N-central 2021.1 Release Notes


We are very excited to announce that N-central 2021.1 went GA this past weekend, and is now available for download!

For a complete list of the changes in this release, read on! To access the documentation, or to grab the installers, please visit the 2021.1 download page.

What’s New in N-able N-central 2021.1

Branding/Look and Feel Updates

We’ve spruced up the place! You’ll notice our new product name is now “N-able N-central,” and the login page has a more modern appearance. Once you log in, you’ll also notice
the main title bar is now updated with our new brand colors, the icons in the top right corner were updated, and the appearance of the System, SO, Customer and Site levels has also changed.

​ If you have customized N-central’s branding in the past, you’ll appreciate this next change. As part of these branding updates, we’ve increased the maximum possible size of the main logo that’s displayed on the login page.
The logo was previously limited to 323 x 56 pixels in size, but can now be up to 500 x 140 pixels in size. Enjoy!

N-able N-central + Microsoft Intune = Better Together.

Manage Intune devices from your N-central dashboard

We’re excited to announce that Microsoft® Intune, a component of the Microsoft 365™ Business Premium product, is now integrated with N-able N-central®. You will be able to perform many Intune configuration management functions right from your N-central dashboard, as well as receive notifications and alerts for all chosen devices from
one place—whether managed via Intune or N-central. This integration is offered free of charge to all partners currently using both Microsoft Intune and N-central. You’ll find the feature under the Integrations > Integration Management left navigation section. With the new integration, you can:

  • Authenticate at an Intune tenant level (SI model) or at a service provider level (CSP model).
  • Discover Intune-registered Windows® devices, push an N-central agent (professional or essential) to the devices you select, and then view all devices in your N-central dashboard.
  • Build and enable Intune device compliance and security and computer configuration profiles on Intune devices through traditional N-central workflows.
  • Flip to the Intune Dashboard right from N-central to access additional configurations and Intune-only features.

UI Performance Improvements

Throughout 2020, we’ve been putting a lot of focus on improving the load times of various pages in N-central. A responsive N-central user interface helps you get more done while making your customers’ environments work more efficiently.

  • The 2021.1 release loads devices faster, regardless of where you access a specific device—in the All Devices View, the Active Issues View, dashboards, or in a new browser tab.
  • The Job Status page has been tweaked to load much faster when dealing with large numbers of customers, devices and scheduled tasks.

We know that every second counts – enjoy your new free time!

Topology Maps – New Layouts

The Topology Maps feature in N-central is incredibly popular – it’s free, fast, and provides a great overview of your customer’s network. Partners often requested additional ways to visualize network layouts, so we’ve added in two new views:

  • Grid
  • Hierarchy

User Management – Limiting Users From Accessing the UI

We take the security of the N-central platform seriously. We received feedback that partners really wanted a way to specify whether a user account should be able to access the UI, or if they should be limited to only accessing N-central’s APIs.

To address that need, we’ve added in a new option that limits a user account so that it can only access N-central’s APIs. Available on the API Authentication tab, the User Management > Users page has a new column that indicates which users are “API Only”.

New Enhancements to N-central VM in Microsoft Azure

We’ve supported running N-central as a virtual machine in Microsoft Azure® for a long time, but our 2021.1 release now offers some enhancements:

  • Support for managed disks. We’ve improved the speed of fresh installs of N-central by removing the need to upload the N-central VHD to Azure.
  • Support for multi-disk performance scalability. N-central can now leverage multiple Azure Data Disks, allowing you to take advantage of the best possible disk performance from Azure. This increases the storage IOPs limit, which has historically limited N-central scalability on Azure, by spreading it across multiple, dedicated, Data Disks.

Enhance the Security of your N-central Server

N-central 2021.1 is built to be more secure out of the box, and will make administering security-related settings much easier:

  • Multifactor authentication (MFA) is now mandatory for your user accounts. With the upgrade to 2021.1, all user accounts will have N-central’s two-step verification feature turned on.
  • MFA is now a “lockable” setting. The default MFA setting, which can be found under the Administration > Defaults > User Defaults page, is now lockable. This helps ensure lower-level users cannot unlock the MFA setting if it was locked by someone at the system or SO level.
  • MFA is now configurable within the LDAP and Google G Suite™ modules. If you’re using N-central LDAP or Google G-Suite module, you can now control whether users imported through those modules have MFA enabled by default. This new feature can help save time if using MFA through those providers, instead of through N-central.
  • MFA login page enhancements. The MFA page displayed on login will now show a table of users that don’t have MFA enabled. This eliminates the need for a downloadable CSV file, while making it easier to see what steps you need to take to secure your environment.

Updates To Patch Management

  • We’ve enhanced our patch approval filters to better fit your workflows and make it easier to identify the status of any patch.
  • We’ve also added more options around filtering for superseded patches.
  • The patch service now includes a patch management engine status where known issues, errors, and potential troubleshooting steps will be displayed. This helps you identify missing patches or alerts you to issues with the patch engine.
  • The new Patch Detection on Demand (PDoD) allows you to run a one-time patch detection task against a single device or in bulk, and will help determine if the solution was successful. Maintenance windows can randomly delay the detection results to stagger the inflow of data, but the PDoD will return results instantly.

Easily Access Frequently Used Automation Objects

The new favorites section allows you to store and order frequently used objects, so they’re always where you want them when you need them.

Most of us have multiscreen set-ups in our workspace. You can now make use of more than one screen when creating automation scripts in 2021.1. Undock your panels, use all your screens, and dock them in a new layout.

Check out the list of new objects:

  • Generate random password
  • Set AD password
  • Computer uptime
  • Get restore point
  • Create file shortcut
  • Create website shortcut
  • Get service credentials
  • Get services dependent on
  • Compare software version numbers

Support for CentOS 8/RHEL 8

The Linux® agent for N-central has been updated to support CentOS 8 and RHEL 8. In addition to the Linux agent itself being updated, other areas of N-central have also been modified to support CentOS 8/RHEL 8:

  • The Windows Probe has been updated to deploy the Linux agent to CentOS 8/RHEL8 devices.
  • The Download Agent/Probe Software page now includes a link to the CentOS 8/RHEL8 agent installer.
  • The Add/Import Devices wizard now provides a link to the CentOS 8/RHEL8 agent.
  • At the device level, the Operating System drop-down menu now has entries for CentOS 8 and RHEL 8.

Discover and Monitor Hyper-V

Microsoft’s Hyper-V® virtualization platform is incredibly popular; we’ve updated N-central so it’ll automatically discover and monitor those servers when they are found:

  • The Hyper-V Guest Status (2012) service has been updated as follows:
    • It now supports Windows Server 2016 and Server 2019.
    • It’s been renamed to “Guest Status (Hyper-V)”.
    • When added to a service template, it now supports the “Use Asset Info” option.
    • The service can now be configured to target either the root\Virtualization or root\Virtualizationv2 WMI namespace.
  • The Hyper-V Guest Status (2008) service has been deprecated.
  • On upgrade to N-central 2021.1, existing instances of the “Hyper-V Guest Status (2008)” service will be replaced with a correctly configured instance of the “Guest Status (Hyper-V)” service.
  • Any Service Templates or Notification Profiles that referenced the “Hyper-V Guest Status (2008)” service will be updated to reference the “Guest Status (Hyper-V)” service.
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