Updating the Collector

Contents

Updating the Collector

Overview

Starting from V6.6, Collectors are able to update themselves in coordination with the update of your Appliances. However, to migrate your Collectors from V6.5 or previous to V6.6, you still need to use conventional methods:

  • Run the executable generated with the Collector Installer on each device.
  • Use the MSI of the Collector, either manually on each device or using your favorite deployment tool.

Note that the Updater (V6.5 or previous) is deprecated and it is not able to update your Collectors to V6.6.

The Collector for Mac devices does not have an update feature yet. Update it either manually or using your preferred deployment tool.

Applies to platforms: PlatformWindows.png

Updating the Collector with the Collector Installer

To update the Collector using the Nexthink Collector Installer:

  1. Generate the executable with the options to update the Collector as described in the installation instructions.
  2. Run the generated executable in the device with the old Collector.
    • The installation options which are not visible in the Collector Installer get their values from the replaced Collector. That is, the options that you do not set in the Installer are preserved from your previous installation.
    • If the deprecated Updater is detected to be present in the device, the installer program uninstalls it.

Updating the Collector with the MSI

To update the Collector using the Collector MSI:

  1. Remove the Updater (version 6.5 or previous), if present, from the devices where you want to update the Collector.
    • Failing to do so results in subsequent attempts to install the Collector by means of the MSI being unsuccessful.
  2. Perform an interactive or unattended installation of the Collector in the device, as described in the installation instructions, or use your favorite tool to deploy the MSI of the Collector.
    • Onyl if you do an interactive installation while the old version of the Collector is running, the following message shows up at the beginning of the installation:
      CollectorUpgrade-RestartServices.png
      1. Click OK to proceed with the rest of the installation steps. Rebooting the device is not required.

Uninstalling the Collector interactively

To update the Collector, it is not necessary to first uninstall the previous version. If nevertheless you decide to remove the Collector by means of the Add and Remove Programs feature of Windows, a somewhat misleading message shows up at the end of the uninstallation process:

CollectorUpgrade-RebootRequired.png

You can safely click OK and ignore the warning. A reboot is actually not required.

Automatic updates

As previously said in the overview, note that the automatic update of the Collector only works in those devices where you have already installed a Collector 6.6 or higher. Devices with Collector 6.5 and previous will not get updated by the new auto-update mechanism. The rest of the sections assumes that the version of the installed Collectors is 6.6 or higher.

When automatic updates are enabled, the installed Collectors are updated in two waves. Choose when to update the Collectors by assigning each device to an update group:

Pilot
The device is updated during the first wave. Use a small group of pilot devices as early adopters to confirm that the new version integrates well within your infrastructure.
Main
The device is updated during the second wave, after pilot devices. Put the majority of your devices into this group.
Manual
The device is not automatically updated. Use this group only for special devices that should not be updated automatically.

To assign an update group to a set of devices:

  1. Log in to the Finder as the main admin.
  2. Execute an investigation on devices.
  3. From the results of the investigation, select the device or devices that you want to update (to select all devices in the list of results, press Ctrl+A).
  4. Right-click the selected devices.
  5. Select Edit... from the context menu. The Edit device dialog shows up.
    1. In the Nexthink Collector update group, at the bottom of the dialog, select one of the three possible options: pilot, main, or manual.
    2. Click Apply

After assigning your devices to an update group, enable the automatic update of the Collector.

To enable the automatic update of the Collectors:

  1. Log in to the Web Console of the Appliance that hosts the Portal as admin.
  2. Click the Appliance tab at the top of the window.
  3. Select the Update section from the left-hand side menu.
  4. Under Nexthink Collectors, tick Automatically update pilot Collectors to enable the auto-update of the Collector in those devices that you assigned to the pilot group.
    • In Target version, choose whether to update the pilot group to the latest available version of the Collector (recommended) or to one of the versions stored in the Appliance.
    • In Speed, decide how fast you want the Collectors to be updated. Note that the faster the update, the more bandwith devices will require from the network to download the new version of the Collector. Choose between:
      • expedite, for updating all pilot Collectors in about one day.
      • normal, for updating all pilot Collectors in about one week.
  5. Tick Automatically update main Collectors to enable the auto-update of the Collector in those devices that you assigned to the main group. Note that the automatic update of the pilot group is mandatory for automatically updating the main group.
    • In Target version, choose to update to the same version used for the update of the pilot group (recommended) or to a previous version stored in the Appliance. Select as well the moment to trigger the update of the main group. The best practice is to leave a sensible test period to the devices in the pilot group (e.g. two weeks) before updating the rest of the Collectors.
    • In Speed, choose between expedite or normal as you did for the update of the pilot group. Note however that you will usually assign the vast majority of your devices to the main group, requiring many more downloads than the pilot group. It is therefore recommended to use the value normal as the speed for updating the main group.

The automatic update of the Collectors is independent of the automatic update of the Appliance. Even if the automatic update of the Appliance is turned off, the Collectors are updated as described in this article, as long as your master Appliance is connected to the Internet and able to reach the Nexthink updates site, and only if the updated Collector version is still compatible with your installed Appliances.

Discovering devices

To keep track of the devices in your network that do not have the Collector installed yet, use the Device discovery tab in the Finder.

A device that does not have 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:

  1. Log in to the Finder as the main admin.
  2. Select the Device discovery section in the left hand side accordion.
  3. Right-click the title or the empty area of the Discover tab.
  4. Select the option Create collection from AD... in the context menu.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.