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MSP N-central System Requirements

The following requirements are for typical usage patterns, acknowledging that some patterns may require greater system resources from an MSP N-central server than others.

If you have any questions about how your needs affect the system requirements of your MSP N-central server, contact your Channel Sales Specialist or email n-able-salesgroup@solarwinds.com.


Intel Xeon E5-2600 series or similar.

Operating System

You do not need an OS to run MSP N-central. The MSP N-central ISO includes a modified version of CentOS 6.x.

Physical Hardware

The hardware used for a physical MSP N-central server (non-virtual machine) must be certified to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.7 (x64) by Red Hat or the hardware vendor. Login to your Red Hat Customer Portal for more details.

System requirements by number of devices managed

The table below lists the minimum specifications required to manage the number of devices indicated (based on average usage). Performance can be improved by exceeding these requirements. When determining your hardware requirements, consider any growth in managed device count that may occur over time.

Number of Devices

CPU Cores



Up to 1,000




Up to 3,000



150 GB HDD

Up to 6,000



300 GB HDD

Up to 9,000



450 GB HDD

Up to 12,000



600 GB HDD

Recommendation: When managing 15,000+ devices, install MSP N-central in a bare metal environment.

Up to 16,000



800 GB HDD

Up to 20,000



1,000 GB HDD

Up to 24,000

34 80 GB RAM

1,200 GB HDD


  1. Server-grade hard drives (such as SAS, SCSI, or Fibre Channel) are required to ensure performance and power-loss data protection.
  2. Hard drives on the MSP N-central server should not be shared with other applications that have significant I/O workloads. For example, Report Manager should not be installed on the same drive as MSP N-central.
  3. SolarWinds MSP recommends two or more hard drives be placed in a RAID to improve redundancy. With two drives, RAID 1 must be used. With more than two drives, RAID 1+0 is preferred, but RAID 5 is also an option.
  4. MSP N-central must be run on a server with a RAID controller that includes a Flash-Backed Write Cache (FBWC) or Battery-Backed Write Cache (BBWC).
  5. Configure the RAID controller to use the default stripe size and a Read/Write cache of 50%/50%.

Examples of supported servers

HP ProLiant DL360 G8 and Dell PowerEdge R720 are examples of servers that are supported if they meet the system requirements. SolarWinds MSP recommends that for either server, two or more hard drives be placed in a RAID to improve redundancy. RAID 1+0 is preferred (RAID 5 is supported).

Optional modem

A US Robotics USR5610C or a serial modem is required to use paging or SMS notification features.

Support for virtualization environments

MSP N-central supports those versions of VMware ESX Server and Windows Server Hyper-V that are compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (x64). Use the latest stable versions of VMware or Hyper-V are used in order to ensure the best performance and compatibility with MSP N-central.

SolarWinds MSP is committed to providing support to customers using virtualization environments as we do with other MSP N-central certified hardware.

If you need to deploy MSP N-central in a Hyper-V environment with more than seven virtual processors or more than 30GB of allocated RAM, contact Technical Support for assistance.

About virtualization

Virtualization provides an abstraction layer between the hardware and the OS which permits the operation of multiple logical systems on one physical server unit. The table below includes considerations when using this deployment method.

System Performance

It is impossible to guarantee the scalability or performance of an MSP N-central server deployed on a Virtual Machine due to:
  • variability in field environments resulting from virtualization server configurations,
  • number of guests run on the virtualization server, and
  • performance of the underlying VMware system.


SolarWinds MSP supports the MSP N-central software deployed in VMware and Hyper-V in the same way that we support MSP N-central deployed in other environments. This support is limited to the components (software and OS) shipped with MSP N-central and does not include troubleshooting of virtualization systems or performance issues related to environmental factors. These are supported on a best-effort basis. In the event of serious performance problems, we might ask you to move the system to a physical hardware deployment.


Installing MSP N-central as a guest on a Hyper-V server requires that the Virtual Machine is Generation 1. Attempting to install MSP N-central on a Generation 2 Virtual Machine will fail.

Network Adapters (VMware only) N-central supports both E1000 and VMXNET3. When the VM is configured as Red Hat 6, it will use VMXNET3 by default (which is preferred).

MAC Addresses

MSP N-central does not support dynamic MAC addresses. Static MAC addresses must be configured for the virtual machine where you install MSP N-central.

Recommended configuration for the virtualization server

Provisioning virtual disks as "thin" or "thick" results in nearly-identical performance. Thick provisioning is recommended.

  • Assign higher resource access priority to MSP N-central than competing systems.
  • Do no over-provision memory on the host system. Over-provisioning causes disk based swapping that impacts system performance.
  • Ensure that the system has sufficient RAM and hard drive space to provide permanently allocated resources.