Small business owners cannot deny the importance of keeping company computer systems, networks and devices running successfully. Network management is essential to operating a small business, as it helps ensure the smooth operation of their critical systems and assets. With so many network management software products available, choosing the right one for your small business can be overwhelming.
SEE: Hiring Kit: Network Engineer (TechRepublic Premium)
In this article, we will take a closer look at the top network management software products for small businesses, including their features, capabilities and prices. Whether you are a small business owner or an IT professional, this article will help you decide on the best network management solution for protecting and optimizing your organization.
Top network management software for small businesses
Auvik is a network monitoring and management software that helps small businesses map and monitor the health and performance of their networks. It uses a range of technologies and a centralized dashboard to provide real-time visibility into the performance and availability of the users’ networks.
Auvik can support small businesses through its ability to automate many of the tasks involved in network management, such as network discovery, configuration management and alerting. The solution provides tools and capabilities for mapping, inventory, network visualization and troubleshooting.
- Centralized dashboard for all network devices.
- VPN monitoring.
- Internet connection checking.
- Automatic alerts.
- Real-time metrics.
- APIs and integrations.
- Remote management.
- Users can customize their pre-configured alerts and how often they receive notifications.
- Network data that Auvik detects is stored and accessible for years to help with troubleshooting, analysis, planning and reporting.
- The solution does automatic backup configs with every change so that users can access and restore past versions.
- Users can manage multiple sites using different ISPs.
- This solution is not user-friendly.
- Some features are only included with upper-tier product plans.
Auvik provides its solution in two plans: Essentials and Performance. Alternatively, shoppers can contact their sales team for pricing or to receive a custom quote.
Atera software provides monitoring and management solutions for IT departments. The centralized solution provides multiple beneficial features to help IT teams increase the uptime and security of their organizational networks.
Atera’s Network Discovery features provide security scans of users’ end-user networks and devices that automatically update, allowing for real-time visibility of all digital assets and open ports within their monitored networks. It automatically monitors users’ Workgroup and Domain Controller networks, identifies assets and components of the IT environment, and even detects upselling opportunities.
Atera also supports integration with the Domotz network monitoring platform through its technical APIs to provide additional real-time monitoring, management and diagnostics features. Domotz discovers and classifies all network devices using standard protocols and advanced algorithms. It also includes features for managing and configuring backups of network infrastructure.
- IT automation.
- Remote access.
- Port scanning and potential CVEs.
- Active Directory and Workgroups scanning.
- Visualizations and reports.
- Patch management.
- Security adheres to industry standards such as MFA.
- Network Discovery tools for customer onboarding and identifying supported devices.
- Atera’s pricing model is dependent on the number of technicians, not the number of devices, making it a scalable solution for small businesses.
- Customizable IT automation features for organizational network monitoring workflows.
- Remote access technology to manage IT departments on the go through the Work From Home add-on service.
- Users can ensure security by setting up alert notifications for their unmonitored servers, workstations and SNMP devices.
- Systems require an upgrade to enforce automation rules.
- Some users have noted issues with the software after Windows updates.
After a free 30-day trial of the software, Atera charges a fixed monthly fee based on the number of technicians using the solution.
IT Department pricing:
- The Professional Plan is $149 per user per month, billed annually.
- The Expert Plan is $169 per user per month, billed annually.
- The Master plan is $199 per user per month, billed annually.
Spiceworks Network Monitor
The Spiceworks Network Monitor tool is a free solution, making it great for small businesses on a budget. The software provides real-time network monitoring, distributed HTTP checking, and the ability to manage the status of critical network devices and web services.
Spiceworks can be implemented on any server or workstation. Users only need to configure the application URL through the solution’s Connectivity Dashboard to begin monitoring their network IP devices instantly. The software lets users gain real-time insights on their network connections and applications hosted on the cloud or within their data center. In addition, the tool’s real-time monitoring can allow organizations to catch potential problems before they can do damage to their infrastructure.
This solution provides helpful free support to users online or by phone from IT professionals. Users can also chat and gain answers from the members of the Spiceworks Community.
- Monitoring the up/down status of IP devices such as routers, servers, printers and more.
- Real-time monitoring and insights.
- Dynamic dashboard.
- Distributed HTTP checks.
- Free Spiceworks support online or through the phone.
- Access to additional support from IT professionals in the Spiceworks Community.
- The software can be deployed with a simple set-up process so new users can begin monitoring fast.
