Last modified on May 11, 2018

PrivateNode EndPoint is a lightweight desktop application that makes any computer an AlertSite monitoring location. Once installed, the application runs in the background with no interaction with the user. Monitoring is performed as long as the computer is on and the application is running. See How It Works below for details.

Supported Monitor Types

  • Web URL (both HTTP and HTTPS)
  • API endpoint (both HTTP and HTTPS)
  • SoapUI
  • DéjàClick Firefox and Chrome
  • other monitor types except Selenium and Perfecto

There is no need to have Firefox, Chrome or SoapUI installed on your local computer to run monitors of the corresponding types.

System Requirements

  • Operating system:

    • Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012 (32-bit or 64-bit).
    • OS X Mavericks 10.9 or later, 64-bit only.
    • Linux distributions: Ubuntu 14.04 or later, Debian 8 or later, openSUSE 13.3 or later, or Fedora Linux 24 or later.
  • (Windows/Linux) An SSE2-capable Intel Pentium 4 processor or higher.

  • 160 MB of free disk space.

Note that only one instance of PrivateNode EndPoint can run on the computer at a time.

Network Connectivity

To use PrivateNode EndPoint behind a firewall or proxy server, your firewall or proxy needs to support WebSockets, and also to allow outbound TCP connections to port 443 on alertsite.com and subdomains of alertsite.com. These domains do not have fixed IPs, please use the domain names in your firewall rules.

Plans

Before using PrivateNode EndPoint, you need to purchase the appropriate plan (license). Please contact your AlertSite account manager or Sales representative for details. You can find the contact information in AlertSite 1.0, on the Support > Contact Support screen.

A single PrivateNode EndPoint plan allows up to 10 monitors to use EndPoint locations, regardless of the monitoring status (active or disabled). The number of EndPoint locations is not limited, you can have as many as you need. For example, you can add 5 (or 10, or 25) EndPoint locations and set up 10 monitors to use any of these locations. A single monitor can use both AlertSite global locations and your private EndPoint locations, or just private locations if you are monitoring an intranet website.

If you need to test a larger number of monitors from EndPoint locations, you will need to purchase multiple PrivateNode EndPoint plans. For example, 2 plans allow a maximum of 20 monitors, 5 plans – 50 monitors, and so on.

Download

AlertSite UXM

If you do not have any PrivateNode EndPoint locations yet, you will be prompted to download the application when setting up PrivateNode EndPoint (see below).

If you already have a location configured, you can download the application from the  > Settings > InSite/Private Locations screen in AlertSite UXM. Click in the table to see the download links for various operating systems.

AlertSite 1.0

From the top menu, select Support > Downloads. Here you can find the download links for your operating system.

Installation

Step 1. Configure Location in AlertSite

AlertSite UXM

  • Navigate to  > Settings > InSite/Private Locations.

  • Click Add InSite Location.

  • Specify the location information:

    • Give your desktop location a name. This name will appear in AlertSite dashboards, alerts and reports.

    • Select the PrivateNode EndPoint 10 Monitor plan.

    • Select the Monitoring is active and Notify on error check boxes.

    Location name and plan

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  • Click Next.

  • Click the link to download the PrivateNode EndPoint application for your operating system, then click Add to proceed.

    Download PrivateNode EndPoint application

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  • Copy the generated Location ID. You will need it later.

    Location ID

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AlertSite 1.0

  1. Navigate to Configure > InSite Locations and click Add a new location.

    Manage InSite Locations > Add a new location

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  2. Enter the location parameters:

    • Description – the location name that will appear in AlertSite dashboards, alerts and reports.

    • Location Plan – select PrivateNode EndPoint 10 Monitor.

    • Monitoring Is – set to Active.

    • Notify on Error? – set to Yes in order to receive alerts about monitor errors found at your desktop location.

    Location name and plan

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  3. Click Submit.

  4. This will generate the Location ID. Copy it somewhere – you will need it later.

    Location ID

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Step 2. Launch App on Your Desktop

  1. Unzip the application you have downloaded from AlertSite.

  2. Launch the application (AlertSite Endpoint.exe on Windows, AlertSite Endpoint.app on OS X, AlertSite Endpoint on Linux).

  3. Enter your AlertSite login email and password, and the 32-character location ID you generated earlier.

    Private Node Endpoint: Connected

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  4. (Optional.) If you are using a proxy server, select Connect using proxy and enter your proxy host (the host name or the IPv4 address) and port. If the proxy requires authentication, also enter the proxy username and password.

    Private Node Endpoint: Proxy settings

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  5. Click Connect.

  6. Depending on your operating system, you may be asked to allow the application to connect to the Internet.

  7. If everything is OK, the application will show Connected and the location name you assigned in AlertSite.

    PrivateNode EndPoint: Connected

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    If the application failed to connect to AlertSite:

    • Double-check the login, password, location ID and proxy settings.

    • Make sure your firewall allows outbound TCP connections to port 443 on alertsite.com and subdomains of alertsite.com.

