What's New in N-able N-central 2023.8


We are so excited to announce the introduction of Analytics into N-central 2023.8! We have harnessed the industry standard of PowerBI, to bring you your N-central data in full visuals. With our GA release, you will be able to see device data (inventory, summary, warranty, etc.), backup data (last backed up, last checked in, etc.), and patch information (installed, approved, missing, etc.) And those are just the first of more dashboards to come.

Analytics is more than just our dashboards, it is also our reports that help you communicate the value you provide, to your customers. Our executive summary report is a streamlined view of the health of each customer account -- this can be exported, or this can be sent on a repeating schedule as an email. We know reports are of high value, and we will continue to add more reports as our analytics feature set grows beyond GA.

What comes out of the box?

  • Device inventory

  • Device summary

  • Backup Sessions

  • Backup Devices

  • Patch Status

  • Executive Summary Report

And we are adding more often!

Our dashboards and reports were created to help answer common business problems, but we know we can’t predict all the questions you may have – you can customize your reports and dashboards to suit your business. Remove items you don’t need and adjust the charts to show only the information relevant to you, your users, and your business.

Your data security is important to us – here is a collection of potential questions and answers you may have around security.

To get started, please activate Analytics and set your permissions. Learn how here.

Device Management for Apple Enhancements

Coming to all onprem partners, in this release, are our new MDM capabilities. We’re also moving access from the System level to the Service Organization level.

Migrating Account Level Certificates

As we move access of Device Management for Apple to the SO level, we’re bringing the account level certificate there as well. This shouldn’t affect anything in your environment and is simply a better way to control your certificates. Best practice recommendations, from us and Apple, for Certificates and Device Management for Apple is to use our multi-tenant capabilities and use Customer level certificates to manage individual customers’ devices.

Apple Business Manager zero touch deployment

We are pleased to announce that you can now enroll your devices via Apple Business Manager. Doing so enrolls your ABM purchased device or freshly wiped device into Device Management for Apple and, for your Apple workstations, will also deploy the latest N-central mac agent to your device upon completion of the boot up process.

You will now have the ability to enroll iOS and iPadOS devices into Device Management for Apple (DMA). You will no longer be able to enroll Apple or Android devices into our Legacy MDM service.

App Deployment

We are pleased to announce the addition of App Store management to N-central’s Device Management for Apple. N-central can now receive a token from an Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager account and deploy App Store purchases made in those accounts to deploy company-owned apps to Macs, iPhones, iPads, and even AppleTVs enrolled in N-central.

This means that end-users of the devices won’t need to use a personal Apple ID or some other workaround to get the business apps they need on managed devices. You’ll be able to ensure they have all the apps they need, revoke the licenses as needed, and keep the apps up-to-date.

N-central’s Device Management for Apple is multi-tenant, meaning you can set up the tokens for each customer’s own ABM/ASM account in one dashboard.

Devices don’t need to have been enrolled in N-central via ABM/ASM. Purchased apps can be deployed to devices that were manually enrolled also.

OS Update Commands

There are up to 5 options in the command API:

  • Download or install the update, depending on the current state. This lets the OS decide which action it should take based on whether a user is logged in and working or its configuration. This is the safest option and should be considered a default.

  • Download the software update without installing it.

  • Download the latest update and trigger the restart countdown: In iOS and tvOS, this will install a previously downloaded software update. In macOS it will download the software update and trigger the restart countdown notification via Notification Center.

  • Download the software update and notify the user through the App Store. This option is only available in macOS.

  • Download or install the latest update, force a restart if required: As it says, this will do the default action, but will make a restart mandatory. This could result in data loss from unsaved work. This option is only available in macOS.

Here are some important things to know about these commands:

  • DMA can only send the command to the device. It’s up to the device to obey the command. Sometimes it won’t. We expect that Apple’s APIs and implementation will improve as new OS version are released. It’s already far more reliable on macOS Ventura than it was on previous macOS versions. N-able is only supporting these commands on macOS 13 Ventura and iOS 16 or later.

  • The commands may succeed on previous OS versions, but they will always download and install the latest full OS version. For example, if you run the command on macOS 12 Monterey, it may or may not execute reliably, and if it does it will upgrade the device to macOS 13 Ventura.

  • The behavior of these commands can be modified via Configuration Profiles.

  • A lot also depends on whether the device has been provisioned as Supervised. Supervised devices, including those enrolled in DMA by way of Apple Business Manager/Apple School Manager automatic enrollment are far more likely to behave as desired. Non-Supervised devices will likely require user input to complete the process.

Endpoint Detection and Response

This new and improved EDR integration will give you full SentinelOne functionality while continuing to utilize N-central for bulk deployment and real-time monitoring of your devices. With full dashboard access to SentinelOne, including SSO access via Azure AD, you can now view detailed threat reports, configure granular notifications, and access the SentinelOne API. You can also try advanced security features like Threat Hunting, also known as “Deep Visibility”.

Currently, the integration supports new EDR customers. If you are currently using integrated EDR in N-central, you can look forward to an upgrade button in a near future release that will assist you in upgrading to this new EDR integration. There is also a known issue with deploying EDR for Mac agents with this new integration (see known issues table below).

AI Assisted Scripting

We have introduced a new and exciting feature to the Scheduled Tasks interface, which allows you to leverage ChatGPT’s artificial intelligence to generate new scripts and upload them to the script repository. Simply provide some script instructions in the UI, review the script that the AI provides, and upload it to the repository with the click of a button. To see this new feature, your account will need access to Manage the Script/Software Repository. You will also need an account with ChatGPT to provide a user token.

Cove Deployment Amps in the Repository!

With N-central 2023.8, we've made it simpler for you to deploy Cove Data Protection to your managed devices, by adding the deployment AMPs to the Script/Software repository.

Automation Manager Update!

Automation Manager 2.92 has an update in N-central 2023.8. Several bugs have been addressed, and the submission of data from the AM agent to Pendo has been disabled.