What is the Difference Between RMM and MSP?

Discover the best remote monitoring solution for your IT infrastructure: RMM software or MSP services.


Tuesday, June 11, 2024

What is the Difference Between RMM and MSP?

If you want your IT infrastructure to thrive without being so hands-on, you need something that lets you remotely monitor your systems from essentially anywhere.

Two solutions come up when it comes to remote monitoring: using RMM software or working with an MSP business. An RMM system lets your in-house IT staff manage your system via remote access, while the latter is an outsourced service that does the same thing–but with more tech services.

While the end goal is the same, there are a few glaring differences between these two options. So, which one is the best solution for your business?

What is RMM?

RMM, or remote monitoring and management, is a software that allows IT employees to monitor and manage IT systems from a remote location. 

Think of it as a set of eyes and hands for your IT team that lets them monitor your technology infrastructure and make necessary adjustments without being physically present.

Here’s a closer look at what RMM involves.

Remote Monitoring

RMM tools provide 24/7 surveillance, which continuously monitors the performance and health of your IT environment, including servers, networks, and workstations.

If something goes wrong, such as a server crash or unusual network activity, the system sends immediate alerts to the IT team, allowing for swift action.

Remote Management

With RMM, IT professionals can troubleshoot and fix issues remotely, minimizing downtime and disruption. 

Plus, RMM tools automate the deployment of software updates and patches. This helps ensure that all systems are up-to-date with the latest security features and improvements without taking hours or days to do so.


RMM software automates regular maintenance tasks such as backups, disk cleanups, and performance optimizations, which frees up IT staff for more important work. 

Custom scripts can also be deployed across multiple devices to standardize configurations and processes to improve overall efficiency.

Reporting and Analytics

RMM tools provide insightful performance reports that help you spot trends and nip potential issues in the bud. 

Detailed logs of activities ensure transparency and accountability, which give you a clear picture of all actions taken and when they occurred.

woman on a laptop

What is MSP?

MSP, or managed service provider, is like having a dedicated IT department without the overhead. Managed service providers are companies that offer a broad range of IT services to businesses, usually on a subscription basis.

They handle everything from day-to-day IT support to strategic IT planning. Essentially, they allow you to focus on what you do best—running your business. Let's dive into what MSPs bring to the table.

Comprehensive IT Support

MSPs provide all-encompassing IT support, from troubleshooting pesky issues to setting up new hardware and software. 

Whether it's a computer that's acting up or a network that needs configuring, MSPs have got you covered. They make sure your IT systems run smoothly, minimize disruptions, and keep your business processes productive.

Proactive Maintenance

MSPs don't just wait for things to go wrong. They actively work to prevent problems, performing regular checks and updates to ensure your systems are running optimally.

This proactive approach means potential issues are identified and resolved before they can impact your business, which helps you save time and money in the long run.

Security Services

MSPs also offer high-tech security services to protect your systems from cyber threats. 

They implement and manage antivirus software, firewalls, patch management, and other security measures to safeguard your data and network.

Data Backup and Recovery

Data loss can be catastrophic for any business. MSPs make sure your data is backed up regularly and can be recovered quickly in case of a disaster.

More specifically, they manage your backups and develop disaster recovery plans to protect your valuable information.

Consulting and Strategy

MSPs do more than just manage your IT, they also help you strategize. They offer consulting services to help you plan and implement IT strategies that align with your business goals.

Whether you're looking to upgrade your infrastructure, migrate to the cloud, or improve your cybersecurity posture, MSPs provide the expertise and guidance you need to make informed decisions.


RMM and MSP are two key players in IT management, each with unique benefits. But how do you know which one suits your needs best? Let’s break it down and make it crystal clear.

Scope of Services

RMM: Your Remote IT Guardian

Imagine having a vigilant guard for your IT systems, constantly watching, diagnosing, and fixing issues from afar. That’s RMM for you.

These tools are designed for remote oversight and maintenance of your IT environment. They monitor system performance, roll out updates, and automate routine tasks, keeping everything running smoothly without needing someone on-site.

MSP: Your All-in-One IT Department

Now, think of MSPs as your outsourced IT dream team. They do everything RMM tools do, and more. MSPs offer a full spectrum of IT services: troubleshooting, cybersecurity, data backup, recovery, and strategic IT planning.

Proactive vs. Reactive

RMM: Staying Ahead of the Game

RMM tools are proactive powerhouses. They continuously monitor your systems and provide real-time alerts and automated responses to potential issues. This means problems are often solved before you even know they exist, which keeps downtime to a minimum.

MSP: Ready for Anything

While MSPs also use RMM tools to stay ahead of issues, they bring the added bonus of reactive support. If something unexpected happens, MSPs are on it. They provide immediate troubleshooting and repair services, making sure that any disruptions are swiftly dealt with.


RMM: A Tool for All Trades

RMM capabilities are versatile. MSPs use them to remotely manage multiple clients’ IT environments and business operations. Internal IT teams also rely on RMM to manage their own infrastructure efficiently. They’re tools that fit both external service providers and in-house tech teams.

MSP: Tailored IT Management Solution

MSPs cater to businesses that need more than just remote monitoring. They’re perfect for companies without an in-house IT team or those needing extra support. MSPs work with businesses of all sizes, offering customized IT solutions that scale with your needs.

team office work

What is PSA Software?

Professional services automation (PSA) is somewhat of a must-have for service-based businesses, as it integrates project management, resource planning, time tracking, billing, and reporting into one seamless platform.

For MSPs, PSA tools improve operations by automating service delivery processes, making sure projects are on track, resources are optimally allocated, and billing is accurate and timely. The reporting and analytics capabilities of PSA offer valuable insights, which, in turn, allow MSPs to make data-driven decisions and continually improve their services.

When combined with an RMM solution, PSA's benefits are amplified. RMM tools provide real-time monitoring and proactive maintenance of IT systems, while PSA integrates this technical data into broader business processes.

This synergy allows MSPs to automate both technical and business tasks, which helps ensure efficient and cohesive service delivery.

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Simplify Your IT Management with Level

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Take advantage of modernized remote access, improved automation, and a suite of tools that will elevate your service capabilities. Whether you're looking to improve efficiency, strengthen security, or expand your service offerings, Level provides the technology to make it happen.

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FAQs About RMM and MSP

Can a business use RMM without an MSP?

Yes, businesses with an in-house IT team can use RMM tools to manage their systems. However, many small to medium-sized businesses prefer to work with an MSP for comprehensive support.

Are MSP services customizable?

Yes. MSPs often offer tailored packages to meet the specific needs and budgets of their clients.

Do MSPs only work with large companies?

No, MSPs work with businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises.

How do I choose between an RMM tool and an MSP?

It depends on your business needs. If you have an IT team and need robust monitoring tools, RMM is the way to go. If you want to outsource your IT management entirely, an MSP would be more suitable.

Level: Simplify IT Management

At Level, we understand the modern challenges faced by IT professionals. That's why we've crafted a robust, browser-based Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) platform that's as flexible as it is secure. Whether your team operates on Windows, Mac, or Linux, Level equips you with the tools to manage, monitor, and control your company's devices seamlessly from anywhere.

Ready to revolutionize how your IT team works? Experience the power of managing a thousand devices as effortlessly as one. Start with Level today—sign up for a free trial or book a demo to see Level in action.