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Sep 23 2011   8:00PM GMT

N-able spruces up managed services platform with VMware support

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

The latest version of the N-able Technologies managed service automation toolset adds remote monitoring for VMware, under the virtualization developer’s “VMware Ready” program.

N-central 8.1, which was released this week, can now be used to monitor the hardware components of ESX and ESXi servers, including power supplies, fans and RAID-related hardware. The platform also reports about the condition of disk subsystems. The idea is to ensure that the hardware underlying virtualized servers are in tip-top shape, lest an outage seriously impact performance.

The feature is being billed as an industry first among managed services automation platforms.

With another new N-central 8.1 enhancement, managed service providers (MSPs) can now control N-central via a mobile application for Android-based devices. (You can download the mobile app on the Android marketplace.)

The third big change in N-central 8.1 lies in the scheduling component. The platform includes a much broader range of scheduling options. What’s more, it can now be used to collect warranty information and create expiration alerts for equipment from Acer, Apple, Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Toshiba.

The attention to automation should help MSPs focus staff on higher value technical services that could benefit from the attention of a human and not on routine concerns that can be automated. Said Karl Samborski, operations manager for Dynamic Strategies, an MSP in Cranbury, N.J.: “Using N-central, we’ve been able to lower our administrative costs, which means there’s more time to focus on customer service.”

MSPs that already use N-central and that have a current maintenance and support contract will receive the upgrade for free.

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