Technical Resources

Multi-Site Deployment Guide


FrameFlow includes the ability to monitor systems at multiple remote sites all from one interface. Each site has unique monitoring configurations, dashboards, and reports allowing you to deploy site-specific monitoring. There are also options to share common configurations amongst client sites.

With login security rules, you can control which users have access to which sites and what permissions they have. It allows you to provide end users with access to their dashboards and reports but not the rest of the monitoring configuration. It allows you to give some of your IT staff access to some sites but not others.

It's the perfect solution for organizations that want to provide monitoring services to a customer base or for larger single organizations that have departmental monitoring requirements.

Deployment Overview

Setting up your first remote monitoring node is easy using the steps described below:

1) Switch to IIS & HTTPS/SSL
2) Enable Login Security
3) Configure Firewall Rules
4) Check Connectivity
5) Install Remote Node
6) Verify Communications
7) Update Monitoring Configuration

Step 1: Switching to IIS & HTTPS/SSL

By default, the FrameFlow interface is displayed using an integrated web server that is built into the product but you can also choose to switch to IIS. Before setting up your first remote node, we strongly suggest that you switch to IIS and install an SSL certificate that ensures that all communications are fully encrypted. You can use either a certificate from your preferred registrar or a self-signed certificate which you can generate for free.

For complete details on how to switch your FrameFlow installation to run on IIS see this article.

Step 2: Enable Login Security

If you have not already, in the "Settings" section of the FrameFlow interface use "Login and Security Settings" to lock down access to the FrameFlow console. This is important for controlling access to the console. Select the option to require a login and then add one or more users.

Step 3: Configure Firewall Rules

Next, you'll need to modify your firewall rules to allow the remote node to connect to your FrameFlow installation. The remote node will need to connect over HTTPS/SSL from the remote location to your FrameFlow installation. You can select any external port that is available and forward it to the system where FrameFlow is running.

It is advisable to use all security options available through your firewall and other security software. For example, if the remote site is connecting from a static IP or known IP range it is good practice to limit access by IP address. If your security software supports protocol validation and other advanced features then it is recommended that you make use of them as well.

Step 4: Check Connectivity

Open a browser on the system at the remote site where you plan to install the FrameFlow remote node. In the address bar, enter the https path to connect to your FrameFlow installation. This will be a path in the form of "https://hostname:portnumber" where "hostname" is an IP address or DNS hostname and "portnumber" is the port that you made available in your firewall.

If the FrameFlow login page appears, you have successfully verified connectivity.

Step 5: Install Remote Node

Using the browser window you have open at the remote site, log into your FrameFlow installation, go to the "Tools" section in the tree and select "Download Remote Node Setup".

Run the setup program. When prompted for the "Path to Master Console" enter the path in the form of "https://hostname:portnumber" that you used in step 4 to check connectivity. In the "Master Console User Name" be sure to specify the user name and password for an account that you created in step 2 above.

The remote node will then verify it can communicate with the master console. When it is finished, the remote node setup will close. It has no user interface of its own and is managed solely from the master console.

Step 6: Verify Communications

On the remote node, open the file at "C:\Program Files\FrameFlow\Logs\MultiSite.log" using Notepad or any other text editor. The last lines in the file should indicate successful send and receive operations. If not, error messages will appear in the log file and they will assist you to troubleshoot connectivity issues. You are now finished with the remote node. All management and configuration will now be done through the master console at your headquarters.

Log into your FrameFlow master console and refresh the page with F5. The new site will appear under the "Sites" node in the tree. Select it and verify that the remote node has called home within the last 60 seconds.

Step 7: Update Monitoring Configuration

Now you can proceed to build the monitor configuration for the new site. Each site has its own monitoring configuration, dashboards, and reports which you can customize for each client. By right-clicking on a site you can also use import/export options to load initialize new sites based on common templates.