Throughout the training sessions I hosted at Empower 2021, I heard a lot of partners say things like, “I didn’t know we could do this” or “This is super useful and nice to know.” So I wanted to write a couple blogs to share some of the things partners were happy to learn about N-able™ RMM.
Before I start, you can watch most of the sessions in the MSP Institute. So if you’d like to dig in a little deeper, go to success.n-able.com and click on the MSP Institute button.
Below are some of the things our partners found most useful:
1. You can use Web Protection as an easy sales tool
One of the main things people didn’t know is that you can use web protection as an easy sales tool. It’s something that costs a few bucks for a few licenses, but when you use the report only mode of the product, you can produce reports after two to four weeks that will show trends on what the end users are doing, giving an incentive for your customers to use the product full time. (Learn more at the MSP Institute in the RMM Optimization course.)
2. Using templates as a route to standardization
Standardization leads to better efficiency, saving time and money in the long run. You can use templates in RMM to standardize your thresholds as much as possible. A lot of MSPs seem to be missing out on the benefits of templates, either because they aren’t using them at all or they’re using them ineffectively. Treating each of your customers as unique slows deployment, configuration, and maintenance and makes them all more difficult. (Note: this also applies to patch management.) It’s best to have templates in place to speed up the process, and you can set those up in RMM. (Learn more at the MSP Institute in the RMM Optimization course.)
3. Using network devices to extend your monitoring
In RMM, you can use network devices to monitor each device in a customer’s environment, or you can use a server on which you can add SNMP monitoring against network devices, reducing your cost. Although it will also reduce the granularity of alerting, this workaround will give you what you need to get some monitoring going. You can also monitor websites, ports, etc. (at no additional cost since you already paid for the license for those RMM devices). You can do this by taking an existing device and having it monitor the customer’s intranet, websites, firewall port (internal and external), and more. This is something you already pay for, so why not leverage it? (Learn more at the MSP Institute in the RMM Patching course.)
4. Controlling when patches are installed
On the patch side, you have the ability to control when patches get installed, when the device reboots, and also you can push patches if a user’s devices misses its install window. We’ve seen there has been a huge decrease in the time it takes for bad actors to create attacks against Windows vulnerabilities, so doing patching quickly is important. If you patch at night, but those devices are offline most nights, you may end up unpatched for weeks. This is potentially putting your customer at risk. If you say, “Patch at night—but if you miss your window, patch the next morning,” at least you help reduce the delay between the time the patch came out, the time it was approved, and (more importantly) when you install the patch. (Learn more at the MSP Institute in the RMM Patching course.)
5. Remember to reboot
Finally on patching, the most misunderstood fact is that most patches require reboot. What that means is if the device is not rebooted, the patch is not technically installed, since the DLLs and other files that are updated by that patch won’t be “replaced” in memory until a reboot occurs. In short, this means the device is not at its most secure until it reboots. (Learn more at the MSP Institute in the RMM Patching course.)
In the next article I’ll cover some more tips for:
- The N-central® solution and Microsoft Intune integration
- The N-central solution and ConnectWise integration
- N-central APIs
Finally, as ever, don’t forget to check out our Automation Cookbook for more automations. You can upload a script to submit your own automations. And don’t be shy about sharing even if you think it still needs some tweaks. Our community of MSPs enjoy collaborating, building on the foundations of a good script, and resharing when they think they’ve optimized it.
If you have suggestions on future topics, feel free to reach out to me by email at [email protected]
Marc-Andre Tanguay is head automation nerd at N-able. You can follow him on Twitter at @automation_nerd.
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