A complete MSP Service Automation Platform
Award-winning N-central® is the industry’s #1 MSP Service Automation Platform. N-able has a proven track record of helping MSPs standardize and automate the setup and delivery of IT services in order to achieve true scalability. N-central is backed by comprehensive business enablement services and the industry’s only Freemium licensing model. Thousands of MSPs use N-able solutions to deliver managed services to over 70,000 SMBs worldwide.
9.1 boosts the power of the industry-leading N-central (9.0) service automation platform. The addition of Mobile Device Management, deep integration with Autotask and ConnectWise, a new version of Automation Manager, and a host of changes as part of N-able’s innovative Customer Rapid Development Program all add up to provide a complete MSP service automation platform.
With N-Central 9.1 you can:
- Add recurring revenue streams with Mobile Device Management (MDM)
- Reduce the cost of administering your businesses software application by leveraging the deep synergies between N-central and Autotask/ConnectWise
- Save time with the automation of more tasks and
- Benefit from additional new features and enhancements as requested by our partners.
New Features in N-central 9.1
Mobile Device Management
With N-central you can add mobile device management to your service offerings and enjoy the benefits of a new, recurring revenue stream. Designed with ease of use in mind, you can ensure that that all mobile devices under your service contracts are secure, appropriately configured and optimized. And you can do it all through a single pane of glass. Learn more about Mobile Device Management
Enhanced Autotask and ConnectWise Integration
N-central has reduced the administrative overhead of managing your PSA and your RMM solutions by making it easier to configure how they interact. Through the introduction of Ticketing Recipients, you can now create tickets in the correct Queue (Autotask) or Service Board (ConnectWise), ensure that duplicate tickets are not created, and automatically have time entries added to tickets when N-central performs Self-Healing or Scheduled Tasks.
Additional Functionality in Automation Manager
The addition of more objects and support for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 make it possible for you to leverage N-central and easily automate more of your day-to-day activities and processes. Learn more
Partner Requested Product Enhancements
Based on feedback from users, N-central 9.1 also includes many notable enhancements. These product enhancements include:
- Location of the branding screen has been moved making it easier to implement branding options.
- Integration with Marval’s ticketing software
- A number of Service Template changes
- Support for Windows Service 2012 Hyper-V as a virtual environment
N-able’s Agent & Probe discovery techniques collect the granular details of all devices on your network for use in your filtering, monitoring and management activities. Auto-classification and assignment ensures that new devices are never missed.
Store managed and unmanaged device information for all of your customers assets. Filter, find and select devices based on any collected asset information. Produce Warranty, License Key, Installed Application and Hardware inventory reports for every device.
Mobile Device Management
Easily perform the key activities of mobile device management; invite and register devices, apply policies, take actions against devices and report on devices under management.
World-class predicative failure monitoring and alerting right out of the box. Monitoring packs for a broad range of devices and applications with on-line access to N-able and Community generated monitoring templates. Active Issues dialogs and Dashboards provide at-a-glance access to critical information.
From auto-discovery, device class categorization, ad-hoc or scheduled tasks, self-healing activities, patch distribution, 3rd-party software distribution, software updates, Professional Service Automation, rules assignment to our forthcoming codeless Automation Manager the N-central platform is about increasing technician utilization rates and reduced costs of IT Service delivery.
Scan, detect, destroy, and prevent malware with industry leading security techniques and Cloud-based update technology.
Filter inbound and outbound email traffic using a broad range of spam detection techniques. Provide users with complete control over quarantined items.
Scan, detect, destroy, and protect workstations, servers and applications from malicious attack.
Perform vulnerability, configuration and compliance audit scans and reporting against prospect and customer networks.
Leverage N-central’s integrated backup manager technology to simplify local and remote backups and replication. Deliver bare metal restore, de-duplication, incremental backups, disk-to-disk-to-cloud, and physical-virtual-virtual backup capabilities.
