An Overview of Atera PBC Software Deployment
As managed service providers (MSPs) expand their offerings and client base, an effective remote monitoring and management (RMM) solution becomes increasingly important. Reliable deployment and ongoing management of remote agents on customer systems is critical for monitoring networks, patching vulnerabilities, and addressing issues proactively.
Atera PBC is an end-to-end RMM platform designed to streamline operations for MSPs through centralized administration and automated processes. This guide will provide an overview of deploying Atera to client networks, best practices for efficient rollout, and tips for ongoing remote management and support.
Choosing Atera as Your RMM
When selecting an RMM platform, key factors to consider include cost, scalability, remote access capabilities, reporting features, and user experience. Here are some of the primary reasons why Atera is a top choice:
- Affordability – Atera offers flexible, usage-based pricing without long-term contracts. Tiered plans start at just $99 per month.
- Scalability – The platform is built for high scalability from a few clients to thousands with no performance issues. It can efficiently manage unlimited endpoints.
- Remote Access Tools – Integrated remote screen sharing, remote control, file transfer, and more allow hands-on troubleshooting from anywhere.
- Automation – Tasks like patching, backup management, and software deployment can be automated to reduce manual workloads.
- Reporting & Analytics – Detailed reports provide insights into security, networking, hardware, software inventory, and more for proactive management.
- Integration Partners – Over 500 integration apps are available through the Atera Marketplace to extend capabilities. Partners include Microsoft, ConnectWise, Datto and others.
- Mobile Support – The Atera mobile app enables admin from any device for maximum flexibility and responsiveness.
For MSPs seeking a unified platform that saves time and resources through automation while delivering excellent client outcomes, Atera is a top choice to consider for RMM software deployment.
Preparing for Atera Deployment
Before beginning the deployment process, take time to properly plan and prepare your team and client systems. This initial groundwork will ensure a smoother rollout.
- Gather Hardware Specs: Compile a complete inventory of all client systems including models, OS versions, installed software and any other relevant details. This data speeds deployment configuration.
- Review Network Topology: Understand how client systems connect to apply the correct network access policies. Consider VPN, firewall configurations and any other factors.
- Review Security Settings: Identify current layers of protection like antivirus solutions and assess compatibility with Atera integration. Manage expectations around potential changes.
- Train Your Staff: Provide in-depth training for your technical staff on Atera features, configurations and best practices. Address any questions beforehand.
- Communicate with Clients: Inform clients about the rollout plan, how Atera will benefit them and address any concerns they may have. Gain buy-in for necessary on-site access and baseline security policies.
- Install Agents Manually First: Test deploying agents manually on a few key systems before automating to troubleshoot any platform or connectivity issues. This avoids major problems at scale.
With proper preparation, your team can expect a smooth deployment experience and clients remain informed and on board throughout the process. Taking the time up front pays dividends long term.
Deploying Atera Agents Remotely
Atera’s powerful agent deployment capabilities allow administrators to quickly push agents to all client systems, whether located on-premises or remotely across different geographic areas. Here are the key steps:
- Create Device Groups: Organize clients’ devices using Dynamic or Custom groups for easy management at scale. Dynamic groups auto-populate, while Custom lets you manually assign devices.
- Configure Agent Properties: Specify install settings like name, installation path, start menu shortcuts and more as needed on a group level.
- Choose Deployment Method: Remote deployment options include MSI installer, Active Setup, GPO/SCCM integration or through third-party tools.
- Schedule Deployment: Queue deployments individually, simultaneously or on a staggered schedule to avoid overloading networks or systems.
- Monitor Installation Progress: The deployment dashboard shows overall status, errors and notifications in real-time for quick remediation if needed.
- Handle Manual Installs Remotely: Leverage Atera’s remote control to install agents directly on any systems that require hands-on assistance.
- Verify Connectivity Post-Install: Ensure proper communication is established between agents and the Atera server to start monitoring.
With mass deployment functionality, activating monitoring on hundreds or thousands of endpoints is straightforward from within one intuitive console. Proper preparation is still important, however deployment itself becomes largely automated.
Key Monitoring Tasks with Atera
Once all devices have the Atera agent installed, administrators can begin configuring recurring monitoring tasks to support customer systems proactively. Common tasks include:
- Patch Management – Leverage the patch catalog to deploy hundreds of updates automatically based on device groups. Review reports tracking which patches were installed.
- Antivirus/Endpoint Protection – Monitor antivirus status across endpoints and manage definitions, scans, and protection policies centrally.
- Hardware/Software Inventory – Keep tabs on hardware specs and installed applications across endpoints for planning upgrades or troubleshooting inconsistencies.
- Backup Management – Configure and manage backup locations, schedules and restore points through third-party integration with providers like Datto.
- Software Distribution – Create packages for push installs of needed applications to desktops and servers for consistency.
- Performance Monitoring – Track memory, CPU, disk usage and more with customizable dashboards and alerts for capacity planning.
