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KNM vs. KNDM vs. KServer -> Monitor -> SNMP Monitoring... Really what's the difference I'm paying for?

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So here is my question.  I already have my KServer and all the SNMP, Log, etc. monitoring functionality that exists with it.  I also have the Network Discovery and Monitoring (KNDM) add-on, which hasn't been very useful thus far.  Here is my question.  I went through the KNM presentation and truly don't see what functionality is being added by Intellipool.  I won't argue that at first glance it looks like a more developed version of what already exists residentally in the Kaseya MITSE, but beyond that, I TRULY don't see any real difference.  I'm getting the feeling that I'm being asked to pay more for a piece of functionality that already exists and just isn't as developed from a GUI standpoint, not a functionality standpoint.

My organization has been providing Network Device monitoring and management services for roughly 10 years, and though the Kaseya SNMP, Log, etc. component doesn't quite deliver as well as our last solution and could use some improving, I didn't see anything in the KNM add-on that doesn't already exist in Kaseya.  More developed shouldn't equal more money from me.  That's what I'm already paying maintenance for.  Can someone please explain this to me?  It's very possible I'm just missing something.

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  • Here's some of what I see KNM bringing to the table, based on my experience so far (over a few weeks) with the Distributed model:

    • Dependencies, so you can just get one alert instead of ALL the alerts if the device(s) being monitored can't be reached.
    • Out-of-the-box detection, well above and beyond what the stock SNMP (which is terrible, honestly) and NetDisco can do.
    • Extremely easy-to-customize alert thresholds per device, per monitor object.
    • Telnet- & SSH-based monitoring for some of those trickier Linux-based devices, if you want to dig in and make those work. (You might be able to mimic this functionality with scripting, but that would be tedious & cumbersome.)
    • On-the-fly additions to monitored items on a given device. For instance, we tacked another NIC onto a virtual server and it only took a few clicks to add that to the existing KNM object.
    • Easily managed per-client (per-"Network" in KNM parlance) credentials for logging into devices. I don't have to setup text files or global variables in Kaseya or any of that cumbersome nonsense.

    Can you monitor a lot of the same things with stock SNMP in Kaseya? Possibly, but it's not fun, and I've seen the SNMP processes go absolutely bonkers on occasion, to the point where I just plain stopped using it except in extreme cases where nothing else would do the job the way I wanted.

    Do you have to buy KNM if you're already getting the job done with existing SNMP and/or NetDisco? Of course not. But I firmly believe that the Intellipool product was a good acquisition for Kaseya to make (to say nothing of dropping the Zabbix integration project) and is enough value added to at least make a good argument for being an additional purchase item.

    It's not 100% perfect, certainly, but after most of a decade spent fighting SNMP-based monitoring systems of one stripe or another I've found that the Intellipool product is the nicest interface I've seen yet.

  • Ok, looking back to my original comment/question.  I don't mind paying for new functionality, but don't agree with paying for improved functionality beyond my annual maintenance.

    - Dependencies - This is improved functionality.  It's not like the ability to get alerts didn't exist before, it just wasn't as great as it could be.

    - Out of box detection - This is improved functionality.  I hate to site it as an example, but Windows XP SP2 could recognize more devices through PNP than XP with no Service Packs, but I didn't pay more for the improvement.

    - Easy to customize alert thresholds... - This is improved functionality.  I can customize alert thresholds per device and per monitor object right now.  To be candid, it's pretty easy already.

    - Telnet/SSH based monitoring - Now here is a piece of NEW functionality.  I agree it's technically possible to accomplish a certain degree of this now, but I wouldn't call that functionality as technically I would be building that functionality.

    - On-the-fly additions to monitored items - This is improved functionality.  Personally I've never had an issue with this in the first place.

    - Easily managed per-client credentials... - Here is another piece of NEW functionality.  I agree this has some value.  Again, current functionality is mostly created by me right now.

