Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?



  • We've been ScreenConnect customers for a long while now and have been pretty happy with them. The product is quite good. But recently, since the ConnectWise acquisition, it seems like updates might be .... slow in coming and that the software is not being maintained. A recent talk of a partner with their support left us seriously concerned that they are no longer maintaining or updating the software (or more importantly, it's key dependencies) and that ConnectWise no longer has the technical ability to work on ScreenConnect.

    ConnectWise' claim to fame is dirt cheap zero skill offshoring of L0 helpdesk. That that model might have been applies to ScreenConnect with the real developers all being fired in exchange for using "whoever is cheap" offshore was a real fear of the acquisition or, as often happens with these things, just shutting down development completely and running the product into the ground keeping people paying as long as they can until it just doesn't work anymore.

    Anyone else experiencing concerns or issues? That support responds that the product can't be maintained, rather than updating broken or "concern level" dependencies is pretty alarming. Considering how expensive SC is, it seems like not keeping its packages updated to acceptable levels, even if no code was still being written, would be pretty easy. That they are not suggests the product is done for and they are just milking its corpse at this point.

    Youtube Video

    This is pretty recent, so maybe they've just lost their way, maybe they are trying to find qualified developers and are just in a really long slump, maybe no one is willing to work for ConnectWise and they are struggling to hire, maybe this is just the first signs of the end? What are other people seeing?



  • This is what they sent me about Linux:

    Hi Allen,

    Unfortunately, it sounds like you are running into an issue that we have seen on some instances of Linux running mono, and that is currently under investigation. I know that you have been a Control (ScreenConnect) user for quite some time now, so I want to be as straightforward as possible; you really should be running Control on a Windows machine (it does not have to be server-class operating system).

    There are currently several outstanding issues related to mono that the Development team are investigating, to try determine how best to address them. Many relate to the current branch of mono that Control uses. In the meantime, Documentation is supposed to be adding a list of caveats relating to hosting Control on a mono server (i.e., Linux and Mac). Below are some of those caveats:

    • Performance: Some users may notice a degradation in overall performance when running on Linux, when compared to running on a Windows operating system. This is particularly true as partners grow the number of deployed Access clients and/or number of concurrent sessions. (If you are expecting to use 15 or more active sessions at a time or have around 1000 access clients or more, you should run Control on a Windows operating system.)
    • PCI compliance: Currently, the branch of Mono utilized by Control supports TLS 1.0 only. If you require PCI compliance, you should run your Control server on Windows.
    • Mono-specific issues: Because Control runs under Mono, users may encounter bugs specific to the Mono platform. While we do our best to try to resolve such issues when they are found, it is not always possible for us to do so.
    • Other various limitations of Mono:
    o Mono can't retrieve its own certificates, which can lead to cert chain integrity issues
    o Partners are unable to disable certain ciphers using Mono
    o There is no support for AD, LDAP or SAML/OAuth2 integration
    o Mono is vulnerable to POODLE
    o Mono does not support hard floating point
    o Mono does not support IPv6

    All of the above issues are currently under investigation, as to how we can best we can address them (e.g., update Mono, switch to .NET Native, etc.). All that being said, given the issue that you are encountering, as well as the fact that you have 900+ Access sessions, Windows really is your best option.

    We can do a support session to take a look at this current issue; however, my developers will likely tell us that it is that Mono-specific issue that they are looking into and that there is nothing that we can do at this time other than have you try spinning up another Linux server and seeing if you encounter the same issue on a different server or for you to move to Windows. In fact, if they see the number of Access sessions that you have, they will probably just state that you need to be on Windows.

    Thanks!

    Reid Bodford
    ConnectWise Control Support
    For helpful docs about the product. https://docs.connectwise.com/ConnectWise_Control_Documentation



  • Just found out that this video was actually sent to support with a very pointed question asking if they were actually still able to support it at all. That's awesome.



  • My response:

    Allen Crist [email protected]
    7:38 AM (9 minutes ago)
    to ScreenConnect

    I think the company needs to make a determination if you are going to support Linux or not.

    You guys went down a bad path with mono and are failing to bring the software up to standards (Microsoft NET).

    Even if we are stuck with Mono, by your own admission you are stuck with a version that isn't up to date because of bad decisions made previously. If you are gong to support Linux, then you have some development to do.

