SolarWinds N-central Reviews

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Score 8.5 out of 101

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Reviews (1-14 of 14)

Nicolas Poague profile photo
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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We use the SolarWinds N-able N-central product to manage all of the customers we provide IT service to. It is used to monitor our client's networks, manage and maintain their assets, and to provide remote support.
  • Remote tasks - entry-level techs can run basic tasks without physically touching a piece of equipment.
  • Remote support - remote controlling user devices is easy and saves a lot of time with having to initiate a remote session.
  • Management of devices, particularly patch management and anti-virus management - you can automatically approve and deploy patches and schedule automatic AV scans.
  • Support - their customer support is extremely lacking. This goes all the way up to management. Entry-level techs provide scripted or cut and paste answers, which is not a bad thing, but there is almost always a back and forth process that happens before you can get to a real solution. The biggest issue with this is that it seems as if they only want to respond to an issue once every day - it is not uncommon for support issues to take a week or more to be resolved.
  • Security features - Ncentral does not have very granular security. Users have a role, and basically anything under that role is game. We don't want all techs to have access to a clients Active Directory, but they would still need the ability to have remote access for example - there is no way to lock down specific features.
  • Solarwinds N-able seems to be more focused on sales than customer satisfaction. It feels like pulling teeth to get responses to support issues or concerns, but salesmen will be relentless when it comes to needing to meet their quota.
The tool, when it works, is excellent. The main reasons for the lower score are poor support and a need for improved security features.
Read Nicolas Poague's full review
chris maddox profile photo
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We are using this with our managed services practice. We have roughly 20 customers that we support through N-central. It gives you device monitoring (Workstation, server, network equipment, printers, etc) and allows for remote access to workstations and servers. You can set alerts to email or chat (we use Slack) so you can stay notified of any issues in your environment.
  • Remote access through Take Control.
  • Backup Manager is built-in.
  • Antivirus builtin.
  • Automation tool.
  • A steep learning curve.
  • Alerting needs some help. Alerts can take up to 20 minutes.
  • It's pieced together from different software, and sometimes that shows.
We had a client that did not have VPN. However, we installed N-central and then we were able to remote into their network and provide remote support. We also tied N-central to MSP manager and Solarwinds Passportal. Being able to access your stored passwords while remoted into the customers' environment makes it very easy to manage tasks.
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Robert Guy profile photo
November 13, 2019

N-central Review

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use it daily in our support department. All of our technicians and sales staff have access to the N-central console for access to company assets and current device information. Servers and workstations are monitored daily. We also use it for easy windows patch management control, third party and script deployments as well as remote control of monitored devices.
  • Great deployment, training, and support with the product.
  • Windows patch management is excellent.
  • Great monitoring software with the added benefit of easy remote control options built-in.
  • It is a large piece of software and does take some time to get set-up and configured.
  • Limitations with some basic monitoring like site down/internet down and server state make it difficult to have accurate monitoring information.
  • Reports and reporting are minimal, not very customizable and not pretty.
If you want relatively easy RMM with patch management control, N-central would be a good option. It can be a one-stop-shop, for RMM, Anti Virus, Backup, etc. Probably not the best fit for a larger scale company.
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Howard Magnes profile photo
November 19, 2019