    So a couple of pieces of new functionality.  Look at it this way, if this wasn't a seperate aquisition/product, and Kaseya announced the improvements and new functionality, would the additional price tag and change in licensing structure fit and be justified?  I think we can both agree on two things and that is that the Intellipool was a solid acquisition and the GUI is far better and easier to use for network device monitoring.

    The bottom line is I'm going to end up having to get KNM because I can count on the fact current functionality, much like the Zabbix integration project, will be dropped and not further developed.  So I have to get up to par or be left behind.  As well, it's not about the money.  It's not like we're talking about huge investments here.  It's the principal fact that I'm going to have to either purchase something I'm not going to get around to deploying for awhile, or I can look forward to paying 80% more when I do get around to it.  It's just not right...in my opinion.

  • I suppose there's also the question of what you're going to use it for. I'm not going to replace the built-in Kaseya monitoring for the stuff we're already doing fine with there, namely Windows servers and their systems, processes, etc.

    What we really want this for is the non-Windows devices such as routers, switches, NAS devices and WAPs. Monitoring those with Kaseya's built-in monitoring is a non-starter for us. The Intellipool product makes this easy... which is why it's worth it to us, and since we're strictly defining the scope of our use, we can keep the cost down.

  • I completely agree with seftink on this.  Intellipool is essentially a more developed/refined version of Kaseya's network monitoring.

    Isn't our maintenance supossed to go into improving Kaseya, not wasting developers time integrating other products!  I'l like to know what proportion of our maintenance is actually allocated to maintaining and providing improved functionality.

  • Thanks for the support, Eddy.  I think we're both on the same page.

    GreyDuck, I'm also with you in the fact that we won't be migrating to the Intellipool solution for Windows Device monitoring but will be for non-Windows devices like routers, switches, Firewalls, APs, NAS, etc which we already do via the current Kaseya functionality.  Can we not at least agree that handly the majority of the Intellipool functionality is improvements to functionality that already exists in Kaseya?  Again, not trying to downplay the value of the acquisition or those improvements, which I think are great.  Just the difference between improved functionality and added functionality.  Can we agree on this?

  • Maybe.

    I think that Intellipool's product does a worse job, for instance, with log monitoring. I've yet to make services monitoring work the way I want it to, either (out of morbid curiosity rather than any intention to supplant Kaseya's built-in systems, mind you). So it's not like you could entirely swap out one solution for the other and get a wholesale improvement. Ideally, then, we want a best-of-both-worlds solution... In which case we'd either be waiting a very long time for everything to become fully integrated (development at Kaseya Speed, after all) or... what we have now, where we pay for an additional product so we can get access to the new features sooner.

    But you're right, generally this is an improvement of features rather than an additional featureset. I'll give you that point, no problem. The clincher is regarding whether or not it's enough of an improvement to justify charging for it separately... and that's something everyone's going to have to make up their own mind about.

    As for our maintenance costs going toward directly improving the core product... the new Procedures mechanism and KLC alone are huge improvements to my mind, and have been steadily built upon since their inception. We didn't get charged separately for those, did we? I'm just as glad that I didn't have to choose between sticking with the old scripting interface and paying to get proper If/Then logic via K2.

  • It's interesting that you bring up the improvements with K2.  As a side note to this, I'm a Kaseya client that started on K2 so I didn't really see the pains that existed before it.  I'm not bashing Kaseya, by any means.  Kaseya was our third solution since we started Managed Services so many years ago.  Being such, we compared it to other larger players out there like LP, NA, etc. and I'm pretty certain we're here to stay.  However I'm very unhappy that I'm being asked to pay for something that, again for the most part, seems like an improvement to current functionality.  I don't think it's right and wanted to find out if I was alone.

  • Hi seftink,

    I would agree with you to some degree a lot of features in intellipool are already in kaseya but they don't work very well in kaseya so now we have to buy another product hummm.

    I think though intellipool was a good buy for kaseya and also as greyduck says it is a case of stick with kaseya for the bits that work and then look to another for the device monitoring which will keep the costs down.