    I pay yearly maintenance to make sure that you guys are keeping your product current and it sounds like that money isn't being spent towards that goal.

    Either fix the product or come out (publicly) and say you no longer support Linux installs or waive my yearly maintenance fees until you guys actually fix the product.


    I also sent them @scottalanmiller 's youtube video.



  • @ccwtech said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    you really should be running Control on a Windows machine (it does not have to be server-class operating system).

    For those wondering, yes it does. Microsoft licensing requires that it be a server. So Connectwise is adding quite a lot of cost to their product here, but trying to act like they are not by suggesting people break their licensing to save some money and still use their product without paying for the dependencies.



  • @ccwtech said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    • Performance: Some users may notice a degradation in overall performance when running on Linux, when compared to running on a Windows operating system.

    Cleverly ignoring the fact that the opposite is also true. We noticed that moving to Linux cut our resource needs in half, for the same performance. So it's not universal. They are trying to spin this as "it isn't as fast on Linux", when in reality it's something more like "it's random and some people it is terrible on Linux and some people it is great and we aren't sure why."



  • I'll throw out what I've done. I've used NoMachine over ZeroTier and it works pretty well. It may not have a lot of the higher options but if you need remote help type solutions, it works pretty well.



  • @stacksofplates said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    I'll throw out what I've done. I've used NoMachine over ZeroTier and it works pretty well. It may not have a lot of the higher options but if you need remote help type solutions, it works pretty well.

    The things I like best about SC are the way that it handles Windows clients, performance, and running remote commands as the local admin. It's super reliable.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    @stacksofplates said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    I'll throw out what I've done. I've used NoMachine over ZeroTier and it works pretty well. It may not have a lot of the higher options but if you need remote help type solutions, it works pretty well.

    The things I like best about SC are the way that it handles Windows clients, performance, and running remote commands as the local admin. It's super reliable.

    Yeah NoMachine works well on Windows but I don't know ow about remote commands. If that's available I've never used it. I've also not paid for their enterprise version either so it could do more, I have no idea.



  • @stacksofplates said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    @stacksofplates said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    I'll throw out what I've done. I've used NoMachine over ZeroTier and it works pretty well. It may not have a lot of the higher options but if you need remote help type solutions, it works pretty well.

    The things I like best about SC are the way that it handles Windows clients, performance, and running remote commands as the local admin. It's super reliable.

    Yeah NoMachine works well on Windows but I don't know ow about remote commands. If that's available I've never used it. I've also not paid for their enterprise version either so it could do more, I have no idea.

    I can work around that if necessary.

    NoMachines commercial or a free version?



  • it's a shame the Original owners of Screenconnect sold themselves out, but these buyouts normally end up making the product twice as expensive without any decent further development.



  • @stuartjordan said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    it's a shame the Original owners of Screenconnect sold themselves out, but these buyouts normally end up making the product twice as expensive without any decent further development.

    That's precisely my concern - a company that specialized in this one thing sold it to a company that specializes in Indian offshoring for L0 call handling where this product doesn't fit their portfolio and they have no skills to maintain. If they didn't retain and continue to support the skills that they bought from SC (if they even bought the development team at all) then they are likely stuck with no working product.



  • @stuartjordan said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    it's a shame the Original owners of Screenconnect sold themselves out, but these buyouts normally end up making the product twice as expensive without any decent further development.

    Best comment ever! Exactly how I feel.



  • It sounds as if you're seeing the writing on the wall, so to speak. What are some good, viable alternatives to ScreenConnect?



  • @dafyre said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    It sounds as if you're seeing the writing on the wall, so to speak. What are some good, viable alternatives to ScreenConnect?

    I hope that we are not and it is just a blip, but their answers aren't very "we are on it" and feel very "we abandoned it and you caught us." It "just uses old stuff" isn't a viable answer. How the heck did Mono get out of date ever?



  • This sounds like more than a blip. So who are the alternatives to SC then?



  • @dafyre said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    It sounds as if you're seeing the writing on the wall, so to speak. What are some good, viable alternatives to ScreenConnect?