  8. You can now minimize the application and leave it running in the background.

Notes:

  • Keep the computer on and the application running, otherwise, monitoring from this location will stop. If the computer goes to sleep or hibernation mode, monitoring will stop.

  • If you need to disable this location temporarily (for example, to restart the computer), click Disconnect before closing the application. This will mark the location as inactive in AlertSite, and AlertSite will not schedule tests at this location until the location is online again.

  • The application will reconnect to AlertSite automatically on startup. You can also autorun the application when your computer starts, as explained below.

Step 3. Assign Monitors to Your Private Location

When you select locations for your monitors, you will see your private location in the list. PrivateNode EndPoint locations have the Micro prefix.

AlertSite UXM

Private location in monitor settings

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AlertSite 1.0

Private location in monitor settings

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Monitors that use PrivateNode EndPoint locations must use the following settings:

  • Monitoring Mode – any mode except for Round Robin and SLA (MultiPOP).

  • Rotated Locations – unselected.

  • (For DéjàClick monitors) Browser – Firefox or Chrome

The other settings can be anything you wish.

How It Works

The PrivateNode EndPoint application serves as a proxy for AlertSite monitoring locations. AlertSite takes care of scheduling tests, running monitoring software, and retrieving the results from PrivateNode.

PrivateNode EndPoint architecture

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An AlertSite location, which will actually handle monitoring, is assigned to each PrivateNode location. The assigned location is geographically the closest to you in order to minimize network latency.

When a monitor runs, it connects to the monitored site using PrivateNode as a proxy, as if the connection came directly from the PrivateNode computer. The monitoring software (such as web browsers or SoapUI) runs at an AlertSite location, but all the requests to the target site are sent through the PrivateNode computer. Otherwise, the monitors that use PrivateNode work just like regular monitors – they check the site availability, measure the response time, perform validations, send alerts on errors and so on.

The monitoring results are sent directly to the AlertSite platform, they are not stored locally.

Response Time Measurement

Since PrivateNode EndPoint works as a proxy, some of the measured network timings have a different meaning than in regular monitors:

  • DNS Time is always 0. When using a proxy, this metric reflects the time to resolve the proxy domain name, and AlertSite connects to PrivateNode EndPoint by using the direct IP address.

  • Connect Time is the proxy connect time, that is, the time taken to connect from an AlertSite location to the PrivateNode EndPoint computer.

  • Time to First Byte is the sum of DNS Time + Connect Time + Time to First Byte of the monitored server as measured from the PrivateNode computer.

  • The total response time is the sum of all network timings, including the above-mentioned DNS Time and Connect Time, so it includes the network latency between the PrivateNode computer and AlertSite servers.

Please keep this in mind when analyzing the response time and setting up performance alerts. We recommend using the Time to First Byte and Content Download Time metrics to access the response time of your monitored site.

Note: These specifics apply only to PrivateNode EndPoint and do not apply to Private Node Server locations (VM and hardware appliances).

Running PrivateNode EndPoint on Computer Startup

PrivateNode EndPoint can be launched automatically on computer startup. This way your private location will get online when you log in to your computer.

Windows

On Windows, you need to add a shortcut to the AlertSite Endpoint application to the Startup folder:

  • Right-click the AlertSite Endpoint.exe file in Windows Explorer or in other file manager, and select Create shortcut.

  • Press Windows+R, type shell:startup and press Enter. This opens the Startup folder.

  • Copy the shortcut and paste it to the Startup folder.

The shell:startup folder contains items that autorun when you log in using your user account. If you want to run PrivateNode EndPoint whenever any user logs in, use shell:common startup instead.

Mac

On Mac, you need to add the AlertSite Endpoint application to the Login Items:

  • Select System Preferences from the menu.

  • Click Users & Groups (or Accounts in earlier versions of OS X).

  • Switch to the Login Items tab.

  • Click and browse for the AlertSite Endpoint.app file.

    –or–

    Drag the AlertSite Endpoint.app file and drop it onto the list.

    Mac startup apps

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Troubleshooting

Monitor status 2

This status means the location is disconnected from AlertSite. Make sure the application is running and displays Connected.

This status may appear shortly after you close the AlertSite Endpoint application (for example, when you shut down or restart your computer). To avoid the issue, click Disconnect before closing the application. When you disconnect explicitly, the connection is force-closed, so that AlertSite knows the location went offline intentionally. In this case, AlertSite will treat the location as inactive and will not schedule tests at it until the location is online again.

Error: getaddreinfo ENOTFOUND www.alertsite.com www.alertsite.com:443

This means the application was unable to connect to AlertSite:

  • Make sure the Internet connection is functioning.

  • If you are connecting through a proxy, make sure the proxy settings specified in the application are correct.

  • Make sure your firewall allows connections to *.alertsite:443.

Test on Demand does not work

  • Make sure the AlertSite Endpoint application is running on the corresponding computer.

  • Make sure the location status is set to Active in  > Settings > InSite/Private Locations in AlertSite UXM (or Configure > Manage InSite Locations in AlertSite 1.0).

See Also

Private Locations
Private Node Server