Private Node Server Overview

Private Node Server is a private monitoring location in your local network or data center. You can use private nodes to:

Private Node Server is a virtual machine pre-configured for minimal setup. It appears as a new location in your locations list, allowing for easy monitor configuration and scheduling from the AlertSite console. Private nodes are completely integrated into the AlertSite platform. Results from private nodes are treated just like results from regular locations, so you can see aggregate dashboards and reports from all locations. Private nodes also trigger alerts on errors, so you can instantly know about availability or performance issues.

Private nodes

In This Guide

Specifications

Supported VM hypervisors:

  • VMware ESXi 5.5 and 6.0
  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

Supported monitor types:

  • Web URL
  • DéjàClick Firefox
  • DéjàClick Chrome (Private Node Server v. 2.0 and later)
  • Selenium (Private Node Server v. 2.0 and later)
  • SoapUI
  • API endpoint

Supported alerting methods:

  • E-mail (HTML or text)
  • E-mail to a wireless device (text message)
  • Splunk (Private Node Server v. 2.0.1 and later)
  • SMS
  • VoIP
  • SNMP trap (snmpv1/snmpv2c)

What’s New in Private Node Server 2.1

For the changes in the previous 2.x releases, see Release Notes below.

Plans and Pricing

Pricing is based on the total number of monitors you want to run on your private nodes. For pricing information and assistance with your private node requirements, contact your Sales Representative. To view the contact information, select settings > AlertSite 1.0 from the top menu, then go to Support > Support Center.

The following plans are available (you can also purchase multiple plans to achieve the desired total).

Plan Code Description
VMNODE-25 Up to 25 monitors.
VMNODE-50 Up to 50 monitors.
VMNODE-100 Up to 100 monitors.

The plan limit is the maximum number of monitors for which the monitoring history is kept, regardless of the monitoring status (active or disabled). For example, if you have a VMNODE-25 node, you cannot add more than 25 monitors even if the existing monitors are disabled, because they are still using monitor “slots”.

You can spread the actual monitoring across multiple Private Node Server instances as you see fit.

System Requirements and Capacity

Private Node Server memory, CPU and storage requirements depend on the planned monitoring capacity, and the capacity depends on various aspects of the monitors configured to on that server, such as:

Different combinations of the above factors will impact the load put on the Private Node Server. Below are some guidelines to help you choose a suitable configuration for your Private Node Server.

Monitoring Configuration Type Monitoring Capacity Minimum VM Resources
RAM, GB Storage, GB # of CPU Cores
Web URL monitors Several hundred monitors at 5-minute interval 8 100 4 (2.5GHz and up)
DéjàClick, Selenium, SoapUI Up to 25 monitors at 5-minute interval 8 100 4 (2.5GHz and up)
DéjàClick, Selenium, SoapUI Up to 50 monitors at 5-minute interval 16 300 8 (2.5GHz and up)
DéjàClick, Selenium, SoapUI Up to 100 monitors at 5-minute interval 32 300 16 (2.5GHz and up)

Notes:

Simultaneous Monitors

Private Node Server can handle up to 20 monitors running simultaneously (at the same minute). If the simultaneous capacity on a VM is exceeded, your monitors will still run, but they may not always run on time. In this case, you can:

If you need a larger simultaneous capacity, please contact SmartBear Support.

Browser Profiles

DéjàClick and Selenium monitors use a full browser profile for each run. Private Node Server has a limit of browser profiles that can be accessed simultaneously (at the same minute). Browser usage depends on the number of DéjàClick and Selenium monitors, number of steps and the monitoring frequency. For example, monitors that are spread throughout an hour may be able to reuse a single browser profile, but each 1-minute monitor will use a separate profile.

Private Node Server can work in different modes that have a different number of browser profiles. The mode is set automatically on restart based on the monitor configuration.

Monitor Type Maximum number of browser instances
in different VM modes
Auto (default) Extended Maximized
DéjàClick Firefox 5 10 20
DéjàClick Chrome 5 10 20
Selenium 2 5 20

As a rule of thumb, as you add more DéjàClick and Selenium monitors to your Private Node Server, restart the VM to increase the number of browser profiles. This will switch the VM from the default Auto mode to the Extended or Maximized mode based on the current VM load. A restart is needed for the VM to reconfigure itself and better distribute the load. Without a restart, your monitors will still run, but depending on the monitoring interval, they may not always run on time.

If you need more simultaneous browser profiles than offered by the Maximized mode, please contact SmartBear Support.

Installation

  1. Purchase the Private Node Server plan for your AlertSite account.
  2. If you use VMware or Hyper-V: Request a download link for the VM image from your AlertSite Customer Success Advisor or sales representative.

  3. Import the VM to your hypervisor. See instructions for:

    Notes:

  4. Once the VM is powered on, you can access its web interface (Control Panel) at:

    https://<IP address>

    The default login and password are:

    insiteadm / 1nSitePa$$ for Private Node Server 2.0.x

    admin / password for Private Node Server 1.9 or earlier

    (You can change the password later.)

