N-central Help

SolarWinds N-central System Requirements

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

If you have any questions about how your needs affect the system requirements of your SolarWinds 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 to install a separate Operating System to run SolarWinds N-central. The SolarWinds N-central ISO includes a modified version of CentOS 6.x, based on the upstream Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.9.

Physical Hardware

The server (non-virtual) used to install SolarWinds N-central in a bare metal environment must be certified to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.9 (x64) by Red Hat, or the hardware vendor, without any additional drivers. Please check the Red Hat Customer Portal for details.

UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) boot support is a technology preview in CentOS 6.x, and not supported. As a result, SolarWinds N-central must be installed using the legacy BIOS boot method.

Solid State Drives are not Recommended. Hard drives should be server-grade hard drives, such as SCSI, SAS or Fibre Channel, for managing more than 1,000 devices. Desktop-grade hard drives, for example SATA, may be used for managing less than 1,000 devices, but are not recommended due to performance issues.

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

Up to 16,000



800 GB HDD

Up to 20,000



1,000 GB HDD

Up to 24,000



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 SolarWinds 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 SolarWinds 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. SolarWinds MSP recommends more, smaller disks in a RAID array, as opposed to fewer larger disks. Database backed applications, like SolarWinds N-central, have better write performance with an increased number of spindles.
  5. If using Solid State Drives (SSDs), SolarWinds MSP requires Enterprise Grade SSDs with a SAS interface. SSDs must have an endurance rating of at least 0.2 DWPD (Drive Writes Per Day), and at least 4 physical disks in a RAID 10 array. The RAID array must appear to the operating system as a Block Device. At this time, many PCIe and NVMe disks do not meet this last requirement.
  6. SolarWinds 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).
  7. Configure the RAID controller to use the default stripe size and a Read/Write cache of 50%/50%.

Examples of supported servers

Due to the ecosystem of different hardware, SolarWinds MSP does not certify specific hardware configurations. Instead we rely on the upstream Red Hat Enterprise Linux and hardware vendor testing and certification.

Examples of servers that have been Red Hat certified include HPE ProLiant - ML350 Gen9 and Dell PowerEdge R720.

Please consult with your hardware vendor to ensure that any server to be used for a bare metal installation meets the above requirements, and is Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.9 certified, without the need for additional drivers. Physical servers must support legacy BIOS boot, as the newer UEFI boot is a technology preview in CentOS 6.x, and not supported. SolarWinds MSP does not support UEFI boot at this time.

SolarWinds MSP recommends that for any bare metal server, two or more SAS 10k or faster hard drives be placed in a RAID array to improve redundancy. RAID 1+0 is preferred, but RAID 5 is also supported (at the hardware RAID BIOS level).

Support for virtualized environments

SolarWinds 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 SolarWinds N-central.

Hyper-V on Windows Desktop Operating Systems not Supported.

SolarWinds N-central installed on a virtual machine in Hyper-V that is running on a Windows desktop operating system is not a supported configuration. Hyper-V must be installed on a supported server class Windows operating system.

Microsoft Windows Server 2016 is the newest Long Term Support (LTS) version of the Windows Server product, and is supported as a Hyper-V host for SolarWinds N-central. Microsoft has released versions subsequent to Windows Server 2016 known as "Semi-Annual" releases, specifically Windows Server 1706 and Windows Server 1803 that are not supported as Hyper-V hosts for SolarWinds N-central.

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

If you need to deploy SolarWinds 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 SolarWinds 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 virtualized server, and
  • performance of the underlying VMware system.


SolarWinds MSP supports the SolarWinds N-central software deployed in VMware and Hyper-V in the same way that we support SolarWinds N-central deployed in other environments. This support is limited to the components (software and OS) shipped with SolarWinds 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 SolarWinds N-central as a guest on a Hyper-V server requires that the Virtual Machine is Generation 1. Attempting to install SolarWinds 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

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

Recommended configuration for the virtualized server

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

  • Assign higher resource access priority to SolarWinds 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.

Supported Software


SolarWinds N-central supports the latest versions of:

  • Internet Explorer®
  • Microsoft Edge®
  • Mozilla Firefox®
  • Desktop versions Google Chrome®. Mobile phone browsers are not supported.

Chrome 42.x does not support NPAPI plugins (including Java and Direct Connect). When you attempt to launch a remote control connection in Chrome 42.x, you will be repeatedly prompted to install Java or the NTRglobal plugin without success.

In the Chrome address bar, type chrome://flags.
Under Enable NPAPI, click Enable.
Restart Chrome.

SolarWinds N-central is not supported on Internet Explorer in Compatibility View mode.

Attended Remote Control and Direct Connect remote control connections are not supported on 64-bit browsers.

Remote Control

Remote control connections require the following software on the computers that initiate connections:

  • Java 6 Update 20 or greater

Report Manager

To use Report Manager with SolarWinds N-central, ensure the you upgrade to the latest version of Report Manager.