Take advantage of a Global Relay Network for reliable and high performance connections to your customer's devices in either attended or unattended mode. Leverage the communications protocols that provide the best experience for your technicians.
Allow technicians to roam freely. The Mobile UI provides them with access to the N-central console for device lists, filters, trouble ticket notifications and acknowledgements.
Create and enforce desktop and server policies by user or device. Gain control over security and configuration setting in order to help control change management and costs of support.
N-central's powerful filtering capability allows you to rapidly and easily define filters using discovered asset information. Filters can then be used to target devices for a variety of purposes including; patch management, remote task execution, reporting, dashboard status views, etc.
System, Organization and Customer level views and role-based access controls combined with a highly-scalable, multi-tenant design permits an MSP to manage hundreds of customers and tens of thousands of devices with the required security and control.
Automated patch approvals and distribution for workstations and servers. Patch reporting to clearly detail Windows device patch statuses.
Professional Services Automation
Integration with market-leading PSA solutions for bi-directional access to the service, ticket and billing information that drives your business and revenues.
Deliver software and updates on a schedule or at the push of a button to selected desktops and servers. Avoid bottlenecks and bandwidth concerns through the flexible deployment options.
Maintain your own brand, keep control of the conversation with your customers. N-central can be entirely re-branded to look and feel like your solution from the console to the reports to the system tray icon.
API’s, SDK’s, custom services and custom reporting permit the extension of the out-of-the box capabilities to meet the needs of any MSP organization. The N-able community provides a source of third-party developed components to help complete your monitoring and management solution.
N-able Business Mentoring Services give our MSP partners the fastest and most cost-effective path to sustained profitability and success. Our services get rapid results while saving you thousands of dollars in go-to-market costs. N-able Business Mentoring Services include three main elements:
- Business e-Training Essentials
- N-able's Blueprint for Success.
The N-central remote monitoring and management platform gives IT service providers a comprehensive toolset to deliver remote services. With its flexible, “a-la-carte” service offering, N-central creates an unprecedented opportunity for IT service providers to increase the number of IP devices they manage.
Key advantages include:
Industry-first hybrid licensing model
N-central offers the industry's ONLY hybrid licensing model, with Essential and Professional Licenses to give IT service providers the maximum flexibility in delivering IT services. This model also enables providers to demonstrate the value of a comprehensive RMM solution by acquiring critical asset information from all devices.
Own the data and own the customer
Essential Licenses allow N-able MSP partners to roll out managed services to new clients and gather critical network and systems information. They can demonstrate the value of RMM services by pro-actively identifying and remediating problems.
N-central automatically runs scripts to resolve issues on remote devices. It can retry multiple times before escalating an issue so that technicians focus only on real problems.
Managed endpoint security
Using N-central you have the power to monitor more devices, more services and more operating systems, from more vendors, with greater scalability than any other available solution.
Breadth and scalability
With N-central you can quickly and easily produce reports that demonstrate the unique value of your services.
Monitoring with agents and probes
N-central's flexibility enables you to provide monitoring using local agents, or network-based probes providing unparalleled flexibility for mobile devices and network devices like servers, desktops, laptops, virtual machines, switches, routers, recalls, gateways, VoIP platforms and phones, printers, and copiers etc.
N-central monitors the key hardware components of ESX and ESXi servers, such as power supplies, fans, and RAID-related hardware and provides in-depth profiling of the performance of an ESX/ESXi server’s disk sub-system. This enables N-central administrators to quickly identify and address both hardware and performance issues before they affect users hosted on a company’s virtual infrastructure.
Automated Warranty Expiry Monitoring
N-central automatically gathers the warranty expiry date from HP, Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, Apple, and Gateway devices and will automatically alert you of any pending expiring warranty.
N-central's industry-leading automated configuration process eliminates manual steps and enables you to deploy monitoring to customers in minutes. Learn more about automated deployment.
Ease of use
N-central’s clean, intuitive interface makes it quick to grasp and use, minimizing training time.
