Updating the Collector


Updating the Collector

Configuring the Updater from the Web Console

To deploy a new version of the Collector using the Updater, upload the Collector package to the Appliance on which the Engine runs with the help of the Web Console:

  1. Open the Web Console in a web browser:
  2. In the Engine tab, select the Updater entry from the left-hand side menu. The configuration of the Updater parameters in the Engine shows up.
  3. Tick the State check box and set it to Active to enable the deployed instances of the Updater to retrieve the Collector from the Engine.
  4. Type in the port number configured in your Updaters to establish communication with the Engine in Updater TCP port (default 8888).
  5. Optional: Tick the SSL check box and set it to Active if you want the communication between the Updater and the Engine to be encrypted. Note that the use of SSL requires the instances of the Updater to have been deployed with the appropriate option.
  6. The four following options are parameters that you can pass to the Collector MSI to control the way it is installed in the end-user devices:
    • Tick Force loading to load the Collector in memory as soon as it is installed (without waiting for a reboot).
    • Tick Installation log to send the logs to the Engine in case of error during the installation.
    • Tick Add/Remove program entry for the Collector to be displayed in the section Add/Remove Programs of Windows.
    • Tick Control panel extension to install a program for configuring the working parameters of the Collector in the Control Panel of Windows.
  7. The next three display the versions of the software components related to the Collector that the Engine holds: Driver version, Service version and Updater version.
  8. In Collector selection, click the button Browse... to select the zip package of the Collector. This is the zip file that you find in the Product Downloads page of Nexthink.
  9. Click the button Save to make your changes permanent.

For keeping the Collector up to date by other means (individual install, or deployment via GPO or SCCM), see the article on installing the Collector.

Managing the deployment of the Collector from the Finder

When using the Updater to keep the Collector up-to-date, you can control the deployment process and watch its evolution from the Finder:

  1. Log in to the Finder as admin.
  2. In the left-hand side accordion, select the Nexthink Collector section.
  3. Inside the Nexthink Collector section, find the two tabs Manage and Discover.
    • The Manage tab lets you control the deployment process and see the status of each device with respect to it.
    • In the Discover tab, you can create collections of devices from the Active Directory or from imported CSV files. Use these collections to keep track of the devices that have the Collector installed and those that do not have it.

Keep in mind that a deployment with the Updater is a per Engine process. You deploy the Collector on the devices that lie under the supervision of a single Engine.

Discovering devices

A device that does not have the Updater or the Collector installed never sends information to the Engine. Therefore, the Engine ignores the existence of the device. To inform the Engine about all the devices in your network, including those that the Engine may not be aware of, create collections of devices in the Discover tab. You can create collections of devices based on:

  • The information in Active Directory.
  • The contents of a CSV file.

To create a collection of devices based on Active Directory, make sure first that you have configured the Active Directory server settings in the Engine. Then, in the Discover tab:

  1. Right-click the title or the empty area of the tab.
  2. Select the option Create collection from AD... in the context menu.
  3. Review how to locate your devices in the Active Directory and fill in the blanks in the dialog:
    1. Set a name for the collection in the field Name.
    2. Write in the field Include DN a query pattern to retrieve all the devices whose Distinguished Name matches the pattern. You can use the wildcards *, to substitute for zero or more characters, and ?, to substitute for one character, in your query.
    3. Optional: If your query pattern above includes some devices (or other AD objects) that you want out of the collection, specify them in Exclude DN with another query and tick the check box to the left to activate the exclusion.
  4. Click OK to create the collection.

If you do not have Active Directory available to your Engine, but you have other means to get a list of all the devices in your network, you can still create a collection of devices in the Discover tab by providing a CSV file. The CSV file must hold at least two values per entry:

  • The NetBIOS name of the device.
  • The IP address or DNS name of the device.

To create a collection from a CSV file:

  1. Right-click the title or the empty area of the Discover tab.
  2. Select the option Create collection from CSV... in the context menu.
  3. Choose a CSV file from your filesystem in the dialog that opens. A wizard guides you through the import of the CSV.
  4. In step 1 of the wizard:
    1. Select the encoding, the delimiter character and the text qualifier (character used to delimit text values) of the CSV file.
    2. Optional: Click Show file to see the actual CSV file and help you decide what are the correct options.
    3. Click Next.
  5. In step 2 of the wizard:
    1. Give a name to the collection that you are creating in the field Collection name.
    2. In Column selection, pick the two columns from the CSV file that hold the Netbios name of the device and the IP address or DNS name (hostname). To guide you with the selection, the values of the first entry in your CSV file are displayed in the lists.
    3. Optional: Click Back to correct the options that you chose in step 1 of the wizard if you realize that you set something wrong.
    4. Click Import.
  6. The wizard reports the number of devices successfully added to the collection from the CSV file. In case of error, click Show details to see the reasons for not importing all the entries from the file.
  7. Click OK to end the wizard.

