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Pulseway's platform provides access to both iOS and Android apps that allows interacting with your infrastructure on the go. This allows you to provide better SLAs and availability for troubleshooting when clients or end users have issues. The interface provides customized solutions for both managed service providers and internet IT teams for both use cases.
As you can see from the screenshot below, Pulseway has written the interface to be easily consumable on either a desktop or a mobile device. It looks great on either platform.
Key features ^
The key features included in the Pulseway remote management and monitoring solution include the following:
- Patching – The ability to patch remote systems is a feature provided by Pulseway. Machines can be grouped together and patched according to patch policies that you define. This includes both Windows Updates and third-party software
- Remote Control – Using Pulseway's remote control app, you can control and interact with remote servers on your mobile device.
- Server Monitoring – Monitor servers easily using the apps and get push notifications from Pulseway about pertinent events in the environment.
- Mobile App – Pulseway includes mobile device apps that make it easy to monitor and manage systems on the go.
- Integrations – By default, Pulseway includes integrations with ConnectWise Manage and Slack that allows connecting clients with these systems. With ConnectWise Manage, service tickets can be created automatically along with other automatic processes.
Installation and onboarding ^
Pulseway is a cloud-based solution that uses an agent-based approach to communicate with the remote server nodes. Some people are a little hesitant when they hear the word "agent." However, I did find the Pulseway agent easy to install, and remote administration was not problematic.
It is obvious that Pulseway has thought through the process of deploying agents. You only have to manually deploy the agent to one on-premises endpoint, server, etc. Once you have the agent deployed on one endpoint inside your on-premises network, it can scan the internal network for you. When the nodes are returned to you, you can select the remote endpoints to which you want to manage and deploy the agent.
This is found under the Onboarding > Downloads section of the Pulseway web client. As you can see below, there is a wide range of supported clients for installing the agent.
This remote scan functionality is carried out by the Pulseway Probe, which is nothing more than one of your agents that you choose to use for the purpose of scanning your network. Remote probe configuration is found under the Systems > Discovery and Deployment menu. Choose the node you want to use as a probe and use it to scan your network. It will return the list of devices discovered on the remote network that you can choose to manage with Pulseway.
Note that the automatic discovery feature looks only to scan and find Windows endpoints. It did not automatically discover the Linux-based nodes in my test environment. According to the Pulseway documentation on this subject, it appears that the agent installation and registration process is more of a manual effort with Linux systems.
Patch management ^
One of the great features of Pulseway is the ability to manage both your Windows updates and third-party software updates. You can assign your endpoints to different groups that can receive different policies. The policies define the various aspects of configuration pertaining to how you want updates to be applied to your systems.
You can decide settings regarding Window updates such as whether to create restore points before installing updates, rebooting the machine if required, notifying the logged-in users before rebooting, randomizing update intervals, scheduling updates, and more.
With third-party updates, you can choose which third-party software to install/update and how you want the updates to happen. Software can be updated if already installed, installed and updated, or uninstalled. You can choose the third-party software you want to perform updates on.
Create a patch management policy to assign to remote agents for updates
Server Monitoring ^
As a standout feature, Pulseway provides real-time monitoring of your infrastructure that can be accessed from your mobile device. This includes application monitoring. With the server, and by extension, application monitoring, you can monitor the health of the following types of server infrastructure:
- Active Directory Domain Services (ADDS) – account lockouts and notifications, enable/disable/reset user passwords, change group memberships
- VMware and Hyper-V – Monitor and manage hosts, virtual machines, create and revert snapshots, launch virtual machine consoles and other features
- SQL Server environments – Run queries, start and view jobs and logs, troubleshoot deadlocks, and other database issues
- Citrix XenServer – Monitor CPU, memory, run and pause tasks, and other features
- Exchange Server – Alert on critical issues in the Exchange environment, monitor the Exchange database, manage transport settings, etc
Pulseway enables running scripts and tasks on managed endpoints. By default, Pulseway includes many automation scripts for you to use on managed nodes. These include PowerShell scripts that can do many things, such as interact with services, clear the DNS cache, clear the browser cache, check and install updates, and more.
Aside from the built-in scripts that are included out of the box, Pulseway allows you to create your own scripts and tasks, which can be used on managed nodes. The advantage of the scripts tool is that you can simply run the scripts from the mobile app or client you are using without having to open a terminal on the managed server, enable PowerShell remoting, or employ some other means to run scripts remotely.
Reports are an important part of documenting and keeping up with IT infrastructure. Management often requires various levels of reporting from IT personnel. This can include reporting on assets, applications, and other metrics that may be needed for audits or other compliance regulations.
Pulseway provides a built-in reporting feature, including prebuilt reports that cover many of the common types of reports that may be needed in most environments. You can also create your own reports to meet your specific needs.
Additional features ^
Pulseway has a few additional features that I didn't cover in this review. In particular, the following are worth mentioning:
- Pulseway includes a modular design – Pulseway's extensible framework allows easily adding additional functionality.
- Various add-ons – Backup, security, documentation, and other great features.
- Great security features – Including two-factor authentication as well as antivirus that can be managed using the solution.
- Built-in Role-based Access Control (RBAC) – This allows easily building out access for various team members who may need differing levels of permissions across the environment.
Overall, the experience with Pulseway was rock-solid. Getting signed up and signed into the Pulseway dashboard, downloading the agent, and getting the first agent registered was easily accomplished. The automatic discovery from the first installed agent worked very well, although it only seems to onboard Windows clients automatically.
The mobile apps are some of the best I have seen with this type of use case and work extremely well. You can run PowerShell scripts against remote hosts from your iPhone/Android device simply and easily. Tasks such as restarting services, viewing processes, and resource usage are right at your fingertips.
If you are looking for a remote management solution that enables you to be mobile and provides continuous access to the systems you manage as well as RBAC control for team members, Pulseway may very well be the solution you are looking for. With its modular design and extensibility, you can easily customize the solution to include additional features you may need in your environment. You can check out Pulseway and get started here.