New features and improvements

Welcome to the latest release of MSP N-central 11.0 SP1.

While this version of MSP N-central is primarily focused on enhancing scalability and stability of the product, it’s also packed with a number of great new features and updates.

Updated integration with ConnectWise

MSP N-central has been updated to leverage the latest version of the REST APIs provided by ConnectWise. Migrating to these new REST-based APIs addresses a number of limitations with the older SOAP-based APIs that were used in the past, and provide a platform on which to build new functionality in later releases.

One excellent side benefit of moving to the REST APIs is that the Export Profiles have been updated to let you choose from any “Status? option for Configurations – in older versions of MSP N-central you could only choose the Active or Inactive statuses.

As ConnectWise is planning to deprecate their older, SOAP-based APIs in mid-2017, SolarWinds MSP strongly recommends that all users update MSP N-central to use the new REST APIs. This is a trivial change to make, and can be done from the Administration > PSA Integration > Configure PSA Integration menu. Note that you must be running v2017.2 (or newer) of ConnectWise to start using the new REST-based APIs.

How to obtain the new ConnectWise API Keys

  1. Login to your ConnectWise Manage account using the desktop client.
  2. Navigate to System > Members and click the API Member tab.
  3. Create a new API Only Member.
  4. The new API Member must have the AdministratorRole ID to generate the API Keys.

  5. Generate the API Keys.
  6. Enter a Description for the API Keys.
  7. Save your changes, and make sure that you copy both the Public and Private key – you’ll need them in just a minute.
  8. In MSP N-central, at either the SO or System level, navigate to Administration > PSA Integration > Configure PSA Integration.

  9. In the API Credentials section, enter the Public Key and the Private Key into their respective fields.

  10. Save your changes.

On-Demand Billings Profiles

A new "Run Now" option has been added to Billing Profiles, allowing you to run the Billing Profile on-demand. This new option makes it easy to keep your PSA solution up-to-date with the latest information in MSP N-central.

Improvements to Patch Management

Updating the Patch Management module in MSP N-central to support recent industry trends and address market feedback was a core focus of this release:

  • MSP N-central now offers Security-only updates for approval and deployment to patch-managed devices.
  • The Windows Agent now supports installing Windows 10 Feature Updates (a.k.a. Anniversary Updates).
  • Patch scans now run faster, and the logic that determines when scans should be run has been optimized.
  • Automated approvals no longer re-evaluate patches that are re-released with the same KB number or GUID.

Performance Improvements

Numerous under-the-covers changes have resulted in faster UI performance in the following areas:

  • When loading the Overview tab of a device
  • When loading the All Devices View
  • When loading a dashboard

Updated Support for Fortinet Devices

The monitoring services related to Fortinet devices (FW – Fortinet, Fortinet - CPU, Fortinet - Memory and Fortinet - Sessions) have been updated to support the most recent versions of FortiOS. These updates will make discovering and monitoring Fortinet devices quick and intuitive, and will require far less time to setup than before.

Updated Support for iOS 10

The MDM (mobile device management) module in MSP N-central now fully supports iOS 10. In addition to the changes required within MSP N-central, there is also a new version of the MDM mobile app on the Apple Store.

Updated AV Defender Functionality for v6 Engine

MSP N-central has been updated to leverage a new vaccine tool, the Anti-ransomware vaccine, which can protect against known and possible future versions of crypto ransomware families such as CTB-Locker, Locky and TeslaCrypt. The tool does this by exploiting flaws in their methods of spreading the ransomware. Note that the Anti-ransomware vaccine is turned off by default – to turn it on, please edit the AV Defender profile and turn on the Enable Scan Vaccine option under the Settings >Advanced tab, in the General Settings category.

MSP N-central has also been updated to leverage on-demand scans configurations for Server-class operating systems. This capability has always been available for Workstation-class operating systems, and it allows you to configure your anti-malware module to scan devices such as USB, CD/DVD media or mapped network shares for your Servers.

But that’s not all…

  • To improve the security and stability of MSP N-central, its core components (CentOS, Jetty, PostgreSQL, Java) have been updated to the latest available version.
  • Many of the monitoring services in MSP N-central have been renamed to better reflect what they were designed to monitor. These changes should make tickets, notifications and dashboards in MSP N-central much easier to understand.
    • The Generic TCP service has been renamed to TCP Port Availability.
    • The Generic SNMP (Integer) service has been renamed to SNMP Query (Integer).
    • The Generic String (SNMP) service has been renamed to SNMP Query (String).
    • The Generic ODBC service has been renamed to ODBC Query.
    • The Generic ODBC Report Manager (x64) database connectivity service has been renamed to Report Manager - Database Connectivity.
    • The Windows Terminal Server service has been renamed to RDS Server - Sessions.
    • The Terminal Server service has been renamed to RDS Server - TCP Availability.
    • The Windows UAC Settings Status service has been renamed to Windows UAC Status.
    • The Windows Firewall AMP service has been renamed to Windows Firewall Profiles.
    • The Windows Server Cluster (Groups) service has been renamed to WSFC Resource Group.
    • The Windows Server Cluster (Network Interfaces) service has been renamed to WSFC Network Interface.
    • The Windows Server Cluster (Networks) service has been renamed to WSFC Network.
    • The Windows Server Cluster (Nodes) service has been renamed to WSFC Node.
    • The Windows Server Clock Drift service has been renamed to Clock Drift.
  • Reports in MSP N-central have been updated to fully support Sites and Site-level devices, making it easy to report on devices that belong to a specific location.
  • The Windows Backup service has been updated to support Windows Server 2016

  • The 11.0 SP1 version of the Windows Agent and Windows Probe will not install on Windows XP or Windows 2003, as support for those operating systems has been deprecated. The Windows Probe can continue to monitor those machines though, and existing Agents and Probes running on those machines will continue to function. MSP N-central will not upgrade those existing Agents and Probe to v11.0 SP1; they will continue to run the already-installed version of the Agent or Probe software.