- Uptime Monitoring – Keep tabs on connectivity and availability of critical network equipment, servers, applications and systems.
- Power Management – Enable power schemes, wake-on-LAN capabilities and remote shutdown/restart as needed for troubleshooting or security.
With Atera bringing all monitoring under one roof, operational efficiencies are gained through automation and centralized administration. Issues get resolved quicker through proactive detection and alerts.
Establishing Security Baselines
For additional security and controls over remote systems, administrators can implement standardized configuration baselines across devices using Atera’s Group Policy-based capabilities. Examples include:
- Enforcing strong passwords or password requirements
- Centrally managing user permissions and privilege levels
- Restricting applications or firewall rules installation
- Setting device lockout policies after failed login attempts
- Configuring encryption or VPN requirements
- Limiting admin access, local admin rights or RDP access
- Updating device security settings like auto-patching intervals
- Blocking unauthorized USB devices or browser extensions
By creating compliance-based groups and baselines in Atera, security posture remains standardized for all managed devices through the automation of consistent policies. Non-compliance triggers alerts until devices meet the required configuration.
Advanced Scripting & Automation
PowerShell and other scripting methods allow for tremendously granular control and custom automation in Atera. Some advanced use cases may include:
- Custom scripts for software/patch auditing beyond standard tools
- Monitoring custom event logs, services or performance counters
- Automating specific troubleshooting steps or remediation through remote scripts
- Deploying line-of-business or niche applications unattended
- Integrating deeply with client-side systems through APIs
- Managing hypervisors, virtual environments, containers via scripts
Through the Atera API and script marketplace as well, endless possibilities open up. With coding experience, administrators gain an even higher level of control and streamline extremely specific tasks.
FAQ about Atera Deployment and Management
Q: Can Atera monitor both Windows and non-Windows devices?
A: Yes, Atera supports Windows, Mac, Linux and even iOS/Android through mobile device management capabilities. Agents work across all major platforms.
Q: How can Atera help if a client’s network goes down?
A: With remote tools, Atera can perform tasks like power cycling routers to quickly resolve issues without an on-site visit. Alerts also notify you immediately to minimize downtime.
Q: Is training and support available for learning Atera?
A: Absolutely. Atera University provides on-demand video courses, and their highly-skilled support team is available via phone, chat and forums. Ongoing webinars also help admins stay up-to-date.
Q: What is included in Atera’s various pricing tiers?
A: Pricing is based on the number of endpoints under management. All tiers include features like remote access, monitoring, backup, patching, etc. Higher tiers provide additional scripts, users, and other advanced capabilities.
Q: How secure is Atera and what certifications do they have?
A: Atera is ISO 27001 certified and utilizes bank-grade encryption for security. Their platform and infrastructure are also SSAE 16 SOC 2 Type II audited annually to ensure protection of sensitive data.
Q: Can Atera integrate with other systems like CRM or PSA solutions?
A: Yes, over 500 integrations are available through Atera’s open API and marketplace, including tight bindings to solutions like ConnectWise, Autotask, Microsoft 365, and more for unified data
Here are some additional details I could provide about Atera:
- Remote Control/Support: Atera uses a Java-based remote control that works cross-platform. It allows viewing/controlling the client’s screen, pushing/pulling files, and transferring diagnostics. This is crucial for hands-on troubleshooting.
- Hardware/Software Inventory: Atera provides very detailed inventory of systems, including models, CPU/RAM, storage, network adapters, installed software/versions, running processes etc. This aids in audits, upgrades, and issue diagnosis.
- Monitoring Dashboard: The Atera portal features highly customizable dashboards admins can populate with useful widgets. Prebuilt widgets cover security, hardware health, patch status and more. Custom ones also allow tracking custom metrics.
- Automated Patch Management: Atera makes patching easy at scale by continuously monitoring endpoints for missing patches and allowing admins to deploy updates in bulk according to device groups/custom rules. Detailed reports track installation status.
- Alerting and Notifications: Admins can configure detailed alerting rules based on various monitoring sensors, then choose to be notified by email, text, portal notifications etc. Thresholds ensure you’re only alerted to critical issues.
- Backup Management: Through integrations, Atera can manage and report on backups from solutions like Datto, SolarWinds, Veeam and other partners for comprehensive data protection across client systems.
- Mobile Device Management: For companies managing employee mobile devices, Atera offers features like remote view/lock/wipe, application deployment, setting profiles and compliance monitoring directly on iOS/Android phones and tablets.
- Scripting Environment: PowerShell scripts can be developed within Atera to automate advanced tasks tailored to each MSP’s specific needs, including complex software deployment and custom monitoring scenarios beyond the standard catalog.
- MSP Spotlight Marketplace: Atera operates an online marketplace where MSPs can create and share custom scripts, playbooks and solutions they’ve developed to streamline internal processes and billing procedures when implemented across other MSPs on Atera.