In the Discover tab, every collection of devices displays its total number of devices to the right of its name. Additionnaly, each collection is divided into two disjoint groups of devices that also show their number of devices:

  • Without Collector: those devices that do not have the Collector installed.
  • With Collector: those devices that have the Collector installed.

To get a list of the devices in the collection or in any of the groups, double-click the collection or the group in the Discover tab. The groups get updated at the same time as the Engine detects if the Collector is installed in or uninstalled from the devices in the collection.

Controlling Collector deployment

In the Manage tab, you can control the update of the Collector and follow the progress of the installation for the machines that have the Updater installed. The Manage tab is divided into two sections: Devices and Settings".

The Devices section groups devices according to their deployment status. To see the list of devices that form the group, double-click the name of the group. Click the plus sign at the left of each main group to expand it into subgroups and the minus sign to collapse subgroups back. Find below a list with all possible status and their meaning:

  • Manageable: All devices that have the Updater installed.
    • Up-to-date: Devices with the last version of the Collector (the last uploaded to the Engine) installed.
    • Outdated: Devices whose version of the Collector is older than the last uploaded.
      • Out-of-date: Outdated devices for which no action has been taken.
      • Scheduled for update: Outdated devices that have been marked for update, but whose Updater has not started yet the process of upgrading the Collector.
      • Updating: Outdated devices whose Updater is either downloading the last Collector, upgrading it or waiting for a reboot to complete the installation.
    • Uninstalling: Devices for which you want to remove both the Collector and the Updater.
      • Scheduled for uninstall: Devices marked for unistallation of the Collector and the Updater, but whose Updater has not started yet the process.
      • Uninstalling: Devices that are currently uninstalling the Collector or the Updater, or which are waiting for a reboot to complete the uninstallation.
    • Repairing: Devices in which you want to reinstall the Collector, usually because there was an error during its installation.
      • Scheduled for repair: Devices that are marked for reinstalling the Collector, but whose Updater has not started the repairing process yet.
      • Repairing: Devices whose Updater is uninstalling the Collector or waiting for a reboot to complete the uninstallation.
    • With error: Devices that had trouble downloading the Collector or installing it.
  • Unmanageable: Devices that have the Collector installed, but not the Updater. You cannot control the Collector deployment process from the Finder on these devices.

Right-click the name of a group to trigger appropriate actions on all the devices of that group. For instance, right-click the group Out-of-date and select Update all from the context menu to start the process of updating the Collector in all the members of the group. As a result, all devices in the Out-of-date group move immediately to the Scheduled for update group.

To perform an individual deployment action on a particular device, double-click a group where the device can be found to open the list of all the member devices of the group in a tab of the Finder. From the list of devices, right-click the entry of the specific device and select Manage Collector from the context menu. A list of the possible deployment actions for the device appears to the right of the menu. Select the desired option. For instance, you can choose Schedule for repair if the device is in the group With error.

In the Settings section, find two options that modify the way of deploying the Collector:

  • Auto-update
  • Reboot policy

Tick the Auto-update option if you want the system to trigger the update of the Collector automatically for all the manageable devices whose Collector is out of date. Using this option, you no longer have to manually schedule for update any of your out-of-date devices. Nevertheless, devices that had an error during Collector installation are not automatically updated. You still have to schedule for repair devices with errors by hand, after possibly doing some research on the causes of the error.

Click the button Set reboot policy... to decide what the devices should do after a Collector update:

  1. Choose one of the options in the list After update:
    • no automatic reboot: Wait until the user reboots its computer to complete the installation.
    • reboot automatically: Order a reboot of the device, but wait until all open applications are closed.
    • reboot automatically forcibly closing applications: Reboot the device, forcing open applications to close.
  2. If you select one of the two latter options, specify the moment for rebooting the devices in the section Reboot time. Choose between:
    • Immediate: Reboot the devices right after they update the Collector.
    • Scheduled at xx:xx:xx (local time): Reboot the devices at the specified time of the day, once they have updated the Collector.
  3. Click OK to apply the reboot policy.