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Home > Success Center > Network Performance Monitor (NPM) > Installing the Orion Platform Agent - Video

Installing the Orion Platform Agent - Video

Updated 9-28-2016

Overview

This video demonstrates how to install agents used with Orion® Platform products on both Linux and Windows devices.

 

 

The video transcript is at the bottom of this page.

Environment

  • Orion Platform products including Server & Application Monitor and Network Performance Monitor.

Video Transcription

This video will demonstrate how to install agents used with Orion® Platform products.The agent provides a communication channel between the server where the Orion Platform is installed and a Windows® or Linux® computer. Agents are used as an alternative to WMI, SNMP, or other agentless based communication, to provide information about devices and applications. Agents are also used for other Orion Platform features, such as NetPath™ and DPI.

Agent communication can be deployed as either active or passive.

When using the passive (or server initiated) method, the agent waits for requests from the server.  You must have a direct route from the Orion server or additional poller to the target machine where the agent is installed.

When using the active (or agent initiated) method, all communication between that server and the agent is initiated by the agent. This method is most useful when the target machine where the agent is installed cannot accept certain inbound connections. More information about agents and their requirements and benefits can be found on the Customer Success Center.

There are three methods by which the agent can be can installed to your devices. These methods will vary depending on whether you are deploying to a Windows or Linux device.

  • First, you can have the Orion Platform server push the agent to one or more target machines using the Manage Agents page.
  • You can manually install the agent on each computer individually.
  • Or, you can deploy the Orion Platform agent 'en masse' by using an existing deployment method (such as Group Policy for Windows devices) or by scripting a 'Yum' or 'Apt-get' command to install it from the Orion Platform Repository.

 

First, I'll show you how to deploy the agent via an Orion Platform server push. This method allows you to perform a network-wide deployment from within the Orion Platform, and does not require the downloading of additional files. In order for this deployment to succeed, the server on which the Orion Platform is installed must be able to communicate with the target machines. 

  • From the web console, navigate to Settings - All Settings – Manage Agents.
     
  • On the Manage Agents page, click Add Agent.
     
  • Select Deploy the Agent on my Network and then click Next. 
     
  • On the Deploy Agent on Network page, select the desired node or nodes, or enter the IP address or host name of the target machine where you want the agent to be installed. And then click Next.
     
  • Set the desired agent mode from the drop down list for each target machine.
     
  • Select the target machines that require credential assignment and then click Assign Credentials.
     
  • Choose operating system type, Windows or Linux. For Windows, simply choose a credential from the drop down list, or enter new credentials and click Test and Assign.
     
  • For Linux, pick credential type by selecting either Username and Password or Certificate-based credential.
     
  • When working with a Linux agent deployment, we also provide an Elevated Privileges section when assigning credentials. This allows you to use an authorized account that can impersonate proper elevated privileges, which are needed to run Linux commands once the account is authenticated. 
     
  • Choose a credential from the drop-down list, or enter new credentials and click Test and Assign.
     
  • Regardless of whether you are on a Windows or Linux device, once you have selected your credentials, click Deploy Agent.

At this point, the Orion Platform will install the agent software.

 

Deploying the Agent Manually for Windows

This method of deployment requires the downloading of the necessary Orion Platform agent files. Selecting this method may be helpful in troubleshooting connectivity issues with another form of agent deployment. This method is also helpful when the server the Orion Platform is installed on cannot communicate directly with the endpoint where the agent will be installed, such as in the case of Active Agent mode.

  • From the web console, navigate to Settings > All Settings.
     
  • Under Product Specific Settings, click Agent Settings > Download Agent Software.
     
  • Select Windows and click Next.
     
  • Choose Install Manually, and click Next.
     
  • Click Download MSI.

Once the download is complete, copy the MSI file to the target machine and then install it by double-clicking and starting the wizard. It is worth noting that the agent can be configured to install silently using standard installer command-line options.

  • During installation, select either Agent Initiated Communication or Orion Server Initiated Communication. When done, clickNext.
     