Automation Manager

Automation Manager requires .NET Framework 4.5.2 and PowerShell 3.0 to run AMP-based services with SolarWinds N-central.

SNMP Community String

When monitoring the SolarWinds N-central server using SNMP, the community string used for SNMP queries to the server must use N-central_SNMP, not public.

Supported Operating Systems

This section describes the supported operating systems for SolarWinds N-central.

Windows Agents require:

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2 (or later)

Windows Server 2016

  • Windows Server 2016 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2016 Standard
  • Windows Server 2016 Essentials
  • Windows Storage Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2016 MultiPoint Premium Server
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2016

Windows Server 2012

  • R2 Datacenter
  • R2 Essentials
  • R2 Foundation
  • R2 Standard
  • Datacenter 64-bit Edition
  • Essentials 64-bit Edition
  • Foundation 64-bit Edition
  • Standard 64-bit Edition
  • Storage Server 2012 Enterprise 64-bit Edition
  • Storage Server 2012 Express 64-bit Edition
  • Storage Server 2012 Standard 64-bit Edition
  • Storage Server 2012 Workgroup 64-bit Edition

Windows Server 2008

  • Windows 2008
  • Datacenter Server
  • Datacenter Server without Hyper-V
  • Enterprise Server
  • Enterprise Server without Hyper-V
  • Essential Business Server
  • Foundation Server
  • R2 Datacenter Server
  • R2 Enterprise Server
  • R2 Foundation Server
  • R2 Standard Server
  • R2 Web Server
  • Small Business Server
  • Standard Server
  • Standard Server without Hyper-V
  • Standard Server 64-bit Edition
  • Web Server

The following are required to install Windows Agents on a server using Windows Server 2008 R2 Server Core 64-bit:

  • The operating system must be Windows Server 2008 R2 Server Core 64-bit SP1 or later.
  • .NET Framework 4 for Server Core (64-bit) must be installed.

Microsoft Windows Hyper-V

  • Server 2012 64-bit Edition
  • Server 2008 R2
  • Server 2008

Windows 10

  • Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise & Professional
  • Education editions

Windows 8 and 8.1

  • 8.1 Enterprise
  • 8.1 Enterprise 64-bit Edition
  • 8.1 Professional
  • 8.1 Professional 64-bit Edition
  • 8 Enterprise
  • 8 Enterprise 64-bit Edition
  • 8 Professional
  • 8 Professional 64-bit Edition
  • 8 64-bit Edition

Windows 7

  • Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise & Professional
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate

Windows Vista

  • Vista Business
  • Vista Enterprise
  • Vista Ultimate

Linux Agents

Independent Agents are required for 32-bit and 64-bit Linux OS installations.

The probe performs an SSH connection a Linux device. To discover a Ubuntu/Debian OS device, the device must have openssh installed.

  • CentOS 6.7 and higher (32/64-bit)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 and 7 (32/64-bit)
  • Ubuntu 14.04 (LTS build of "Trusty Tahr")
  • Ubuntu 16.04 (LTS build of "Xenial Xerus")
  • Debian 8.7 32-bit (using Ubuntu Agent DEB version 14 x86)
  • Debian 8.7 64-bit (using Ubuntu Agent DEB 14 x64)

Mac Agents

  • 10.14 (Mojave)
  • 10.13 (High Sierra)
  • 10.12 (Sierra)

AV Defender

Workstation Operating Systems

  • Microsoft Windows Vista SP1
  • Microsoft Windows 7
  • Microsoft Windows 8, 8.1
  • Microsoft Windows 10
  • Microsoft Windows 10 TH2
  • Microsoft Windows 10 Anniversary Update "Redstone"

Tablet And Embedded Operating Systems

  • Windows Embedded Standard 2009
  • Windows Embedded POSReady 2009
  • Windows Embedded Enterprise 7
  • Windows Embedded POSReady 7
  • Windows Embedded Standard 7

Server Operating Systems

  • Microsoft Windows 2008
  • Microsoft Windows 2008 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2008 R2
  • Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011
  • Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011
  • Microsoft Windows 2012 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2012 Server R2
  • Microsoft Windows 2016 Server

For Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard 7, TCP/IP, Filter Manager, and Windows Installer must all be enabled.

Patch Manager

Workstation Operating Systems

  • Microsoft Windows 7
  • Microsoft Windows 8
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1
  • Microsoft Windows 10 version 1607 and later

Server Operating Systems

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 SP1
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2016

Unsupported Operating Systems

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008

Windows Update Agent

The minimum version of the Windows Update Agent (WUA) needs to be greater than 7.6.7600.320. The base NT build version of Windows should be 6.1 or later. Older versions of the base NT build cannot upgrade past version 7.6.7600.256 of the Windows Update Agent.

Automation Manager

Workstation Operating Systems

  • Microsoft Windows 7 (32/64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows 8 (32/64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 (32/64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows 10 (32/64-bit)

Server Operating Systems

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (32/64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 (32/64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 (32/64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 (32/64-bit)