What's New in SolarWinds N-central
Welcome to version 12.1 of SolarWinds N-central. This release contains significant improvements to the Custom Properties feature, an exciting new API option for the Custom PSA module, and several highly requested enhancements to the Patch Management module.
Custom Property Updates
Custom Properties have long been used to help customize how monitoring and maintenance activities are performed on devices. SolarWinds N-central 12.1 brings significant updates to the Custom Properties feature – all of which are designed to make it easier to automate your day-to-day activities, with a minimum of administrative overhead.
Org-Level Custom Properties – Idea #2864, #1182
Custom Properties have, up until now, only been available at the device level. There are situations where it’s valuable to have Custom Properties at the SO, Customer, or Site level though – such as indicating what services that Customer has purchased from you, or to store a Site-wide software license key. SolarWinds N-central 12.1 introduces Org-level custom properties to address those needs – making it easier to extend the data that SolarWinds N-central stores about your client’s organizations. In order to reflect this new feature, the Administration > Custom Device Properties menu has been renamed to Administration > Custom Properties.
Drop-Down Custom Properties – Idea #1155
SolarWinds N-central 12.1 introduces a new Drop-Down type of Custom Property. Designed to help prevent human typing errors from occurring, Drop-Down custom properties join the existing Text, Date and URL versions of Custom Properties, and allow you to pre-configure the options that can be chosen for that Custom Property.
Using Custom Properties as Input Parameters to Automation Manager – Idea #1944
Custom Properties (both Org-Level and Device-Level) can now be used as Input Parameters in Automation Manager. This improves how automation is done in N-central, as you can now have one Automation Manager policy that pulls in the appropriate customer or device-specific information, as opposed to separate Automation Manager Policies per customer, or per device. Configuring which Custom Property should be used for what Input Parameter is done when creating the Scheduled Task.
Setting Custom Properties with Automation Manager – Idea #2152
The Output Parameters of Automation Manager Policies can now be used to set Device-level Custom Properties – making it possible to automate how new data about a device is gathered and stored in SolarWinds N-central. Configuring which Output Parameter should set what Device-level Custom Property is done when creating the Scheduled Task.
Two new Permissions have been added to Roles in SolarWinds N-central, to allow you to control what sort of access your technicians have to Custom Properties. The Create/Edit/Delete permission controls whether or not users can create, edit or delete Custom Properties through the Administration > Custom Properties menu. The View/Set permission controls whether users can see or set custom properties, at the device or SO/Customer/Site levels. The Default Administrator and Default Technician Roles have been given Manage rights to both the Create/Edit/Delete permission and the View/Set permission.
The devicePropertyList and devicePropertyModify APIs have been updated to support Drop-Down custom properties.
Two new APIs – organizationPropertyList and organizationPropertyModify have been added, allowing for the modification and retrieval of Org-level custom properties.
A new Organization category has been added to Filters; this new category contains existing Customer, SO and Site-specific options, as well as a new Custom Organization Property option. Existing Filters that used Customer, SO and Site-specific options have been updated to use the new Organization category.
Patch Management Updates
Filtering Patch Installation Windows by Classification
You may now limit your patch installation windows to specific classifications, allowing you to more easily schedule Feature Upgrades separately than regular updates.
Support for “Unknown” Products in Automatic Patch Approvals – Idea #3395
We have added an "unknown" product to our automated approval products, allowing you to catch updates that are missing this critical piece of meta data. Combined with a keyword, this solution is designed to increase your control of your patch automation.
Optimized Patch Installs – Idea #2502
Save time, bandwidth and network congestion. We've enhanced our approach to processing patch installations to omit patches where a newer superseding patch is also being installed.
Custom PSA Updates
The Custom PSA module has been updated so that you can choose how you want SolarWinds N-central to send ticketing information to your ticket system. In addition to the existing, e-mail-based mechanism, there’s now a new API-based mechanism that you can configure. To configure the API-based mechanism, just navigate to Administration > PSA Integration > Configure PSA Integration screen and choose the Generate Tickets through an API option.
When configured to generate tickets via an API, Ticketing Recipients for the Custom PSA module gain the ability to send custom tags/metadata with each ticket – making it easy to ensure that your ticketing system gets the information it needs to properly prioritize and categorize each ticket.
In addition. . .
- The Mac agent has been updated to support macOS Mojave.
The SolarWinds N-central Mac agent now supports macOS X 10.12 and later. Please note that for existing Mac devices that are running macOS X 10.11 and earlier, the SolarWinds N-central Mac agent will not upgrade to 12.1. An older version of the Mac agent should be used to manage those devices.
- The installer for the Mac agent is now signed by the SolarWinds certificate.
Discovery Jobs have been updated to discover the Manufacturer, Model, Serial Number and firmware version of Ruckus Zone Director and Wireless Access Point devices – Idea #3790.
- For improved usability, the Administration > Appliance Settings menu option has been renamed to Administration > Agent & Probe Settings.
- There are over 65 bug fixes in this release of SolarWinds N-central, further enhancing the stability of the product.