  • Enter the Orion server IP address or host name and the Orion administrator account credentials when prompted.
     
  • When done, click Next.

When installation is successful, the agent will appear in the agent list on the Manage Agents page in the web console.

Deploying the Agent Manually for Linux

This method of deployment requires the downloading of the necessary agent files via URL (such as 'W-get.) Selecting this method of deployment may be helpful in troubleshooting connectivity issues with another form of agent deployment. This method is also helpful when the server the Orion Platform is installed on cannot communicate directly with the endpoint where the agent will be installed, such as in the case of Active Agent mode.

  • From the web console, navigate to Settings > All Settings.
     
  • Under Product Specific Settings, click Agent Settings > Download Agent Software.
     
  • Select Linux and click Next.
     
  • Choose Manually Install by Downloading Files via URL, and click Next.
     
  • Select the desired Linux distribution from the Distribution drop down list.
     
  • Select either Agent Initiated or Server Initiated in the Communication Mode section.
     
  • Set the appropriate Connection Settings and click Generate Command.
     
  • Open a shell prompt on the target machine and enter the generated command. This script will use 'W-get' or 'curl' to download the agent file and install the agent based on your chosen settings.

Alternatively, you can download and copy the installation files to the target machine, and modify the script to execute from a local directory.

Either way, when the installation is successful, the agent will appear in the agent list on the Manage Agents page in the web console.

Mass Deploying an Agent for Windows

If you are already using a mass-deployment technology, such as Microsoft Group Policy, this deployment method is an easy way to get agents installed on a large group of Windows computers.

  • From the web console, navigate to Settings > All Settings.
     
  • Under Product Specific Settings, click Agent Settings > Download Agent Software.
     
  • Select Windows and click Next.
     
  • Choose Mass Deploy to Multiple Machines, and click Next.
     
  • Select either Agent Initiated or Server Initiated in the Communication Mode section.
     
  • Set the appropriate Connection Settings and click Download MSI and Download MST.

Now that the Orion Platform agent MST file has been created, it can be mass deployed in a number of ways, such as:

  • Windows Group Policy
     
  • Windows login script
     
  • SolarWinds Patch Manager
     
  • And 3rd party Windows login software

 

If you are Mass Deploying an Agent for Linux:

  • Start from the web console and navigate to Settings > All Settings.
     
  • Under Product Specific Settings, click Agent Settings > Download Agent Software.
     
  • Select Linux and click Next.
     
  • Choose Install via Package Management Tool, and click Next.
     
  • Select the desired Linux distribution from the Distribution drop down list.

Before installing the agent software, you will need to add the Orion repository. Open a shell prompt on the Linux machine you want to add the repository to and run the first command generated from the Adding the Repository section.

Open a shell prompt on a test target machine and run the second command generated from the Installing the Agent Software section.

When installation is complete, run the “service swiagentd init” command. This will bring up the Linux Agent configuration settings where you can provide:

  • The IP, hostname, or FQDN of the Orion server or Additional Polling Engine (option 2)
     
  • And the Orion administrator credentials (Options 4 & 5)
     
  • When finished, save your changes and exit (Option 7).

This will then register the agent with the Orion server and begin managing it as a node.

Now you can use your desired configuration management tool, like Puppet or Chef, to deploy and configure the Orion Platform agent package with the same settings you just configured on your test target machine.

Managing the agent is easy.

  • Simply go to Settings > All Settings > Node & Group Management > Manage Agents

Once an agent has been installed on a computer and is not currently being monitored as a node, it will need to be managed as a node. If it already is a node, simply select Choose Resources.

This will start the wizard where resources and application monitors will be defined.

By default, agents will be updated automatically as new product versions are released. This can be changed by navigating to:

Settings > All Settings > Node & Group Management >Manage Agents

Select the agent you wish to edit and the select Edit Settings

This wraps up our discussion on the three different methods for installing the Orion Platform agent. If you want more information about this or any of the other SolarWinds products, please visit support.solarwinds.com.

 

 

Last modified
18:21, 27 Sep 2016

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