Self-hosted or on-site? How to Choose the Right RMM Platform for Your Business

IT teams require more effective approaches to monitor and control devices remotely as remote work becomes more popular. It is essential to make use of the Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM), which enables this process. By virtue of RMM, administrators are capable of monitoring, upgrading, ensuring security and providing assistance for all endpoints that are in a remote location. When it comes to RMM, companies have two deployment options:

  1. Self-hosted RMM where the servers are hosted in the cloud
  2. On-premise RMM where the servers are on-location

This article explains the key differences between self-hosted and on-premise RMM. We’ll compare the two approaches across costs, security, scalability, ease of use and more. Our goal is to help you determine which RMM model makes the most sense for your organization’s needs.

Factors to Consider in the RMM Decision

a graphical image of Factors to Consider in the Decision of RMM in tree structure

When evaluating self-hosted versus on-premise RMM, some major considerations include:

Control and Customization

On-premise RMM software gives you more control over the solution. It also makes custom scripting and integration work easier since everything resides in your infrastructure. With self-hosted RMM, you rely on an external provider’s servers and have less control. But you benefit from tapping into the host company’s expertise.


Organizations with stringent data security requirements sometimes prefer keeping RMM servers on-site. This guarantees protection without relying on a third-party. However, leading cloud RMM providers also use enterprise-grade security safeguards to protect customer data.


On-premise RMM requires upfront capital expenses for hardware/software and data center build outs. But ongoing costs may be lower without monthly provider fees. Cloud RMM has minimal startup costs though monthly subscriptions persist.

IT Resourcing

On-site RMM requires experienced IT staff to handle administration, maintenance and troubleshooting. Cloud RMM leverages the host provider’s talent pool instead. This saves considerable IT headcount costs.


Adding more endpoints is straightforward with self-hosted RMM. But expanding on-premise servers has capacity limitations requiring frequent upgrades. Cloud RMM offers seamless and rapid scaling.

When Does On-Premise RMM Make Good Sense?

Certain situations lend themselves particularly well to an on-premise RMM approach:

Strict Industry Regulations

The heavily controlled industries like banking, medical profession and the government have traditionally required high levels of data security and privacy. Maintaining total control over RMM servers on-site provides guaranteed protection that reassures auditors and leadership. Custom security policies can be applied as well.

Robust Existing IT Team

Getting full value from on-premise RMM relies on having an experienced IT staff to manage it. Common responsibilities include:

  • Installing RMM software and configuring hardware
  • Setting up redundancy protections and automatic failover
  • Monitoring system health 24/7 and responding to alerts
  • Regularly testing backup integrity and disaster recovery
  • Troubleshooting issues and maintaining maximal uptime

Without mature IT expertise internally, an on-site RMM deployment often struggles. But organizations with ample talent can run this model smoothly.

Minimal Endpoint Growth Expected

Expanding on-premise RMM capacity is difficult and disruptive when endpoint growth occurs. Repeated server upgrades and infrastructure expansions require capital and effort. For organizations expecting minimal device volume changes, this model works. But fast-scaling environments are better suited to cloud RMM that supports seamless growth.

Where Cloud RMM Shines

Migrating to a hosted RMM model also comes with some excellent perks:

Lower Upfront Costs

With cloud RMM, companies avoid major initial server and software investments. You primarily pay a monthly fee per endpoint instead. Without large capital outlays to recoup, ongoing operating expenses are very manageable. This makes adoption simple for cash-strapped organizations.

Easy Scalability

Adding more endpoints happens seamlessly with cloud RMM. The provider handles capacity planning and infrastructure maintenance in the background. Whenever more devices need monitoring, your account is adjusted accordingly. No IT projects or upgrades required on your end.

Access to Expert Talent and Best Practices

Reputable RMM providers have tremendous experience from managing thousands of customers. Tapping into this expertise brings value most internal IT teams couldn’t match alone including:

  • 24/7 platform monitoring and issue resolution
  • Quick response times and continuous optimization
  • Regular security enhancements
  • Strict adherence to IT controls and processes

This reduces operating overhead substantially while benefiting from industry best practices.

Robust Security and Reliability Safeguards

Established cloud RMM vendors invest heavily in enterprise-grade:

These standards match or exceed what individual companies can achieve on their own. You gain excellent continuity and reassurance as a result.

Making the Optimal RMM Decision

Choosing self-hosted or on-premise RMM involves weighing factors like:

  • Budget – What capital and ongoing costs seem realistic? Which offers the best ROI?
  • Security – Any non-negotiable data protection requirements?
  • IT Staffing – Sufficient in-house skills to manage on-premise complexity?
  • Growth Trajectory – Will device volume grow substantially soon? How easily can RMM scale?

Asking some key questions of prospective RMM vendors is also recommended:

  • What infrastructure and data protection measures are used?
  • How quickly can you support more endpoints?
  • What security controls govern internal vs. external access?
  • What disaster recovery provisions exist? Recovery time/point objectives?

Documenting all technical, security, commercial needs upfront simplifies provider comparisons. Be clear on budget constraints, growth expectations, IT capabilities and limitations too. This facilitates matching the ideal RMM platform to strategic business goals.


The choice between self-hosted or on-premise RMM depends largely on budget, growth plans, security needs and in-house IT skills. On-premise makes sense for static environments with ample IT resources and strict compliance requirements. Cloud RMM suits most small/medium businesses wanting simplicity and seamless expansion. Documenting organizational needs helps determine what solution best aligns with long-term goals.

Hopefully this guide has offered some useful insights to help navigate this key platform decision.


Which option has higher reliability?

Properly implemented cloud RMM often offers better uptime guarantees. Top providers invest heavily in redundancy, failover provisions and maturity processes that few companies can match internally.

Doesn’t on-premise provide more control and customization?

Yes, managing RMM servers on-site provides more control and customization capability. But reputable cloud vendors provide extensive configuration options, automation flexibility and infrastructure insights as well.

Is sensitive data safer on internal RMM servers?

Some firms mandate on-premise servers to meet stringent compliance rules or data protection needs. But mature cloud RMM vendors readily support customized security policies, encryption and high standards as well. Evaluate vendors carefully on security measures.

Don’t ongoing costs get higher with cloud services long-term?

Potentially yes due to recurring monthly fees. But substantial IT infrastructure/staffing costs accompany on-premise RMM as well. Estimate total cost of ownership over a 5-year horizon for accurate comparisons.

Which option scales better for fast endpoint growth?

Cloud RMM easily supports rapid device volume expansions. Capacity limits with on-premise servers often require disruptive upgrades when growing quickly. Unless it stays very small, scale better with a hosted provider.

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Hitesh Patel
Hitesh Patel is an engineer turned business owner of WPG Consulting. He is a techie enthusiast who believes in finding creative IT solutions to solve consumer problems.

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