SolarWinds MSP (currently N-able) and Kaseya are both reliable MSP software providers, but N-able may provide a few key advantages to various types of MSPs on the market for a software solution.
If you’re a managed service provider (MSP) in the market for a suitable software provider to help you support your customers, choosing between the overwhelming number of tools currently available on the market can feel like a challenge. This guide will consider and compare two major players in the MSP software market, helping you understand the key differences and decide which is most suited to your company’s individual requirements.
SolarWinds MSP (currently N-able) vs. Kaseya
To answer the question of N-able vs. Kaseya, this comparison will consider the range of products that each provider offers, the range of features available, as well as the scalability and vendor support associated with each.
Range of Products
Both Kaseya and N-able offer an impressive range of solutions designed specifically for MSPs. SolarWinds’s product suite includes:
N-central, RMM, Backup, Take Control, MSP Manager, and Passportal.
Kaseya offers RMM, Security Suite, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Microsoft 365 Backup, Audit Suite, Compliance Suite, PSA, and Automated IT Documentation. These suites of utilities are included as part of Kaseya’s three main products, which are VSA, BMS, and ITGlue.
SolarWinds MSP (knows as N-able as of March 2020) and Kaseya are relatively well-matched in this regard. Both Kaseya and SolarWinds MSP offer RMM, security, backup, PSA, automation, and documentation capabilities. The key difference is that N-able splits these functionalities across several products, while Kaseya divides its offering across three.
For organizations that already have established MSP solutions that they are looking to extend, N-able product line is the more cost-effective option. N-able’s range of solutions allows you to purchase specialist capabilities without paying for utilities you are unlikely to use or need. If you are looking for an option that allows for flexibility and customization to meet your specific needs, SolarWinds N-central or RMM offers a robust all-in one solution for MSPs of all sizes.
Range of Features
Although both vendors offer a significant number of MSP solutions, most of which include similar features, there are some key differences between these product lines. Let’s use SolarWinds RMM and Kaseya VSA as an example.
Kaseya VSA’s key features include:
- Remote control sessions—this enables the technician to access the remote computer collaboratively with the end-user.
- Private remote control sessions in Windows—this feature lets you establish private remote control sessions on Windows-based workstations or servers, with complete console access.
- Live connect—this utility lets you remotely access endpoints and work behind the scenes without needing to disrupt the end-user.
- Demonstrate regulatory compliance—The Compliance Manager feature included in Kaseya RMM tracks and reports on remote control sessions by admin or machine, on a per month, per week, or daily basis. This makes it possible to generate compliance documentation for HIPAA, NIST CSF, GDPR, and Cyber Insurance.
- Rapid incident resolution—you can shadow end-user terminal server sessions to more easily identify and resolve user problems.
- Latency oversight—this feature shows session latency statistics during the remote control session so that administrators are kept informed of the connection strength and its impact.
- Support for multiple monitors—you can view every screen on the remote endpoint for power users with multi-display setups.
- Patch management—Kaseya VSA allows you to automate patch management and vulnerability management to reduce security vulnerabilities.
- Network topology mapping—a network topology map highlights agentless and agent-based devices on the network to provide visibility into endpoint status.
- Remote monitoring—remotely manage and monitor endpoints without disrupting users to proactively resolve issues.
- Automation—automation capabilities and seamless workflows allow your technicians to work more efficiently so you can focus on more strategic initiatives.
- Backup—Backup on-premises servers and workstations as well as SaaS application data.
N-able (formerly SolarWinds MSP) RMM’s key features, on the other hand, include:
- Passportal and IT documentation management—this integrates critical IT documentation features and password management into a single tool.
- Endpoint detection and response—this helps MSPs prevent, detect, and respond to ever-changing threats, and recover quickly when ransomware or other exploits strike.
- Mac management—this delivers the ability to remotely manage and monitor macOS and Windows devices with the same solution.
