Last modified on November 22, 2017

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

  • Monitor internal applications that are not accessible from the public Internet, such as CRM, ERP systems and intranet portals.

  • Monitor public websites and APIs from inside the firewall – as experienced by your internal users.

  • Compare response times from inside and outside the firewall to troubleshoot performance problems.

  • Monitor on-premise applications at customer sites.

  • Add custom monitoring locations in addition to the 80+ locations provided by AlertSite.

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

Click the image to enlarge it.

What’s New in Private Node Server 2.1

  • Private Node Server now comes bundled with two versions of the SoapUI monitor runner –Ready! API 1.9 and Ready! API 1.1. You can choose the version to be used in the private node’s Control Panel, under Configure Settings > SoapUI Version. The currently used version is displayed on the main page of the Control Panel.

  • Proxy configuration now allows host names in addition to IP addresses.

  • The browser screen size increased to 1280×1024 for DéjàClick Firefox monitors. The browser size is now the same for both Firefox and Chrome monitors.

  • New console menu accessible from the VM hypervisor allows you to configure a static IP address, reset web interface password and reboot the private node without using the web interface. The console menu also displays the private node’s IP address and web interface URL.

  • New software upgrade tool lets you install software updates directly from the Control Panel, without having to replace the VM. You can check for or install the updates by using the Manage InSite Location > Upgrade Software menu of the Control Panel.

For the changes in the previous 2.x releases, see Version History.

Specifications

Supported VM hypervisors:

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

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)

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
  • Email
  • FTP
  • Network: DNS, TCP, ping

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  > 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:

  • Number of monitors

  • Monitor types and complexity

  • Monitoring frequency

  • Number of steps

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 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:

  • Private nodes are intended for a mixed use of monitor types. They are not designed to be filled to capacity with API monitors only.

  • Requirements may vary in real deployments based on hypervisor oversubscrition and real/stressed utilization of the shared hardware.

  • In Private Node Server 2.0, your total capacity limit is enforced on the account level and is not tied to the VM itself, which means you can run as few or as many monitors on a given VM instance as you wish. For example, the VM Node by AlertSite 100 Monitor plan lets you have up to 100 monitors on any number of VMs, so you can have 2 VMs × 50 monitors, or 20 VMs × 5 monitors, or similar.

    If capacity on a VM is exceeded, you can upsize the VM or spread monitoring across multiple VMs.

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:

  • Increase the monitoring interval of your monitors so that they run less often.

  • Spread the monitoring across multiple VMs.

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

If you need to migrate an existing location from an old server to a new one, please contact Customer Care first. Customer Care will guide you through the migration process as there is a specific procedure to follow in order to replace a server while keeping all historical data.

If you are installing a new location (not doing a server replacement), follow these steps:

  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:

    • The VM must be initially connected to a virtual network that has DHCP enabled. Once the VM is up and running, it can be configured to use a static IP address using the web interface that is part of Private Node Server.

    • Make sure to configure the VM memory, CPU and storage based on the desired monitoring capacity.

    • Make sure to configure your firewall to allow traffic on the ports used by Private Node Server (see Network Connectivity below).

  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$$ in Private Node Server 2.x

    admin / password in earlier versions

    (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:

  • VM must always be up and running, otherwise monitoring will stop.

  • If the VM MAC address changes, you will need to re-register the VM manually.

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 PanelConfigure Settings > Proxy Configuration Settings. See also Configuring Private Node Server on Your Network.

Tip: In Private Node Server v. 2.0.2 and later, 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$$ in Private Node Server 2.x

admin / password in earlier versions

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 the AlertSite Dashboard, hover over + Add New, then click Monitor.

  2. Select one of the supported monitor types.

  3. When asked to select a measurement plan, select the VM Node plan if you use a VM version of the Private Node Server, or the INSITE plan if you use ahardware appliance.

    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:

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

  • Rotated Locations – unselected.

  • Browser – Firefox or Chrome (for DéjàClick monitors only).

To add a Private Node Server location to a monitor:

  • In AlertSite UXM, go to Monitors > Summary.

  • Select the monitor from the list in the top left corner.

  • Click Edit Monitor, then Monitoring Locations.

  • Select the check box next to your Private Node Server location and click Submit.

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:

  • E-mail (HTML or text)

  • E-mail to wireless device (text message)

  • SMS

  • SNMP trap (snmpv1/snmpv2c)

  • VoIP

  • Splunk (only Private Node Server 2.0.1 and later)

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:

AlertSite UXM

  • Navigate to  > Settings > InSite / Private Locations.

  • Click next to your private location.

  • Clear the Notify on error check box.

  • Click Save.

AlertSite 1.0

  • From the top menu, select Configure > Manage InSite Locations.

  • Click your private node in the list.

  • Set Notify on Error? to No and click Submit.

FAQ

What operating system does Private Node Server have?

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

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

Can I access the Linux console on Private Node Server?

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

Which time zone does Private Node Server use?

How do I synchronize system time on Private Node Server?

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

See Also

Selecting Locations for Monitoring
Managing Private Locations in AlertSite
Troubleshooting Private Locations