Product Documentation

Installing NetScaler Insight Center Scale-Out Deployment

Aug 22, 2017

Important

Scale-out deployment is no longer supported on NetScaler Insight Center. Also, NetScaler Insight Center is soon to reach the EOL phase. Citrix recommends that you evaluate NetScaler MAS for your deployments.

Before you begin the installation process of a scale-out deployment, review Planning a NetScaler Insight Center Deployment.

In a new NetScaler Insight Center deployment, you must first install the NetScaler Insight Center server. Next, install the connectors and databases, and then deploy the connectors and databases by logging on to the NetScaler Insight Center server GUI. Finally, install the agents.

If you have an existing NetScaler Insight Center single server deployment, you can scale out your deployment by adding connectors, databases, and agents. First, upgrade your server to the desired build. Then, obtain the image file for the same build from the download site, and install the connectors, databases, and agents.  

This document provides the following information:

Before you start installing the components of this deployment, make sure you review the prerequisites and the configuration notes.

Prerequisites

The following table describes the virtual computing resources that XenServer or VMWare ESX must provide for each component of this deployment. 

Resource Requirement

RAM

8 GB or more for each server, connector, database, and agent.

Virtual CPU

  • 8 or more for server and agent
  • 6 or more for each connector and database node    

Storage Space

  • 120 GB for server, connector, and agent
  • 512 GB for a database node.
    Assign the same size to all database nodes.   

Virtual Network Interface

1

Throughput

1 Gbps

Configuration Notes

  • The same image file is used to provision the server, connector, database node, and agent.
  • It is recommended that all the components: server, connectors, database nodes, and agents run the same version of the software.
  • You cannot change the deployment type once you have set it.
  • You must not change the IP address of any of the components after deployment.
  • After importing the VM and before configuring the NetScaler Insight Center server, make sure that date is in sync.

Note

Before release 11.0, build 65.x of the NetScaler Insight Center software, all the components in a NetScaler Insight Center Scale-Out deployment (database nodes, connectors, agents, and server) must be configured in the same /24 network. You can now add connectors, database nodes, and agents from any subnet.

Installation Steps

Obtain the NetScaler Insight Center image file from the Citrix download site. The same image file is used to install all the components of this deployment.

Install or Upgrade a NetScaler Insight Center Server

Obtain the NetScaler Insight Center image file from the Citrix download site. You must first install the NetScaler Insight Center server if it’s a new deployment.

To install the NetScaler Insight Center server, follow the instructions in the following sections:

 
If it's an existing deployment, upgrade your server to the desired build (the latest build is recommended). To upgrade the NetScaler Insight Center server, obtain the upgrade package from the Citrix download site and follow the upgrade instructions provided in Upgrading the NetScaler Insight Center Server.    
 

Important

If you are migrating a single-server deployment to a scale-out deployment, make sure you have taken a snapshot of your existing database before you begin migration. Also, make sure you have 50% disk space free. The migration of data from the single-server deployment to the scale-out deployment might take some time.

View Resource Recommendations for Your Deployment

After you have installed the NetScaler Insight Center server, you can log on to the server GUI and view the recommended number of resources for your deployment. NetScaler Insight Center implicitly calculates the number of resources required for your deployment on the basis of the number of HTTP requests per second, number of concurrent established ICA sessions, and number of active WAN connections that your monitored devices process.

Citrix recommends that you install at least two connectors and two database nodes if your throughput is more than 5000 Mbps.

To view the resource recommendations for your setup

  1. Access the NetScaler Insight Center server GUI by typing the server IP address in your browser address bar.
  2. Navigate to Configuration > NetScaler Insight Center > Insight Deployment Management.
  3. In the right pane, select the type of traffic you want to monitor and specify the traffic details. For example, in the figure below, 10500 is specified as the number of HTTP requests and 31 as the number of days to store the data.
    For ICA traffic, you have to mention the number of concurrent ICA user connections. Each user is considered as one ICA session.
  4. Specify the minimum size of each database node you want to deploy, and then click Get. For example, in the figure below, 1024 GB is specified as the size of each database node. You must assign a uniform size for each database node in a database cluster.    
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The NetScaler Insight Center server implicitly calculates and recommends the number of resources you would require for optimum processing power and storage space in your deployment. For example, in the following figure, it is recommended that you deploy two agents, four connectors, and seven database nodes to process 10500 HTTP requests per second and store the data for 31 days with each database of size 1024 GB.

