Scaling Up with Private Network Monitoring

    What you are going to learn:

  • What are Agent Networks
  • What are Agent Modes
  • How to monitor network performance inside a private network

Introduction to Scaling Up with Private Network Monitoring
Introduction to Scaling Up with Private Network Monitoring

This documentation article is the third part of the Onboarding Tutorials. This article follows the part 2, Identify Issues with a Two Session Network Monitoring Setup, and will start exactly where the second part left.

Objectives of this tutorial
Objectives of this tutorial

The goal of this tutorial is to introduce agent networks, introduce agent modes, and teach you how to leverage Obkio Network Monitoring to monitor between private locations such as branch offices, data centers, private clouds or remote users over VPN.

At the end of this tutorial, you will have 7 monitoring agents:

  • Branch Office 1
  • Branch Office 2
  • Data Center
  • Headquarters
  • Public AWS
  • Public Google
  • Remote User

3 agent groups:

  • Branches and Remote Users
  • HQ and Data Center
  • Public Clouds

and 1 agent network:

  • Business Private Network

In this tutorial, we will suppose that all the business monitoring agents (i.e. all except the two public cloud agents) will use a private network to communicate. It can be a LAN, L2VPN, IPVPN, MPLS VPN, SD-WAN or Internet VPN. It doesn't matter as long as they have a connection with their private IPs.

Step 1: Rename Agents and Groups
Step 1: Rename Agents and Groups

Before we start this tutorial, let's rename the agents and group names to reflect the new setup:

  1. Rename the agent to Remote User (assuming the agent has been installed on your laptop/desktop). To do so, visit the Software agent page, click on ... at the top-right of the page and then click Edit.
  2. Rename the agent Public to Public AWS (or the name of the public cloud agent you previously selected).
  3. Rename the agent Public 2 to Public Google (or the name of the public cloud agent you previously selected).
  4. Visit the Agent Groups page (Menu -> Groups) and rename Business Agents to Branches and Remote Users.
  5. Create an empty agent group named HQ and Data Center.

The last thing we will do is modify the network monitoring template with the new group we just created.

  1. Replace the first agent list with HQ and Data Center and Public Clouds.
  2. Replace the second list with Branches and Remote Users and HQ and Data Center.

With this template configuration, we will have a full-mesh between the agents in HQ and Data Center. In addition, all your agents will communicate with HQ and Data Center and Public Clouds.

Screencapture Rename Agents

Step 2: Create an Agent Network
Step 2: Create an Agent Network

By default, monitoring agents will communicate with their Public IPs. If you want to have performance monitoring between agents in the same private network, the agents must be configured in the same Agent Network.

The rule is very simple: If two monitoring agents are in the same agent network, they will communicate using private IPs instead of public IPs.

So before we continue, let's create an agent network that will be used to monitor network performance between monitoring agents on the business private network:

  1. Visit the Networks Menu to manage your networks (Menu -> Networks).
  2. For this tutorial, create the network Business Private Network.
  3. Assign the Software Agent created in the first tutorial to the network: Remote User -> Business Private Network

Screencapture Create Network

Step 3: Understand the Agent Modes
Step 3: Understand the Agent Modes

The Agent Mode will determine which agent will initiate the network monitoring session and which one will accept the incoming connection. The agent mode is selected during the creation of a monitoring agent, but it can be changed at any time in the Agent Settings.

Client Only Mode
Client Only Mode

In this mode, the agent will always initiate the connection to the server. In this tutorial, it will be used for all the agents in the group Branches and Remote Users.

Private Server
Private Server

The private server agent mode is used for agents that can accept connections within the same agent network. In this tutorial, it will be used for all the agents in the group HQ and Data Center.

Private Internet Server
Private Internet Server

If an agent outside the agent network needs to communicate with that agent, the Private Internet Server mode should be used and Firewalls must be configured accordingly.

Step 4: Configure More Agents
Step 4: Configure More Agents

It's now time to add the missing agents to complete this tutorial: Branch Offices, Data Center and Headquarters. Since we already created the agent groups and we modified the network monitoring template, we only need to create and install the agents to complete the tutorial.

We will focus on the agent creation but we will skip the installation because it really depends on the environments of your HQ, Data Center and Branch Offices.

We recommend you read the Agent Types article which gives more details on our Software (Windows, Linux, Docker), Virtual Appliance (VMware, Hyper-V) and Hardware Agents.

Screencapture Create Agent

Branch Office 1 Configuration
Branch Office 1 Configuration

  • Agent Type: Refer to Agent Types
  • Agent Mode: Client Only
  • Agent Name: Branch Office 1
  • Agent Group: Branches and Remote Users
  • Agent Network: Business Private Network
  • Install the agent as per the agent type instructions

Branch Office 2 Configuration
Branch Office 2 Configuration

  • Agent Type: Refer to Agent Types
  • Agent Mode: Client Only
  • Agent Name: Branch Office 2
  • Agent Group: Branches and Remote Users
  • Agent Network: Business Private Network
  • Install the agent as per the agent type instructions

Data Center Configuration
Data Center Configuration

  • Agent Type: Refer to Agent Types
  • Agent Mode: Private Server
  • Agent Name: Data Center
  • Agent Group: HQ and Data Center
  • Agent Network: Business Private Network
  • Install the agent as per the agent type instructions

Headquarters Configuration
Headquarters Configuration

  • Agent Type: Refer to Agent Types
  • Agent Mode: Private Server
  • Agent Name: Headquarters
  • Agent Group: HQ and Data Center
  • Agent Network: Business Private Network
  • Install the agent as per the agent type instructions

Final Tutorial Setup
Final Tutorial Setup

Once all the agents are created and installed, the Chord Diagram in the Home page should look like this one. No need to add the agents to the network monitoring template because we are using the agent groups.

Screencapture Final tour

Where Your Network Monitoring Setup Is Now
Where Your Network Monitoring Setup Is Now

At the end of the tutorial, you should now have 7 monitoring agents in your Obkio account, as well as 3 agent groups and 1 agent network. This setup will now allow you to continuously monitor network performance between private locations such as your branch offices, data centers, private clouds or remote users over VPN.