N-central Review

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use it to manage our clients. Through N-central I can deploy patches remote into computer run remote fixes and even manage antiviruses. I can see the status of my client's devices at a glance and resolve the problems fairly quickly
  • Patch management.
  • Remote support.
  • 3rd party application deployment is hindered by application size.
If you need to manage a large group of clients and don't want to struggle or get overloaded, this is the application for you.
Read Howard Magnes's full review
No photo available
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Reseller
Review Source
My organization leverages N-central for our centralized managed services hub. We leverage most components of it including automatic remediation, powershell automation, antivirus module and the basic security modules. We have found the software to overall be easy to deploy for the NOC, however, the backup module is a bit archaic and the remote agent for snot support multiple screens simulatanously which most other tempting solutions support but there is enough value in the suite that it is worth using.
  • Very easy deployment, all of the modules play with each other making it simple to place AV, screen tempting and management agents all in one spot.
  • Automation of powershell module is great and a feature that others in this space do not have
  • Linux based appliance is great if you have security conscious.
  • Very easy to brand and change the look and feel of the agents and console
  • Very good multitenancy separation and ability to push policies to every tenant or selectively.
  • Backup module is very archaic, does not support memory based backup or hypervisor based updates, very geared towards individual workstations
  • Use within a VDI infrastructure is challenging for deployment of the agents
  • Most of the AV policies that come from defender are limited to working on workstation OS and not on servers.
  • Reports have a weak look and feel to them and could use some data modernization, this is a place where others in this space have a huge edge over N-Able
Very well suited for deployment on Azure as there is a containerized deployment that is appliance based. Very good for the MsP that is willing to put time into writing their own reports and putting some man hours in front of it to make it their own.
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Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We purchased SolarWinds a few months ago with a specific task in mind—monitoring our POS terminals, as well as servers and certain key workstations. So far the product is great and the monitoring works very well (once you dial down the alerts and tweak the thresholds when an alert is triggered). The product can monitor almost anything as long as you can make a script for it (it has a built-in tool to do just that).
  • Monitoring
  • Patching
  • Providing an overview of issues using custom dashboards.
  • The custom automation app can be a bit intimidating to use
  • Some things are located in places you would least expect it.
  • Building the dashboards is tricky at times.
Monitoring almost anything on Windows devices. You can even create custom service and the best part is that it can automatically restart monitored services after a failure (and it is fairly easy to set up). For example, I have a service that keeps shutting down and the custom monitoring is keeping an eye on it, and if the service stops, it starts it up again for me! It is great!
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No photo available
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
N-central is like a Swiss Army Knife, it is an agent-based system (monitoring can be done without the agent) with many talents and capabilities, and it is very good at what it does. It has many core features, such as:
  1. Remote management, control of endpoints.
  2. Monitoring.
  3. Patch management.
  4. Centralized anti-virus management (via Bit Defender).
  5. Backup.
  6. others...
We mostly use it for Remote management and patch management. The service desk team uses the remote management feature to provide desktop support, and the patch management team uses the patch management feature to provide fleet patching of servers and end-user devices.
Aside from addressing the two needs above, it is also a very good platform for pushing software and scripts to endpoints. This is especially useful in non-centralized environments that do not have core infrastructure, and in VPN tunnels, since the agent communicates directly over the internet. It is also very firewall-friendly.
  • Robust patch management: it is easy to set up patching groups via tags, and configures patch management profiles and maintenance windows.
  • Remote Control: as long as the agent checks in, it is very quick and easy to take control of an endpoint, either in a separate session (RDP, kick the current user out), or to join the existing session of the current user, to provide desktop support or collaborate remotely.
  • Patch management reporting: while the patching feature is strong, the reporting side of it quite limited and can be inaccurate. There is no built-in way to easily demonstrate to the customer that you have successfully patched their endpoints, and this can result in a lack of customer confidence. In order to provide effective patch management reporting, it is necessary to export raw data into another tool and perform further analysis.
  • Old UI: while the software has evolved through many versions and many features added, its UI is pretty much the same as before. There is no quick way to pull up devices which match a number of different criteria. You can do this by creating a filter, but when you have to create a filter, it is not quick anymore. The menu can be confusing to navigate. As a regular admin of the tool, I often forget exactly where to find items which are buried a bit deeper under the menu hierarchy.
  • Bulk management: this is also an effort of the weak UI. Since there is no way to quickly pull devices that meet certain criteria, there is no quick way to easily make bulk changes to devices. Everything is done through rules and templates and tags, and it can take a while to set them up.
  • No Access to OS: the tool is presented as an application only, and the vendor does not give you OS-level access. This can make it difficult to see the health/performance of your N-central server and to set up remote monitoring.
  • Permission and Access: SolarWinds improved access granularity in version 11, but it still has a lot of room for improvements. When setting user roles and access, I often find that I can never give them the exact amount of access I want. I typically end up giving them a lot more due to the lack of granularity.
N-central is great for small to medium size deployments. I don't think it would scale particularly well in a large enterprise situation. This is partly due to the limits of everything that has to be done through the front GUI and the limits of that GUI. In a larger environment where there are many rules, templates, filters, dashboards, etc... it can become difficult to navigate and manage. Also, there are no HA or DR solutions to speak of.
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No photo available
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use it for asset management, desktop automation, patch management, and remote support.
  • Patch management.
  • Windows probe.
  • Remotely take control support.
  • Windows versioning.
  • Mac automation.
  • More integrated scripts/amps.
It's not as good for network equipment and servers. It's definitely good for desktop management tools and automation polices.
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Derek Schroeder profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
N-central works as a monitoring and remote access tool for managed services companies. The software allows very customizable alerting including server and workstations and their disk space, processor usage, memory usage, event logs, as well as hardware. The system is very dependable and easy to use and intuitive for the expert setting it up and the technician who utilizes it for support.
  • Very customizable alerting and threshold setting to quiet noisy alarms
  • Hardware monitoring is an intricate process in many monitoring tools, N-central makes it quick and easy after installing the appropriate software on the server(s).
  • Easy to navigate interface that allows quick view of items needing to be addressed and the ability to drill down into clients and their devices.
  • Remote desktop access tool could use some help. Several other monitoring systems have perfected the remote access process but N-central can be a bit slow.
  • Patch management system could use some additional features/customizability.
N-central is a great tool for managed service providers. The rollout strategy is very effective and easy. Onboarding managed services for a client can be quickly handled and noisy alarms settled. This is a great tool if one takes hardware monitoring seriously (which everyone should) as it's the best in class for that feature.
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Ashley Babiarz profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Our service desk uses it to manage internal computers and computers for our clients. We use this tool to manage and update machines. We also use N-Central to remotely connect to user's machines to troubleshoot issues or complete updates.
  • Allows for easy remote connection.
  • Will display statistics and information for the machines.
  • Allows the ability to push out software or updates without interrupting a user who is working.
  • More advanced search options for machines
  • Ability to see information about pending updates for a machine
  • More detailed info about hardware issues/errors
N-central is great when you work with users that are not as tech savvy and you need to connect to their computers to troubleshoot an issue. N-central is also good for pushing out updates or holding commonly used files for easy installation on a computer.
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No photo available
March 01, 2019

