Spiceworks 5.0 Beta: Free Network Monitoring for MSPs

Spiceworks is preparing to beta test version 5.0 of the company's free, advertising-based managed services platform. The Spiceworks 5.0 release seems to target network-centric MSPs. Here's a quick preview of the release and some more background on Spiceworks.

According to co-founder Jay Hallberg, Spiceworks 5.0 will "include a full set of automated network configuration management features for network routers, hubs and switches. Capabilities include a built-in TFTP server as well as the ability to backup and restore network device settings."

Hallberg says Spiceworks will unveil at least one more MSP-centric surprise within the next two months -- with a potential announcement expected at CompTIA Breakaway (Aug. 9-12, San Antonio, Texas). The final Spiceworks 5.0 release is expected to be ready for general availability by September 2010 -- or a few weeks before  SpiceWorld, the annual Spiceworks User Conference (Oct. 21-22, Austin, Texas). Ironically, N-able Partner Summit is the same week.

Tracking the Numbers

Spiceworks has spent much of 2010 talking about its business milestones. In June 2010, Spiceworks said more than 1 million IT administrators use the company's free software. And in January 2010, Hallberg described the company's march toward profitability in this MSPmentor FastChat video:

Still, I don't hear too frequently from Spiceworks users... so it's difficult for me to say whether Spiceworks really is an apples-to-apples alternative vs. traditional, paid RMM (remote monitoring and management) software.

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