AdventNet Offers Free, Unlimited Trial Of MSP Monitoring Software


Available in about two weeks, AdventNet's OpManager MSP version 6002 will sport new features and a promotional program that enables solution providers to deploy free 30-day trial versions of the full-blown product in as many customer locations as they wish, said Dev Anad, product manager at AdventNet, Pleasanton, Calif. The promotion will run indefinitely, he said.

AdventNet's OpManager MSP 6002 is downloadable software that serves as the building block of an MSP business, according to Anad. It gives solution providers the ability to remotely monitor, troubleshoot and generate detailed reports about customer networks and the performance of the devices running within them, he said. Improvements in the new version include better report scheduling; CPU, memory and disc utilization reading; and active directory integration.

Solution providers can use the trial versions to sell their MSP services and assess the condition of a customer's network, which can lead to other hardware and software sales, Anad said. In either case, solution providers only have to pay for licenses of customers that want to continue using the service beyond the 30-day trial. An unlimited number of new trial versions can be downloaded at any time, as long as they aren't used to extend the initial 30-day trial, he said.

"This helps MSPs make inroads into new customers," Anad said. "If out of 23 potential customers using the trial version [an MSP] only gets five as customers, the MSP only pays for five licenses."

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The advantage of the trial offering from AdventNet is that solution providers can avoid the expense of maintaining an inventory of unused seat licenses from vendors such as Kaseya, according to Anad. Kaseya and some other MSP platform vendors maintain a policy of selling user seat licenses only in blocks of, say, 100, 250 or 500 seats, meaning that MSPs must buy more seats than they may need, he said.

Kaseya offers free 30-day trials of its product, but not in bulk, said Bill Falk, vice president of sales at San Francisco-based Kaseya. Kaseya will extend the length of free trials if it appears a deal will close, he said.

AdventNet's OpManager MSP 6002 runs on two primary components: the server-based software, which installs on the MSP's network, and the customer-side network probe software, which can perform SNMP monitoring on several hundred network devices. The server software starts at a one-time price of just under $5,000, and the probes cost roughly $300 each, Anad said. The server software can support more than a hundred probes.

AdventNet has a worldwide base of solution provider partners and developers but sells primarily direct in the United States, Anad said. Still, OpManager MSP 6002 is earmarked for MSPs and is less of an end-user solution, he noted.

OpManager MSP 6002 is a top-notch monitoring solution, said Scott Weaver, president of Schema Networks, an MSP in Costa Mesa, Calif. Weaver said he has looked at products from Kaseya, LPI Level Platforms, Quest Software and Solarwinds--and even at Hewlett-Packard's OpenView suite--but found the depth of AdventNet's network monitoring capabilities superior. Rival monitoring solutions may offer certain features not found in OpManager MSP 6002, such as patch management, but a monitoring product shouldn't be enlisted to perform patch management, he added.

"If you want to get serious about network monitoring, then you should get a serious product," Weaver said.