Installing third-party software in the Appliance

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Installing third-party software in the Appliance

The Appliance consists of a Linux-based operating system on which you can install the Portal or the Engine. The software packages included in the Appliance have been carefully selected and fine tuned to work together with both Nexthink products in order to deliver the best performance possible. Both the Portal and the Engine are very demanding in terms of computing resources and they usually require the full dedication of the hardware specified to run them.

Therefore, the installation of third-party software that competes for computing resources with the Nexthink products in the Appliance can degrade the overall performance of the Appliance or hinder the proper functioning of the Portal or the Engine.

As an exception, Nexthink recommends the installation of VMware Tools in those virtualized Appliances that run on VMware products.

Third-party software

The installation and the update of third-party software must be supervised by Nexthink Professional services.

The update of a Nexthink appliance on which a third-party software is installed must also be supervised by Nexthink Professional services.

In case of performance issue or any issue which could be related to to third-party software, Nexthink Support will ask the customer to uninstall the software.

Installing typical third-party tools

Usually, you may want to install third-party software in the Appliance to perform any of the following tasks:

  • Backup the Appliance
  • Monitor the Appliance
  • Protect the Appliance against computer viruses

The tools that typically perform these tasks may have a major impact in the performance of the system; therefore, Nexthink recommends not to install any additional tool. Should you choose to go ahead and install third-party software (because it is mandated by the security policy of your company, for example), we strongly recommend that you first test your setup in a pre-production environment.

Backup the Appliance

Starting from Nexthink V4.1, the Appliance includes an automatic backup mechanism that lets you push all the database and configuration files to a shared directory. Configure the automatic backup of the Appliance from the Web Console to recover from a full or partial data loss.

If you are compelled to install a third-party backup tool, schedule it to perform the backup when the Appliance is less active and always test it first in a pre-production environment. Depending on the product that you installed in the Appliance, follow the corresponding piece of advice:

Engine
The Engine is less active during the night, when it receives less data from Collectors and it has finished the cleanup of its database. Schedule the backup at around 04h30.
Portal
The Portal is less active when fewer users are connected to it and it is not collecting data from the Engine. Since data collection starts at 01h00 and it can last for several hours, schedule the backup of the Portal between the end of the working hours and 01h00.

Monitor the Appliance

Currently, Nexthink Appliances run collectd to monitor their own performance and resource consumption.

If you really need to install another third-party monitoring tool in the Appliance, be specially careful if it is the Appliance that hosts the Engine. A monitoring tool can greatly interfere with the Engine during periods of high activity.

Protect the Appliance against computer viruses

The Appliance is always delivered with the latest security updates of the underlying Linux-based operating system. The risk of vulnerabilities is thus reduced to a minimum.

If an antivirus software is installed, please make sure that the following items are not scanned, as it would drastically impact the performance:

  • Engine DB - /var/nexthink/engine/01/data/nxengine.db
  • Portal directory - /var/nexthink/portal
  • RAM of the Engine Appliance
  • RAM of the Portal Appliance