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Install Connectors

After you have installed the NetScaler Insight Center server or upgraded the server to the desired build, you have to install the connector. Use the same image file that you had used to install the server, or obtain the image file having the same version as the server from the Citrix download site.

To install a connector

  1. Import the image file to your hypervisor. Make sure it is on the same network as your server.
  2. Select the Console tab to display the NetScaler Insight Center Initial Network Configuration options.
  3. Specify the initial IPv4 address, subnet mask, and the gateway IP address for the connector.
  4. Specify the deployment type as Connector. Note that you cannot change the deployment type after you have set it.
  5. Specify the IP address and password of the NetScaler Insight Center server, and then restart the system.

You can install multiple connectors to distribute the data in parallel.

Install Database Nodes

After you have installed the connectors, you have to install the database nodes. Use the same image file you had used to install the connector. Note that you can install the database nodes before installing the connector.

You must assign a uniform size to each database node in this deployment. You can install multiple database nodes to store a large amount of data.

To install a database node

  1. Import the image file to your hypervisor. Make sure it is on the same network as your server and connector.
  2. Select the Console tab to display the NetScaler Insight Center Initial Network Configuration options.
  3. Specify the initial IPv4 address, subnet mask, and the gateway IP address for the connector.
  4. Specify the deployment type as Database Node. Note that you cannot change the deployment type after you have set it.
  5. Specify the IP address and password of the NetScaler Insight Center server, and then restart the system.    

Deploy Connectors and Database Nodes

To complete the installation process of connectors and database nodes, you have to deploy these components. Internal communication with the server starts when you deploy the connectors and database nodes.

If you are migrating from a single-server deployment to a scale-out deployment, when you deploy the connectors and database nodes, the data from your server gets implicitly migrated to your database nodes.

Note

Make sure you have installed all the required connectors and databases before you deploy them. You cannot add additional connectors or database nodes after you have deployed them.

To deploy connectors and database nodes

  1. Access the server GUI by typing the server IP address in your browser address bar.
  2. Navigate to Configuration > NetScaler Insight Center > Insight Deployment Management.
  3. In the right pane, in the Database Nodes section, click Deploy
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Install Agents

You must install the agent only after you have installed and deployed the connectors and databases. Use the same image file that you had used to install the connector or database node.

To install an agent

  1. Import the image file to your hypervisor. Make sure it is on the same network as your server.
  2. Select the Console tab to display the NetScaler Insight Center Initial Network Configuration options.
  3. Specify the initial IPv4 address, subnet mask, and the gateway IP address for the connector.
  4. Specify the deployment type as Agent. Note that you cannot change the deployment type after you have set it.
  5. Specify the IP address and password of the NetScaler Insight Center server, and then restart the system.

When you install an agent and register it with a server, the agent is implicitly registered as a collector on all the monitored NetScaler devices. If you install an agent after virtual servers are configured for appflow, the new agent is implicitly added to the existing appflow configuration. You can install multiple agents to form a distributed deployment for handling high amount of appflow data.

To delete an Agent

  1. Access the server GUI by typing the server IP address in your browser address bar.
  2. Navigate to Configuration > NetScaler Insight Center > Insight Deployment Management.
  3. In the right pane, on the Agents section, hover your mouse pointer on the IP address of the agent you want to delete and, click the X icon.
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Note

Agents can process data records only of HTTP traffic.

Change the Default Passwords of the Connectors, Database Nodes, and Agents

For initial access to a connector, database node, or agent, a user enters the default user name and password. The factory defaults are nsrecover and nsroot. To enhance security, you can change these defaults. The NetScaler Insight Center server and agents use these credentials to connect to the connector. And, the NetScaler Insight Center server and the connector use these credentials to communicate with the database node.

You can also use these credentials to log on to a connector or a database node from the command-line interface (CLI) to troubleshoot any system-related issues.

Citrix recommends that you change the default password for the nsrecover user.

To change the default password for a connector, database node, or agent

  1. Access the server GUI by typing the server's IP address in your browser address bar.
  2. Navigate to Configuration > NetScaler Insight Center > Insight Deployment Management.
  3. In the right pane, minimize the capacity planner and click the IP address of the connector, database node, or agent for which you want to change the password.
  4. Enter new password in the Password field, and then enter it in the Confirm Password field.
  5. Click OK.