- The tool integrates with the Spiceworks IT management cloud tools suite, and the Spiceworks Connectivity Dashboard comes fully integrated with Spiceworks inventory.
- Spiceworks is soon to provide a real-time alert feature that will allow users to receive email alerts about their web application connectivity status.
- Spiceworks does not provide many expansion options, so it may not be suitable for growing businesses looking for a scalable solution.
The Spiceworks Network Monitor is a free solution.
OpenNMS is an open-source enterprise-grade network service monitoring platform. This scalable solution uses an event-driven architecture to provide extensibility for monitoring on local and distributed networks.
Users can monitor and process data thanks to its distribution system. The program enables fault, traffic and performance monitoring, and it can also integrate with users’ workflows and third-party business applications.
This solution’s highly customizable and flexible nature is helpful for small business users to generate alarms and process data based on their organizational needs.
- Open source and published under the AGPLv3 license.
- Minion Virtual Appliance enables data collection from hard-to-access devices and services.
- Full inventory management.
- Extensive data collection.
- Traffic management.
- Deep-dive analysis and reporting.
- Digital experience monitoring to see a service’s latency and availability from different perspectives.
- Robust configuration through the web UI or XML scripting.
- Scalability to monitor multiple devices through the distributed and tiered system.
- Enterprise reporting and rich visualizations.
- The software works with 14 industry-standard data collection protocols and four flow protocols, eliminating the need for users to write or maintain third-party plugins.
- The OpenNMS platform features a customizable web UI with customizable dashboards that can be exported as PDFs for easy viewing.
- OpenNMS is also available as an additional distribution through their Meridian version. These can provide users with newer optimized features and functionality. However, Meridian is a priced subscription service.
- Steep learning curve.
OpenNMS Horizon is a free, open-source solution.
NetCrunch is an agentless monitoring solution by Adrem Software. This tool is geared toward hybrid infrastructures and can benefit smaller organizations that wish to identify potential issues and alleviate problems ASAP.
The software can monitor a wide range of devices, services, configurations, network bandwidth, traffic, uptime, hardware and other applications. NetCrunch users can even monitor unique types of equipment like scientific equipment, broadcasting equipment, factories, traffic lights and other tools specific to certain industries.
The software has hundreds of monitoring targets available, so organizations can develop a solution that can perform any monitoring action needed for their situation.
- 650 monitoring targets available.
- Data collection.
- Robust central logic and data processing capabilities.
- Storage through several databases, including an embedded SQL database for events.
- Desktop and mobile console with a wide range of visualizations.
- Graphical maps and dashboards.
- Central logic to simplify the writing of plugins and custom scripts.
- Monitoring dependencies.
- Flexible mapping capabilities.
- The ability to create custom charts or use one of the many predefined charts.
- Historical data analysis through the NetCrunch Trend Viewer.
- Calculated performance counters.
- Reporting actions.
- Alert management and monitor configuration based on policies and performance metrics.
- Organizations can access NetCrunch and view their network status on-the-go using the NetCrunch Web Console via HTTP/S.
- NetCrunch works on low-end hardware for monitoring fewer devices and can work on VM for scaling up to 10,000 devices, ensuring high performance.
- The system can execute remote control actions in escalation steps, taking the extra remediation work from users.
- The vendor provides some free NetCrunch IT monitoring tools, which can be helpful for shoppers who are considering the paid solution but would like to experience the company’s software before paying.
- eSupport is only available to customers with a valid Upgrade Subscription plan or those within the product’s evaluation period.
- Phone Support is only available to customers with a valid Extended Support plan during hours of operation, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
NetCrunch pricing is determined by the user’s chosen plan, each of which are licensed per node and interface. The following list includes the prices of each plan for 100/100 nodes/interfaces.
- The Essentials Plan is $90 per month for 100/100 nodes/interfaces.
- The Professional Plan is $131 per month for 100/100 nodes/interfaces.
- The Enterprise Plan is $270 per month for 100/100 nodes/interfaces.
Shoppers can visit the Adrem Software pricing page for more pricing information.
NinjaOne, formerly NinjaRMM, helps small businesses scale up their operations with their complete IT management service. The software unifies and automates several focus areas of IT management operations for users, enabling them to monitor their assets and protect their data from attacks.
