
Icinga doesn’t measure how many devices you monitor. On top of that, it offers its basic monitoring engine, modules that extend support to certificate monitoring, vSphere, business process monitoring, and others, plus the browser-based dashboard.
This cloud-based platform is designed like Icinga to monitor infrastructure. It has an astounding number of cloud app and infrastructure integrations, unlike SolarWinds, and pitches itself to service providers and enterprise IT organizations.
With LogicMonitor, you get a full-stack monitoring service across multiple solutions or multiple vendor networks.
The solution starts out with a basic core deployment package on which it builds upon. At its core, LogicMonitor does a hybrid type of infrastructure in the cloud for performance monitoring alongside its massive array of integrations, which span more than 2,000 platforms.
Other than that, LogicMonitor offers AI-based early warning features compared to SolarWinds, which offers email and SMS notifications, plus you get configuration monitoring systems and more.
The solution is priced based on the support level, features, and the number of devices you add to your network.
ManageEngine OpManager is a network monitoring solution that monitors network devices. You can monitor server availability, critical network metrics, and VMs and still set alarms and alerts compared to SolarWinds, which offers you email and SMS notifications.
You can go beyond three devices if you want by opting out of the Free Edition and into the commercial OpManager edition.
OpManager does the physical and virtual server monitoring as well as the usual real-time network monitoring you’d expect. However, it rivals SolarWinds in its multi-level thresholds that you can set so you can stage and scale alerts based on your situation.
Plus, the RMM solution offers a slick 3D view that allows you to visualize and see all your physical racks.
14. Nagios XI
Nagios XI is one of the most popular SolarWinds alternatives for network monitoring on the market. It is renowned by many IT professionals for its performance and it’s open source so you don’t need to pay anything compared to other companies using SolarWinds.
The network monitoring solution has a commercial version though, but overall, Nagios XI offers incredible power and it’s nearly ubiquitous.
The standard and enterprise editions are premium, but you get the power of the Nagios core, and an accessible and easier-to-use solution.
You also get advanced reporting features, summary reports, enhanced visualizations, custom actions, and more while the enterprise version gives you more features like SAL reports, audit logging, capacity planning reports, and more.
Site24x7 is a solid contender against SolarWinds as it provides an all-in-one monitoring solution that deep dives into app functionality.
The solution monitors multiple devices and apps including websites, app performance, servers, user experience, and network devices.
It offers IP-level monitoring, compared to SolarWinds where it’s sold separately, and provides profound insights into workload process monitoring. You can see the individual hardware or virtual machine devices and overall network devices along with the actual workload performance inside the apps.
This way, you can identify, tune, and fix any challenging problems with performance in your network environment.
If you’ve been looking for a SolarWinds alternative to replace it after its breach issues, or you just want to compare it with other options, these 15 tools are worth considering.
Examine them based on the depth of the solution and price per node along with the devices you monitor, servers you run, and support to find the right one for your needs.
Cassie Riley has a passion for all things marketing and social media. She is a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, language, music, writing, and unicorns. Cassie is a lifetime learner, and loves to spend time attending classes, webinars, and summits.