Official comparison: N-Able vs Kaseya vs Pandora FMS
Lemons, oranges, grapefruits, limes… We know that they are not the same, but if necessary, you can make juice with all of them. And yes, we can and we will. We are in summer and it makes you want to make a good cocktail, doesn’t it? Today, in PFMS blog, we are going to analyze the commonalities of N-Able (Solarwinds MSP), Kaseya and Pandora FMS. Also their -remarkable- differences of course.
Both Kaseya and N-Able stand out for being RMM solutions and integral IT management systems in SaaS mode for MSP. In short, they are a very good solution for managing remote workstations and being able to manage and monitor them remotely. This includes tasks such as patch installation, remote software installation, network equipment configuration, remote desktop access, backups, and of course, receiving alerts when something goes wrong on managed machines.
Kaseya’s client is usually an MSP that provides services to different users, so it needs a tool that with a single license can serve different clients, managing them in an isolated, but centralized and homogeneous manner. This saves costs and is more efficient, since both Kaseya and N-Able are specific tools for Windows desktops that need to be managed remotely.
Pandora FMS client is usually an end company, or an MSP specialized in managing more complex infrastructures, which requires a tool with a more technical profile, which allows its technicians to apply their existing knowledge, scripts, etc. integrating them to compose an effective monitoring that allows them to go where other tools cannot. They are more oriented towards base infrastructure (communications, servers and applications) than to desktop computers.
In this comparison, we will also talk about prices, and both Kaseya and N-Able are above 20K USD in projects of 250 teams, yes, they are expensive tools and they also have a complex and peculiar pricing model, so much so that you will not be able to find these prices clearly on their respective websites.
A very important difference is that both Kaseya and N-Able are usually used in a cloud model (SaaS) (although they also have on-premise licensing), while Pandora FMS is a much more conservative model and is totally on-premise. This is especially relevant regarding the impact on security, since as the last hack to the Kaseya infrastructure showed us, attacking the manufacturer may imply that they can reach the end customer. As we teased long ago, Solarwinds is also not spared from this plague of security problems, and has suffered, since the first attack in 2020, several more attacks.
Given that Pandora FMS is a 100% autonomous installation (it can be installed in an environment without Internet access), and that Pandora FMS agents are not accessible from the outside nor can they be updated remotely, it is, by design, somewhat safer than Kaseya and Solarwinds. However, no one is spared, and Pandora FMS during 2020 and 2021 has published several security patches, as it can be seen in the CVE registry of Mitre.org.
As a summary, we have created a table that describes features. Below there are some additional explanations.
N-Able vs Kaseya vs Pandora FMS
Others don’t talk about prices, we do. And we do it because it is something that everyone wants and needs to see. We know that it is very difficult to compare them because no product is licensed the same and they do not even share the same concepts. What we do is propose a more or less understandable and standard project to be able to compare the costs in three years. Let’s say, for example, that you want to monitor about 250 computers distributed among virtualized servers (30), workstations (200), physical network equipment and physical servers. Making a total of 250 teams. Well, the cost of a THREE-year project, without professional services and with standard support, would be the following:
- Kaseya: 30,000 USD
- N-Able: 50,000 USD
- Pandora FMS: 15,000 USD
Both N-Able and Kaseya are products that excel in desktop management capabilities: patch management, software installation, and configuration change management. They provide added value such as monitoring, backup, security policy management and remote control. To all of this, they offer a layer of additional services such as ticketing and a portal for MSPs to offer their clients an integrated management and billing platform (the latter only in the case of N-Able).
They are very oriented to job monitoring. Monitoring, although it covers many aspects, is not the main focus of the product, especially if we consider some advanced features such as:
- Distributed transaction monitoring (web applications).
- Monitoring Linux environments.
- Service-oriented monitoring (defining of service trees).
- High capacity (more than 10,000 devices).
- Advanced monitoring of enterprise technologies (Oracle, SAP, VMware …).
- Detailed monitoring of cloud environments (AWS, Azure).
In general, both N-Able and Kaseya have monitors for all kinds of applications, but only from a very superficial and remote point of view. That is, they are limited and not easily extensible.
If we add the high costs to this, Kaseya and N-Able do not seem like a good option for server monitoring projects or core infrastructure. For that, Solarwinds has a more traditional on-premise solution, although with costs of a similar order of magnitude, while Kaseya can only offer its product in an on-premise model.
About Version 2 Limited
Version 2 Limited is one of the most dynamic IT companies in Asia. The company develops and distributes IT products for Internet and IP-based networks, including communication systems, Internet software, security, network, and media products. Through an extensive network of channels, point of sales, resellers, and partnership companies, Version 2 Limited offers quality products and services which are highly acclaimed in the market. Its customers cover a wide spectrum which include Global 1000 enterprises, regional listed companies, public utilities, Government, a vast number of successful SMEs, and consumers in various Asian cities.
Pandora FMS is a flexible monitoring system, capable of monitoring devices, infrastructures, applications, services and business processes.
Of course, one of the things that Pandora FMS can control is the hard disks of your computers.