SolarWinds raises profile in cloud-based IT management

With its $120 million acquisition of N-able Technologies, the company is cementing its leadership position in SMB-centric monitoring and management.

Funny how timing works out sometimes. Just days after I interviewed a small manufacturing company, American Cement Company, about how it is using IT management software from SolarWinds to keep its network and server infrastructure happy, the vendor made a pretty significant acquisition announcement.

In short, SolarWinds plans to pay $120 milion to buy N-able Technologies, a company which provides a cloud-hosted remote monitoring and management service. The deal will extend SolarWinds' ability to help small businesses manage both their on-premise software and server infrastructure in conjunction with any cloud-delivered applications or infrastructure services that they might be using.

"As more and more small businesses begin exploring ways to deploy and efficiently manage IT and SaaS-based technologies to drive their businesses, [managed service providers] are stepping up with cloud-based services designed to help ensure that IT environments are maintained and employees have access and device support that they need to get their jobs done," said Kevin Thompson, president and CEO of SolarWinds, in the press release about the merger.

American Cement Company, a 100-person company in Sumterville, Fla., uses SolarWinds tools to monitor its network and system infrastructure, create a help desk solution for tracking IT issues, and offer remote troubleshooting. Specifically, the company uses SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor, NetFlow Traffic Analyzer, Server & Application Monitor, SolarWinds Web Help Desk, and DameWare (for remote administration).

While the American Cement Company used to let an outside company do this, it opted for the SolarWinds approach in order to gain more control over the information, said Jeremy Mayfield, the company's IT director. "SolarWinds had the most complete price, for a small business. There's lots of complexity underneath the covers, but the interface is easy to use and understand," he said.