  5. Register your Private Node Server as a location in AlertSite.
  6. Configure the VM on your network – set a static IP address, proxy settings and so on.
  7. Configure ServerAgent to monitor the VM health.
  8. (Recommended.) Change the web interface password to your own password.
  9. Configure monitors to run from the private node location (see below).

If you need assistance configuring your Private Node Server, please contact Support.

Notes:

Network Connectivity

Private Node Server needs to communicate, either directly or through a proxy, to the following hosts and ports:

  1. The domains and outbound ports of any sites monitored from this node.

  2. The servers and services in the following table.

    Port Traffic Type Protocol Source or Destination Purpose
    Inbound
    80 HTTP TCP   To access the Control Panel (web interface) of Private Node Server. Note that http:// will automatically redirect to https://.
    443 HTTPS TCP   To access the Control Panel (web interface) of Private Node Server.
    Outbound
    22 SSH TCP insiterepair.alertsite.com (209.156.160.90) For remote support on your Private Node Server.
    25 SMTP TCP Mail servers of alert recipients To send email alerts (if you do not configure a mail relay host).
    443 HTTPS TCP privateagent.alertsite.com

    privateagent.jupiter.alertsite.com

    To register the private node and ServerAgent in AlertSite, send monitoring data to AlertSite, and collect configuration updates from AlertSite.

    Note: privateagent endpoints have dynamic IP addresses. You need to whitelist the host names, not their current IP addresses.

    4892   TCP AlertSite location configured for ServerAgent. For outbound performance data and status of Private Node Server’s ServerAgent. Data is sent as encrypted XML.

If you use a proxy server, you will need to specify the proxy IP address (not the hostname) and port number in the Private Node Server Control Panel > Configure Settings > Proxy Configuration Settings. See also Configuring Private Node Server on Your Network.

Tip: In Private Node Server v. 2.0.2, you can use the Diagnostics > Connection Tests page to test the connectivity to the required hosts.

Private Node Server Control Panel

You can administer Private Node Server through its web interface, Control Panel, that you can access from any computer on the same network. You can access the Control Panel at https://<IP address>, where <IP address> is the IP address of Private Node Server.

The web interface is password-protected. The default account is:

insiteadm / 1nSitePa$$ for Private Node Server 2.0.x

admin / password for Private Node Server 1.9 or earlier.

You can change the password in Control Panel > Manage InSite Location > Change Web Password.

 

For a description of the settings available in the Control Panel, see Private Node Server Control Panel (Web Interface).

Configuring Monitors to Run on Private Node Server

Once your Private Node Server is up and running, you can configure your monitors to run on it.

To create a monitor for an internal website (to be monitored only from Private Node Server):

  1. On AlertSite Dashboard, click +, then click + New Monitor.
  2. Select one of the supported monitor types.
  3. When asked to select a measurement plan, select the VM Node plan.

    VM Node plan

  4. Complete the monitor configuration.

The monitor is automatically set to use all Private Node Server locations associated with the selected plan.

Note: Private monitors use the Global Notify monitoring mode. The other monitoring modes are not supported, because AlertSite cannot coordinate among multiple monitoring locations when it is behind a firewall.

To use Private Node Server with existing monitors

You can also use Private Node Server with your existing monitors that monitor public websites. Your monitor should use the following settings:

 

To add a Private Node Server location to a monitor:

Note: This counts toward the number of monitors allowed by your private node type.

Alerting

Private Node Server supports the following alert types out of the box:

Recipients configured to get other alert types will not get alerts for errors that were discovered by the private node.

To learn how to configure alert recipients in AlertSite, see Creating Alert Recipients.

 

If you do not want your private node to trigger alerts on errors, you can disable alerting:

FAQ

What operating system does Private Node Server have?

Private Node Server 2.0 runs Ubuntu 14 LTS, and Private Node Server 1.7–1.9 run Debian Linux. The OS is custom-built with all unused services disabled.

How often does Private Node Server send data to AlertSite – immediately, at the exact monitoring interval used, or later in a batch?

Data is sent as a batch. There are a couple of different schedules, but for reporting, it is every 10 minutes.

Alerts are triggered locally on the private node, and are sent immediately.

Does Private Node Server send data to AlertSite as clear text or encrypted?

The data is encrypted (SSL).

Can I access the Linux console on Private Node Server?

No, this is not supported.

Is remote access done through HTTP or HTTPS, and can it be compromised?

No. Remote access is done with ssh (Secure Shell), requires authentication, and cannot be compromised.

Which time zone does Private Node Server use?

It uses GMT/UTC time (not local time).

How do I synchronize system time on Private Node Server?

We recommend that you use Network Time Protocol (NTP) instead of time synchronization with the host.

Private Node Server uses Network Time Protocol (NTP) to synchronize system time with time servers over the network. You can specify one or two NTP servers in Manage InSite Location > NTP Configuration (see NTP Configuration).

The system time lags behind and is not syncing, how do I fix it?

This may happen if you paused the virtual machine. Time synchronization will not work if the system time is too far off from the time on NTP servers.

To fix this, set the approximate correct system time in Manage InSite Location > NTP Configuration, and the time will start syncing again.

Release Notes

Below are the release notes for previous versions of Private Node Server.

v. 2.0.2

v. 2.0.1

v. 2.0

See Also

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