    The question we are now asking though is if we have to pay extra to monitor devices is Intellipool the product we need to be buying so we are also looking at Cisco smartcare and nimsoft at the moment.

    I know there is talk of kaseya integrating intellipool and that would be a big bonus but as it is a stand alone currently we have to question is it the right path.

    Oh and one other big plus for intellipool and this type of product is that with the gateway server it will collect data even if the main server is offline and then upload the data once the main server comes back online also you can set certain alerts locally so they will still alert even if the primary server is offline.

    Also the way intellipool stores data is far superior to how kaseya is storing data which means storing information on devices can be done for much longer periods without massive database bloating - not really a huge end user plus but will help all concerned in the long run.

  • mmartin - Good luck on the SmartCare front.  Been on it for a couple of years, but from a monitoring/management standpoint...has a lot of room to improve.  I do like a lot of the benefits over SmartNet.  We are doing the same thing...looking at other solutions over the Intellipool solution.  I, like you, would almost be a no brainer if it was all intergrated...and had to pay more.  Or if it wasn't integrated...but was included with my maintenance.  Just me.  I haven't found a GREAT system yet for network device monitoring/management, but I continue to look and will continue to use the resident Kaseya functionality until I find it.  Give me a CiscoWorks or SolarWinds that supports agent based monitoring at a reasonable price.  That's all I want.  ;-)

  • Kaseya has been telling us they are going to make improvements to network monitoring for a couple years now.  They put a bunch of time into "Network Discovery", and had developers working on integrating Zabbix if I remember correctly (they even did a demo and promoted on the roadshows), now they bought Intellipool.

    If they would have just hired some more developers, they could have expanded on the current SNMP monitoring.  I have no idea why they didn't.

    It's a pain setting up SNMP in Kaseya because there are bugs and features lacking, but it does work.  

    For network devices we really care about monitoring, we use Nimsoft.  The Intellipool integration would have to be really nice for us to consider using it.  For now, we're not bothering with it.

  • I invested in Intellipool 15 months ago because the v5 was soon to be released. What has happened?

    I thought I was paying for a software that was constantly being improved!

    I really need a nice iPhone app showing me red or green dots for instance.

    Nagios offers that and I have run the trial version for a couple of months and it's very nice. I do things faster in INM (or KNM?) but that's probably more related to my small knowledge about Nagios. Anyway, I got it running! :-) That iPhone-app makes me willing to move side...

  • I agree that KNM is 90% improvements on what Kaseya already does. It should be part of our maintenance we pay for already.

    On a side note, I am having a hard time figuring out which items to monitor with Kaseya vs KNM. Services monitoring works better in kaseya, but if I want to know bandwidth usage for instance, I need KNM. So I have to monitor each workstation with both? What do we do here...setup alerts for certain things only on Kaseya & KNM?

  • For me, I use Kaseya to monitor everything I have an agent on. I'm planning on using NMS for the Firewalls, switches, WAP's, etc.

    In my shop, it helps segregate the Network issues from the Workstation/Server issues.

  • Tom, I thought I would be in the same boat as you, using KNM for only devices the KServer cannot manage easily. However, I've noticed that there are a few monitors in KNM that I don't get with Kaseya. Like bandwidth monitoring on the workstations. I'm thinking I might use both KNM and Kaseya, but be real specific about what alerts from from KNM.

    Thoughts?

  • techquility, I hear you loud and clear. I think there are areas that NMS had focused on, and with Kaseya purchasing it, we get an overlap in some instances. Though, the favor goes toward NMS.

    When I speak of server/workstation monitoring, I look at Kaseya because I can run a script from a monitor alert, and try to correct it prior to sending email.

    If I get an email, or ticket, I want to know Kaseya did everything it could first, then get me involved. NMS just doesn't do that... yet.

    btw - haven't really opened the manual yet, so I don't know the full power of NMS yet.