End-to-end device lifecycle management
The N-central product family delivers a complete, integrated solution that aligns to the IT process lifecycle in order to:
- Assess networks for potential vulnerabilities and compliance issues,
- Onboard new devices through automated discovery and classification,
- Monitor every desktop, server and network device,
- Manage any device, anytime, anywhere,
- Protect against spam, viruses and malware,
- Optimize the network to achieve maximum operational efficiency,
- Backup systems and data to ensure business continuity, and;
- Report on all network, system and device usage.
No end-user interruption
Using N-central's unattended remote-control tool, all interactions with a remote machine can occur in the background without the user’s work being interrupted.
N-central supports daily operations, troubleshooting and capacity planning with a single reporting solution..
Business process transformation support
N-central is supported by industry-leading business transformation services that give IT service providers the fastest and easiest on-boarding process and the ability to quickly generate new billable services.
The following describes the minimum server requirements for N-central 9.1.
|Processor||Intel Xeon 55xx series or better|
|Network Card||100Mb/s or better|
The system to be used for the N-central server must be certified to run Red Hat
Enterprise Linux 5 (x64) by RedHat or the hardware vendor.
To verify if the system you are considering is supported, perform the following:
- Browse to https://hardware.redhat.com/
- In the Search for Hardware field, type the brand name of the server that
you want to verify. For example, Dell or HP.
- Click Search Hardware.
- 4. In the list of Systems that is displayed as a result of your search, refer to the
Version 5 column and the 64-bits sub-column.
- The system you are considering is supported if the version number displayed
in the 64-bits column is equal to or less than 5.8.
System Requirements by Number of Devices Managed
The following are minimum specifications required to use N-central to manage the number of devices
indicated based on average usage. Performance can be improved by exceeding these requirements.
|Number of Devices
|Up to 1,000
||4 GB RAM
||75 GB HDD
|Up to 3,000
||8 GB RAM
||150 GB HDD
|Up to 6,000
||16 GB RAM
||300 GB HDD
|Up to 9,000
||24 GB RAM
||450 GB HDD
|Up to 12,000
||32 GB RAM
||600 GB HDD
|Up to 16,000
||48 GB RAM
||800 GB HDD
|Up to 20,000
||64 GB RAM
||1000 GB HDD
- Server-grade hard drives (for example: SCSI, SAS or Fibre Channel) are required for managing more
than 1,000 devices. Desktop-grade hard drives (for example: SATA) may be used for managing less
than 1,000 devices with N-central but are not recommended due to performance issues.
- N-able Technologies recommends two or more hard drives be placed in a RAID to improve redundancy. With two drives, RAID 1 must be used. With more than two drives, RAID 1+0 is preferred,
but RAID 5 is also an option. It is also recommended that N-central be run on a server with a RAID
controller that includes a Battery-Backed Write Cache.
Examples of Supported Servers
- For up to 1,000 managed devices, an HP ML-150 G6 E5502 server would be an example of one
that is supported provided that it meets the requirements documented above. The HP ML150 G6
(Part #: 466131-011) ships with a single SATA drive by default. Under this configuration, the
Smart Array B110i SATA RAID controller is supported under "compatible mode" ONLY. If you
require RAID support, you will need to purchase the Smart Array P410 RAID controller and applicable drives.
- For more than 1,000 managed devices, both HP DL-360 G7 and Dell T620 are examples of
servers that are supported provided that they meet the requirements documented above. N-able
Technologies recommends that for the HP DL-360 G7 or the Dell T620, two or more hard drives
be placed in a RAID to improve redundancy. RAID 1+0 is preferred, but RAID 5 is supported.
Known Compatibility Issues
It is strongly recommended that neither the B320i HP Dynamic Smart Array controller nor the B120i HP
Dynamic Smart Array controller be used due to known compatibility issues. For more information, refer
to Red Hat KBA #118113 at https://access.redhat.com/knowledge/articles/118133. As an alternative
solution, it is recommended that the P420i HP Smart Array controller be used instead.
