Server and Agent Communication Configuration

Servers and agents communicate either directly or through an agent relay. If an agent relay is used, the agent connects to the server through the agent relay, and the agent relay manages the requests to the server.

If your agents are dispersed across geographic locations or must communicate through firewalls, you should configure the agents to connect to the server through agent relays. You should also use agent relays to manage network traffic in implementations where you have many agents, even if they are on the same network and don't necessarily have to go through firewalls.

Once a JMS connection is established between the server and the agent, regardless of whether an agent relay is used, that connection is kept open as long as the entities involved are online. The server provides HTTP endpoints that the agents trigger to perform service operations. The most common HTTP operations are as follows. All of these operations are initiated by agents by default.

  • Download plugins
  • Check plugin versions
  • Upload log steps
  • Download files
  • Upload files

You can configure agent-server communication as follows:

  • Agent-to-Server: To configure your agents to communicate directly with the server, when installing the agents, point the agents to the server.

  • Agent-initiated with Agent Relay: To configure your agents and servers for agent-initiated HTTP communication through agent relays, do the following:

    • When installing and configuring the agent relays, enter Y when prompted for whether to connect to the server. This is the default setting. When a process is running, the agent relay will connect to the server.
    • When installing the agents, point the agents to the agent relay instead of directly to the server.
  • Server-initiated with Agent Relay: To configure your agents and servers for server-initiated HTTP communication, do the following:

    • When installing and configuring the agent relays, enter n when prompted for whether to connect to the server. When a process is running, the server will connect to the agent relay.
    • When installing the agents, point the agents to the agent relay instead of directly to the server.

      Note: You can configure agents to authenticate using PKI certificates for greater security. See Configuring PKI Certification for Agents.

The types of communication through agent relays are described in the following topics: