Good, scalable solution for MSP with some challenges
Updated August 28, 2019

Good, scalable solution for MSP with some challenges

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds N-central

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
  • This software has helped enable our NOC agents after coming from a competing solution
Overall the product is easy to setup and it is functional, however, it is missing features that would be expected for a more comprehensive suite such as a better backup model.
Support team is responsive and helpful even during the product setup. They are willing to talk to their customers via slack channel in order to obtain feedback for future functionality.
Overall, for the Average MSP, none of the RMM solutions is going to be perfect, they will all have their strengths and weaknesses and N-Able is no exception. It is a great solution if you are looking for something that is not super cryptic to use and want something relatively easy to update and manage. The real challenges here will be the need for a better backup product, the need in many cases for a separate solution to deliver network security such as a web proxy and the need to spend time writing some reports that are better than the provided canned reports.
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.

N-able N-central Feature Ratings

Using SolarWinds N-central

6 - The people within my organization that use this product aren’t part of out NOC and the support operations teams
2 - In order to do proper support and maintenance of solar winds n-central, we need one in house specialist that is somewhat familiar with Linux as we use the virtual appliance. In addition to this, we have a technical specialist who creates policies and scripted automations who has experience with windows systems and PowerShell.
  • Automation
  • Remote access
  • Application support
  • Backups
  • Leveraging PowerShell for automating workflows
  • Providing delegated access to different groups within our org
  • Network diagraming via the new network module
  • Providing customers with the ability to see some parts of their support experience
Overall we have liked our solar winds experience, however, as our company has grown to support larger enterprises, this product does not have the functionality that our teams need in order to fully support them. The lack of granularity with backups and lack of ability to support nutanix environments is slowly drawing us into the use of other tools.

Evaluating SolarWinds N-central and Competitors

  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Vendor Reputation
  • Existing Relationship with the Vendor
  • Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
Having the ability to work with solar winds support and sales teams as part of on-boarding and later being provided with the ability to work directly with their engineering team to further capabilities was very helpful. The only issue that we had was relating to timelines with delivery of new features, there were a few features that our company needed in order to sign up for the product and we ended up having to start pulling back resources when these features were not delivered on time.
If we had to do it over again, we would have made sure to have written timelines for delivery of features prior to signing up. While the support and sales teams were great, the product simply was not 100% what we needed. I have a feeling that the product will continue to grow with the new product manager that was put in place, however, our timelines were too short to allow us to wait for the change.

SolarWinds N-central Implementation

The biggest lesson learned is to make sure to test every module.
Change management was a small part of the implementation and was well-handled - The biggest lesson learned was to make sure to test every module. During testing, the initial features were very good, however, as we dove deeper into the system we found inconsistencies with the modules.
  • Backups used considerable bandwidth
  • File uploads were heavily limited in size
  • Agent upgrades had a tendency to not work properly

SolarWinds N-central Support

ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
Support cares about my success
Escalation required
Difficult to get immediate help
Need to explain problems multiple times
During our on boarding, the sales and support teams were stellar. Solar winds was willing to work with us in order to try to get the product up to speed with the needs of our organization. The only issue we had is that these initial promises fell apart shortly after signing.

Using SolarWinds N-central

ProsCons
Like to use
Easy to use
Feel confident using
Familiar
Requires technical support
Not well integrated
Inconsistent
  • Onboarding
  • User management
  • Workflow management
  • Backups
  • Automations with file uploads
  • Agent upgrades