- Network device monitoring—you can monitor network devices, including routers, switches, firewalls, and more via SNMP from within your RMM dashboard.
- Remote monitoring—this feature allows you to remotely monitor desktops, laptops, servers, and mobile devices across operating systems and platforms.
- Remote access—with this utility, you can perform maintenance and fix issues without leaving your desk through remote access.
- Network discovery—allows you to discover and manage devices as they appear on your networks.
- NetPath—this feature helps you understand your network’s performance and infrastructure beyond your firewall, from source to destination.
- Automation and scripting—you can automate tasks using a drag-and-drop automation editor or upload your own scripts, allowing your technicians to shift their attention from manual tedious tasks to more complex customer services.
- Patch management—you can fine-tune your patch management policies to prevent cyberattacks and optimize system performance.
- Backup and recovery—you can back up full systems quickly and recover from IT disasters.
- Managed antivirus—this utility protects against known viruses and catches new, hard-to-detect malware threats.
- PSA and ticketing—allows you to create tickets, simplify billing, and effectively manage your IT business.
While Kaseya VSA delivers an impressive range of highly advanced features, it does not offer the same scope as SolarWinds RMM. Overall it is more versatile, offering remote control capabilities alongside patch management, managed antivirus, backup and recovery, and much more. Ultimately, by serving a greater number of purposes, SolarWinds RMM may be the more cost-effective option for your MSP’s needs.
This comparison between Kaseya RMM and N-able (formerly known as SolarWinds MSP) RMM is indicative of how each of these MSP software vendors approaches their products. While Kaseya’s tools tend to be more specialist, N-able offers a greater range of features, delivering what is generally a more diverse solution.
Although Kaseya does offer some powerful solutions, N-able’s product line has the added benefit of being user-friendly and intuitive. Kaseya’s products often require extensive training to master, which can get in the way of your MSP offering client services right away. Although this fallback is partly balanced out by high training availability, it is in stark contrast to N-able products, which are intuitive and don’t require specialized training or skill sets.
Kaseya also has a slight disadvantage when it comes to user experience, with some users providing feedback that the user interface is dated and that its navigation could be improved upon. In comparison, N-able offers solutions with user interfaces that graphically represent data where appropriate. These visual capabilities make information easy to understand, and N-able products offer customization options so that you can tweak dashboards to suit your priorities and needs.
Both Kaseya MSP and N-able products are designed to scale with your organization as your client base grows. The key difference between SolarWinds MSP (currently N-able) vs. Kaseya products, in terms of scalability, is that the suite of tools lend itself as well to large MSPs as it does small. Kaseya products, on the other hand, tend to present a challenge for small businesses that aren’t likely to have access to the same level of technical expertise as larger businesses. Given that Kaseya products require training for staff to master, they may pose an obstacle for small businesses with fewer specialized IT resources.
N-able products, on the other hand, have been designed to suit both small and large businesses, with no learning curve or initial training required. This means that a small business can adopt software just as easily as a large business could—and be assured that the software will scale with their company in a cost-effective way to meet their future needs.
Kaseya offers plenty of resources accessible online, as well as a help desk where you can submit tickets and contact support technicians directly. Although they provide 24/7 access to support technicians, customers have taken to online fora to complain that the support is insufficient.
N-able (formerly SolarWinds MSP) takes support to the next level, providing around-the-clock access to support technicians, as well as a lively forum made up of loyal users of MSP community. This forum provides an additional space for users to engage with each other to pose questions and increase their understanding of the various products’ capabilities. N-able is well known for its extensive support offering.
Which Should You Choose?
Both of these vendors offer an advanced and versatile approach to MSP software, delivering products that are extremely popular and consistently leaders on the market. While both software providers are dependable, N-able products may provide a number of advantages to key MSP types, including smaller organizations, technicians who value efficiency over extensive training requirements, or companies looking to augment their current software to offer a wider range of services.