    Honestly I've put SC at the top... I would consider the following more along the lines of alternatives, not direct competitors (separate discussion regarding MSP tenants, features, pricing with scale, etc):

    • GoToAssist (the UI and UX very much needs an update though)
    • LogMeIn
    • Bomgar
    • Teamviewer (I would never, ever recommend them. I'm only including them because there are many who use it. Their security issues in the past have brought them to nearly unforgivable for me).
    • On-prem for clients... Dameware (totally different use case, but worth a mention if this isn't for an MSP).

    @jmoore



  • I liked this, unfortunately there is no Linux support.
    https://www.pilixo.com/



  • @bbigford This is really just for me as I have a few times a year I really need something. I use DameWare at work and love it but i don't want to pay that for personal needs. I'm not a fan of teamviewer either so will replace them with nomachine.



  • @jmoore said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    This sounds like more than a blip. So who are the alternatives to SC then?

    "Sounds" like a blip, maybe. But their answer doesn't sound like a blip, and it sounds like it hasn't been maintained since the buyout. So I'm leaning towards a blip being possible, but it doesn't sound like it.



  • @scottalanmiller Yeah I agree. It's not comforting at all.



  • @jmoore said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    @scottalanmiller Yeah I agree. It's not comforting at all.

    now if they had said "We have stalled on Mono because we are focused on leaving Mono to go to Windows' own .NET" or something like that, I'd have felt a lot better. but "we just don't bother anymore" isn't a good sign.



  • @scottalanmiller Yeah exactly. If that happened at least they would be communicating somewhat honestly about what is going on. The fact that they did not say something like this makes me believe they are hiding their true development capabilities and their actual plans for the product(assuming they have any at all).



  • @jmoore said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    @bbigford This is really just for me as I have a few times a year I really need something. I use DameWare at work and love it but i don't want to pay that for personal needs. I'm not a fan of teamviewer either so will replace them with nomachine.

    If this is for personal use, I would absolutely recommend Jump Desktop. It's free from PC to PC. From mobile to PC the app is $9 now I believe (down from $14 last year). For commercial, it is free from what I have found; I contacted their staff about commercial use, and can find nowhere in their fine print or on the site or community about commercial use (at the time of writing this). I reached out to their sales team about terms and conditions as it's pretty standard for companies to require a license for business use, but not for personal.



  • @bbigford Oh cool thanks i will look at it



  • @bbigford said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    @jmoore said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    @bbigford This is really just for me as I have a few times a year I really need something. I use DameWare at work and love it but i don't want to pay that for personal needs. I'm not a fan of teamviewer either so will replace them with nomachine.

    If this is for personal use, I would absolutely recommend Jump Desktop. It's free from PC to PC. From mobile to PC the app is $9 now I believe (down from $14 last year). For commercial, it is free from what I have found; I contacted their staff about commercial use, and can find nowhere in their fine print or on the site or community about commercial use (at the time of writing this). I reached out to their sales team about terms and conditions as it's pretty standard for companies to require a license for business use, but not for personal.

    Jump is made by Bomgar.



  • 0_1528213667147_Screenshot from 2018-06-05 10-47-41.png



  • @scottalanmiller said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    0_1528213667147_Screenshot from 2018-06-05 10-47-41.png

    That's what I've been going on. But the fact that they do offer paid software made me wonder if you can use it for single instances as needed, or if commercial use requires a license. I have been leaning to "use it for business only if you need the added features of the paid software".



  • I'm wondering what it does. It must do something, but is it just automating SSH tear up and tear down? Is it peer to peer negotiation? I'm interested in what it does vs. what it just uses from other projects.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    @stacksofplates said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    @stacksofplates said in Has ConnectWise Set ScreenConnect Adrift as Ghost Ship Software?:

    I'll throw out what I've done. I've used NoMachine over ZeroTier and it works pretty well. It may not have a lot of the higher options but if you need remote help type solutions, it works pretty well.

    The things I like best about SC are the way that it handles Windows clients, performance, and running remote commands as the local admin. It's super reliable.

    Yeah NoMachine works well on Windows but I don't know ow about remote commands. If that's available I've never used it. I've also not paid for their enterprise version either so it could do more, I have no idea.

    I can work around that if necessary.

    NoMachines commercial or a free version?

    There's a free version which is what I used that acts like VNC, Bomgar, etc. Their Enterprise one offers terminal services and other stuff but I've never needed that.


Log in to reply