Thursday, August 5, 2010

Remotely Installing An Agent

One new feature coming soon to RHQ is the ability to remotely install an RHQ Agent on to any machine in your network (with the caveat that the remote machine must be accessible via SSH).

What this now means is you do not have to manually log onto a remote machine and do the tasks of downloading the agent update binary distribution, installing it and running it. RHQ can now do this for you all remotely - all you need to provide to the RHQ GUI is the machine name, your SSH credentials and the location where you want to install the agent.

I think this could still use some enhancements - there is no way to customize each agent's configuration (i.e. providing custom answers to the startup setup questions). But that's for another day. If you want to customize the new agent, you can do so by just importing the RHQ Agent resource into inventory and going to its Configuration tab and adjusting its configuration (don't forget to restart the agent so it can pick up the changed configuration- you can restart the agent using this new RHQ GUI page! I'll talk about that next).

This mechanism will also allow you to stop and start an existing agent that is already installed. This is very useful if you have not started the agent yet but wish to bring it back online, or for those cases where you have not commited the RHQ Agent resource in inventory yet but still need a way to shutdown or restart an agent.

I put together a flash demo that shows this stuff in action.