SolarWinds, which develops IT management software, has launched a real-time bandwidth monitoring tool. The free monitoring software is part of SolarWinds' broader strategy to promote dozens of free IT management tools, which may entice IT managers and IT service providers to embrace SolarWinds' paid network management products.

According to SolarWinds, the Real-Time Bandwidth Monitor software allows users to:
  • enter device information and log-in credentials;
  • run discovery to list all available interfaces;
  • and then choose one to monitor.
SolarWinds now promotes more than 20 free IT management tools. From there, SolarWinds tries to upsell IT managers and IT service providers on the company's Network Performance Monitor, Network Configuration Manager and other paid products.

Admittedly, freemium software, free trials and free tools are common across the managed services software market. N-able Technologies has been the most vocal freemium proponent over the past two years, offering MSPs free basic managed services licenses to help MSPs blanket the market with monitoring software. From there, the N-able MSPs upsell customers on full-blown proactive management. Also, Spiceworks promotes a free, advertising-driven service to help VARs and MSPs monitor networks.

MSPmentor is intrigued by SolarWinds' strategy because we keep hearing rumblings about SolarWinds revving up a channel strategy that will increasingly involve MSPs. Also, Kaseya -- which has a large base of MSPs -- has been gearing up to counter SolarWinds on the network monitoring front. We're curious to see if SolarWinds and Kaseya are on a collision course...