Note: US Robotics USR5610C or a serial modem is required to use paging or SMS notification features.
N-able Technologies Support for Virtualization Environments
N-central and Report Manager support the following virtualization environments:
- VMware ESX Server 3.5
- VMware ESX Server 4.0
- VMware ESX Server 4.1
- VMware ESX Server 5.0
- VMware ESX Server 5.1
- Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V
- Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V
N-able Technologies is committed to providing support to customers running in these virtualization environments in the same manner that we support other N-central certified hardware.
Because virtualization, by its nature, provides an abstraction layer between the hardware and the operating system that permits the operation of multiple logical systems on one physical server unit, there are two important considerations that you must be aware of when using this deployment method.
It is impossible to guarantee the scalability or performance of an N-central server deployed in a virtual machine, due to these factors:
- Variability in field environments resulting from virtualization server configurations
- The number of guests being run on the virtualization server
- The performance of the underlying VMware system
N-able Technologies supports the N-central software deployed in VMware in the same way that we support N-central deployed in other environments. This support is limited to the components (software and operating system) shipped with N-central and does not include troubleshooting of virtualization systems or performance issues related to environmental factors; these areas will be supported on a best-effort basis. In certain circumstances, particularly in the event of serious issues with performance, we might ask that you move the system to a known physical hardware deployment to aid in troubleshooting and resolution.
- We recommend that N-central be assigned higher resource access priority than competing systems to ensure performance
- Memory on the host system should not be over provisioned. This causes disk based swapping which significantly reduces N-central system performance.
- The system must have sufficient RAM and hard drive space to provide permanently allocated resources as outlined below.
N-central Guest Configuration (minimum)
- Guest Type: Typical
- Guest Operating System: Linux
- Version: RedHat Enterprise Linux 5 (64 bit)
- Number of Virtual Processors: 2 minimum
- Memory: 6,144MB (6 GB) minimum
- Network: 1 network interface card required
- Virtual Disk Capacity: 140 GB minimum
N-central’s tighter integration with both Autotask and ConnectWise is now far more flexible and reduces the administrative headache of managing two products. Adding Report Manager 4.0 makes for the ideal approach to an integrated RMM/PSA solution; flexible ticketing options, detailed pushing of assets between the two products, and advanced reporting on how your staff is managing tickets.
Now you can:
- Automate your Service Desk like never before with comprehensive ticket integration between your RMM and PSA solutions
- Leverage the granular controls provided to maintain the priorities and workflows in your systems
- Eliminate the timewasting and frustrating issues found in most other ticket system integrations
- No more frustration and expense as a result of duplicate tickets. N-central 9.1 allows you to create multiple ‘Ticketing Recipients’, each of which can send issues to different Service Boards/Queues with different statuses and priorities. This provides granular control over the assignment of found issues for improved tracking and resolution.
- Billing for automated IT service delivery can be easily achieved by adding a Time Entry to a ticket.
- Tickets can be attached to devices, not just customer accounts, for more accurate resolution and billing.
- Leverage the PSA Insight module within Report Manager 4.0 that allows you to:
- Create Ticket Summary Reports which provide technical metrics such as; average time to resolution, average ticket age, etc
- Produce an Executive Summary Report that combines N-central data and PSA data to provide a comprehensive view as to the work that has been accomplished (number of open/closed tickets, who opened the most tickets etc.) and a breakdown of the current status, such how many tickets are currently opened etc.
“We recently migrated to ConnectWise as our PSA solution, and prior to 9.1, we had very limited ability to sync large amount of asset data to CW. With 9.1, I can’t imagine being without that data. It has saved us countless hours of manual data entry, and our sales department LOVES it for watching warranty expiration. Furthermore, the new granular ticketing and automation policies mean we can bill for scripts run on non-managed clients, all without lifting a finger! This is going to change the way to do business and make our customers ever happier at the same time.”
- Jon Kraatz, Solutions Engineer, Vertisys Corp