About agents in Smart Tools

Contents

Overview

Smart Tools uses agents to facilitate communication with other machines and perform a variety of tasks such as monitoring, coordinating deployments, and collecting metrics. These agents are installed on machines that Smart Tools manages (for example, as in a blueprint deployment) or monitors (for example, for running health checks on or scaling XenApp and XenDesktop Sites).

This topic describes the following agents and how they are used:

  • Smart Tools Agent
  • Smart Tools Site Agent

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Smart Tools Agent

The Smart Tools Agent is a lightweight software package that coordinates software deployment, collects metrics, and transmits logs. The agent has two functions:

  • When installed on machines provisioned using a blueprint, the agent enables Smart Tools to configure each machine and install software required for the blueprint deployment (such as when deploying Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop). After deployment, the agent enables Smart Tools to monitor each machine, auto-scale machines, and provide redundancy and failover.
  • When installed on a machine designated as a connector, the agent acts as a point of contact between Smart Tools and the machines in a firewalled resource location (such as Citrix XenServer). 

Installation

Smart Tools can install the agent automatically on new VMs that are provisioned as part of deploying a blueprint. You can also download the agent and install it manually. For more information about installing the agent, see the following topics:

Connectors

A connector enables Smart Tools to communicate with machines in a resource location that resides behind a firewall. A connector is required for resource locations using Citrix XenServer, VMware vSphere, and Microsoft Hyper-V.

To set up a connector, you install the Smart Tools Agent on a machine in your deployment environment and specify that machine as the connector when you add your resource location to Smart Tools. When you select the machine to be the connector, Smart Tools "promotes" the agent by installing additional software on the machine and adding the machine to the list of available connectors for the resource location. 

You can specify the same machine to act as a connector between different resource locations. For example, the machine you specify as the connector for a Citrix XenServer resource location can also be specified when you configure a VMware vSphere resource location. To do this, the connector must be able to communicate with each environment you intend to use as resource locations. 

For more information about setting up connectors, see Agent and connector requirements.

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Smart Tools Site Agent

The Smart Tools Site Agent consists of the Smart Tools Agent and additional scripts that collect XenApp and XenDesktop Site information and coordinate Smart Scale and Smart Check activities. 

To perform these functions, the Site Agent is installed on one or more Delivery Controllers in the XenApp and XenDesktop Site. You download and install the Site Agent when you add your Site to Smart Tools. Once installed, the Site Agent registers the site with Smart Tools, detects the Delivery Controllers and other components in your Site, and begins monitoring your Site. 

Installation

Delivery Controllers hosting the Site Agent must meet the following requirements:

  • The Delivery Controller must support PowerShell 3.0, at a minimum.
  • Ensure any previously-installed Smart Tools Agent is removed from the Delivery Controller. If you deployed XenApp and XenDesktop with a Smart Tools blueprint, the Smart Tools Agent is installed on all servers in the deployment. To use Smart Scale or Upgrades & Updates, you must uninstall this agent from the Delivery Controller before you install the Site Agent. 

For more information about installing the Site Agent, see the following topics:

High availability of the Site Agent

To ensure Smart Tools can update your site without interruption, Citrix strongly recommends installing the Site Agent on multiple Delivery Controllers in your Site.

When you install the Site Agent on multiple Delivery Controllers, Smart Tools designates one of the Site Agents as the "active" agent. The active agent monitors the site and coordinates the actions you specify. The Site Agents residing on the other Delivery Controllers are idle and do not perform any of these activities. However, if the active Site Agent is not available, Smart Tools designates a Site Agent on another Delivery Controller as "active" so monitoring, scaling, and health check tasks can continue.

Site Agent status

When you add your site, Smart Tools displays the following Site Agent status for each of the Delivery Controllers in your Site:

  • Active: The Site Agent is the primary agent performing monitoring and update actions that you have specified.
  • Available: The Site Agent is standing by and is not performing any monitoring or scaling actions. If the active agent is not available, this Site Agent can be designated as the new active agent.
  • Not Available: The Site Agent is not responding to communication from Smart Tools. This status might appear if the Site Agent is not installed on the Delivery Controller or the Delivery Controller hosting the agent is offline.

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