The management platform was built for organizations of all sizes, and provides administrative tools and automations to save users time and effort. IT monitoring, security and business data backup capabilities are provided so that teams can manage their assets on any network. It can be especially beneficial for remote management and monitoring, and it has features to support users without the need for an on-premises server.
- Endpoint management to monitor IT assets from anywhere.
- Patch management that automates patching for internet-connected endpoints.
- Backup for critical business data.
- Service desk management.
- Automated IT ticketing workflow.
- Remote access management for attended or unattended devices.
- IT documentation.
- Software deployment tools to help users manage their devices at-scale or individually.
- IT asset management and discovery.
- Real-time insights.
- NinjaOne provides a unified snapshot with complete visibility of users’ Windows, macOS and Linux servers, devices, virtual machines, networks and other managed environments.
- Users can program automated workflows, remediation actions and alerts through NinjaOne’s scripting and automation capabilities to save them time and work.
- The solution’s patch management workflow can automatically identify and remediate endpoint vulnerabilities to keep them updated and secured.
- No transparent pricing model is available online.
Shoppers can visit the NinjaOne pricing page online to receive a custom quote. NinjaOne also allows users to test out the product through a free trial.
Pulseway offers an all-in-one IT management solution that gives users power over their network security with real-time monitoring and management tools. The solution can monitor uptime and performance remotely with the Pulseway Server Monitoring module so that users receive real-time insight into their servers.
The solution monitors XenServer, Active Directory, IIS, SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange, VMware, Hyper-V, Windows Server Backup, SCOM and more server devices. It also provides next-level security with device access policies to protect organizations every step of the way.
- Patch management.
- Endpoint protection.
- Real-time monitoring and management.
- Remote access with Remote Desktop tool.
- Extreme security with device access policies.
- Robust features with powerful automation.
- Automatic device discovery and diagramming.
- Auto-generated intuitive topology map for visualizing networks.
- SNMP profiles and alerting.
- Pulseway workflow automation to auto-remediate issues.
- The Pulseway Antivirus feature is powered by an endpoint security protection to provide complete endpoint security, which can be centrally configured to unify threat management processes.
- The software covers many devices, including switches, firewalls, routers, storage devices, VMs, printers, wireless LAN controllers, load balancers, servers and more.
- The auto-generated topology map helps users visualize and manage their network devices, and it is even customizable, so users can adjust it to reflect their documentation standards and needs.
- This solution simplifies SNMP monitoring through its SNMP profiling system: Users can define SNMP profiles to generate alert criteria for devices, and alerts can trigger actions in auto-remediation workflows to take care of remediation work for them.
- Not the most user-friendly interface.
Pulseway provides a free trial and tiered pricing starting from $22 per month. The final cost is determined based on the number of endpoints and devices as well as the security add-on features selected.
LogicMonitor is an agentless service program that provides automated monitoring and remediation solutions for businesses to secure their operations. The software takes care of monitoring and investigations and offers actionable real-time alerts, data forecasting capabilities and other valuable automated features.
This tool is definitely worthy of consideration for small businesses looking to leverage automation in their network management software. For example, the solution carries out event-based automation through rules, sensors and actions. LogicMonitor also provides many ways to customize and build upon the automated features, making this a scalable resource for small businesses.
- Infrastructure monitoring with predictive insights and intelligent troubleshooting.
- Network monitoring and visualization.
- Cloud monitoring for AWS, Azure, GCP and SaaS applications.
- Log analysis.
- Server monitoring for the entire server infrastructure with LM Envision.
- Website synthetics to monitor website vitals and regarding uptime and availability.
- Application performance monitoring.
- Database monitoring and autodiscovery.
- The solution can monitor the server infrastructure’s health, performance and utilization through their LM Envision software, which automatically scans, detects and provides alerts on OS metrics like memory, CPU and more.
- LogicMonitor’s AIOps use AI and machine learning to act as an early warning system and provide insightful context about anomalies and patterns to inform users with alerts and trigger remediation actions.
- The software supports monitoring integrations with over 2,000 systems to expand its functionality through connections with popular business tools.
- LogicMonitor is only available as a SaaS solution.
LogicMonitor provides its software through two versions — their Pro comprehensive hybrid monitoring tool or the Enterprise complete unified observability monitoring tool. Shoppers can contact LogicMonitor on their website to book a meeting, gain pricing information or experience a free trial.
Being a small business is kind of a big deal. Check out the top invoicing apps, the best payroll software and the top appointment scheduling software.