N-central deployment

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use N-central for a variety of end user/endpoint purposes. We monitor laptops, desktops, and servers. We deploy security patches with n-central. We monitor suspicious activities with n-central. We also utilize n-central for anti-virus. We group internal devices, customer-facing devices, as well as various portions of the infrastructure within the GUI interface.
  • Endpoint monitoring.
  • Deployment of security patching.
  • Deployment of agents on new assets.
  • Group policy integration.
  • Initial setup/categorization of devices.
  • Pricing per device.
  • Holistic monitoring and AI of devices.
N-central is good for deployment and utilization via Group Policy. N-central is good for Microsoft security patch deployment. N-central is good for monitoring suspicious activity. N-central is well suited for categories of devices. N-central, at least for us, does require intervention for the initial deployment and setup. N-central integrates well with an active directory.
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Shaun Joubert profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
SolarWinds N-Central has been implemented across our entire organization as a single platform for hardware inventory, remote support access, and reporting needs.

It allows multiple departments access to the same IT equipment database meaning the service desk can easily access user machine profiles to access remote support options and back-end support tools while the procurement department and account managers can use the same database for hardware inventory and software licensing reporting.
  • SolarWinds N-central is an excellent tool for automation and deployment across thousands of network devices using the Network probe and Agent.
  • SolarWinds N-central allows for constant monitoring allowing us to resolve issues before the client knows they have occurred.
  • SolarWinds N-central has excellent integration as we use it in conjunction with Autotask for automated ticket logging based on alerts.
  • SolarWinds N-central could benefit from a modular or customizable user interface.
  • There is a steep learning curve if you wish to truly utilize all the functionality that N-Central offers.
SolarWinds N-central is perfectly suited for Managed Service Providers that support SME's or Large Enterprises as scalability is not an issue, it also allows for automated patch management and automated reporting.


Read Shaun Joubert's full review
No photo available
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
N-Central is a key product for managed service providers who want to monitor every network device available. It allows us to be more proactive with our clients and increase our revenue by fixing problems before the clients know there is a problem. The automation within N-Central is top of the line, it allows our technical staff to save time and make us more profitable.
  • Actively monitors devices on the network to allow us to be proactive
  • Can automate different fixes for recurring issues
  • Integrates very well with our PSA client, able to create tickets and fill out notes within N-Central.
  • We find the layout and configuration could be more user-friendly, seems over complicated at times
  • We need to host the solution ourselves to get the Report Manager add-on.
  • Dashboard needs to be cleaned up and easier to read
N-Central is great for serious managed service providers that are managing assets and monitoring all devices. It allows us to create custom reports and do reviews for clients which then helps us gain more sales. We would not recommend it to very small computer companies that are only supporting a few companies.
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No photo available
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use N-Central solely in our MIS department. We replaced the Kaspersky Remote Administration Console as well as GoToAssist for internal remote management sessions. We have many remote plants and users and use this tool to do remote sessions, check software and hardware inventory and patching levels as well as usage and performance reports.
  • Remote control sessions are seamless and quick to connect.
  • Software inventory list is very complete even including windows update patch levels.
  • The amount of data N-Central gathers from the end-PCs is great for a performance snapshot and makes it quick to diagnose simple RAM issues etc.
  • Navigation between the view screens could be a bit simpler. Once you click a machine your list goes away and isn't simple to get back to.
  • I would love to add more negative points here but really it's a well-built piece of software.
It is not the best tool for remotely managing machines outside of your network, but fantastic and gives a TON of data on those machines inside your network. We have plants around the world and I can see real-time live usage and performance data at the click of a button. Issue with a machine locking up in Ireland? You can look at the performance, services, apps and whatever else might be running as well as check the error logs and about anything else you can think of to check without even interrupting the user experience. Invaluable.
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Feature Scorecard Summary

Screen sharing (11)
8.4
File transfer (12)
8.7
Instant message (12)
8.0
Secure remote access with Smart Card authentication (4)
7.9
Access to sleeping/powered-off computers (10)
6.7
Over-the-Internet remote session (12)
8.4
Initiate remote control from mobile (5)
7.7
Remote management of servers & workstations (14)
9.2
Remote Active Directory® management (9)
7.8
Centralized management dashboard (14)
7.9
Session record (9)
7.8
Annotations (8)
8.5
Monitoring and Alerts (14)
8.1
Multi-platform remote control (12)
8.0

About SolarWinds N-central

Categories:  Remote Desktop

SolarWinds N-central Technical Details

Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No