Getting started

Once the decision has been made to expand the existing knowledge of your infrastructure with the unique features of DocCloud BI Suite for IT Operations, the steps of deployment are simple.
During the pre-purchase dialog, you will choose your preferred hosting solution.

  • The private or hybrid cloud SaaS solutions will require you to provide a small number of servers and services (Please look at the prerequisite section below).
  • The public cloud SaaS solution will require you to purchase a set of cloud PaaS; a SQL database, a web service and a few compute roles.

The DocCloud deployment team will assist you with the necessary configuration of the hosting platform.

Step 1 – Setup tenant and deploy agent

To initiate the deployment, you will start by downloading the Agent.zip file from the Agents Tab of the DocCloud Management Portal. The zip file contains an unattended MSI installation package which can be deployed using Group Policies, SystemCenter Configuration Manager or any other deployment tool.
You will need to deploy this agent to all you servers.

The installation package:

  • Installs the Core Configuration Collection Agent software
  • Creates a Windows Service, which by default will run under the Local System Account.
  • Performs a registration with your instance of the DocCloud Management Portal.

Once the Configuration Collection Agent software has been deployed to a server within your infrastructure from which you wish to collect configuration data, it will appear as an unlicensed server on the under the Agents Tab of the DocCloud Management Portal.
Here you can choose to activate it by assigning it a license.

Step 2 – Enable and download desired Data Collection Modules

Once the agent has been licensed and activated on the desired servers, the next step is to enable and download the Configuration Data Collection modules, that is needed to document your infrastructure.

To do this you click the Modules Tab and select the Show new modules option. This will display the complete list of modules including the current version number which is available to your. To download and enable a module you can simply click the green download icon next to it.

Once you have enabled the desired modules, you can choose to select the Auto update modules option. This will ensure that your DocCloud solution will auto update all modules whenever updates are released.

Step 3 – Configure configuration data collection schedule

Once the desired modules have enabled, the next step is to setup the actual configuration data collection. This is done on a per data collection module basis.

There are a few different types of Data Collection modules, but all have one functionality in common. A module will only collect configuration data from the server on which it is running, to ensure that there will be no dependency on Firewall configuration.

Standard, Generic and Custom Data Collection Modules all inherit the property set of one of these module types

  1. Single Server Data Collection Module – This type of module is server bound, and Configuration Data Collection is run on a per server basis once a day for all servers assigned to this module. An example of this type of module is the Standard Server 64 bit. Mutible instances can be created, and each instances represents a way to logical group the servers.
  2. Service Run-On-One Data Collection Module – This type of module is service bound, and multiple instances can be created per module. Configuration Data Collection is run once a day per instance on only one randomly selected server from the list of servers assigned to the instance. If a configuration data collection job fails to complete on the selected server, the job will be assigned to another server from the list and rerun. An example of this type of module is the Active Directory Domain, where each domain will represent a module instance and the desired domain controllers linked to these instances.
  3. Service Run-On-All Data Collection Module – This type of module is services bound, and multiple instances can be created per module. Configuration Data Collection is run once a day on all servers assigned an instance. Data is aggregated per instance across servers. An example of this type of module is Hyper-V Virtual Machines, where multiple Hyper-V hosts from one or even multiple clusters can be part of the same instance, allowing DocCloud BI Suite for IT Operations to track the configuration of a Virtual Machine, when it is moved within a cluster or even between clusters.

In case the local systems account does not have permission to read the required configuration data, a run-as account can be specified on a per instance of a module. Allowing each instance to run under a separate set of credentials

Single Server Data Collection Modules

The setup of the Configuration Data Collection for these types of module is straightforward. You start by clicking the Scheduler tab to display the enabled Configuration Data Collection Modules, you then click the Edit button next to the desired Configuration Data Collection Module.

This will open a new in-browser Window and display all your servers with an activate Configuration Data Collection Agent license. Here you simply select the servers you need to document, leave the run-as to default values and click save.

If you later need to change the list of assigned servers, you simple click the Edit button again.

Service Data Collection Modules

The setup of the Configuration Data Collection on these types of modules is much like Single Server Data Collection Modules. The procedure is identical for Run-On-On and Run-On-All Configuration Data Collection Modules. You start by clicking the Scheduler tab to display the enabled Configuration Data Collection Modules, you then click the Edit button next to the desired Configuration Data Collection Module.

This will open a new in-browser Window and display any existing instances. You can now choose to create a new instance or edit an existing instance by clicking the Edit button next to an instance. An in-browser window with multible tabs will appear, the details tab allows you to name your instance and if needed specify a run-as account, and the Choose servers/service tab allows you to assign servers to the instance. Once you are done with an instance you simply click the Update button, and will be returned to the list of instances. When you have configured all your instances, you finish the task by clicking the Update button to apply your work.

Step 4 – Configure automated report generation

The final step is to define which reports the DocCloud BI Suite for IT Operations should generate nightly. All DocCloud reports are generated based on templates and Configuration Data from the server or service instances you select. Templates are made available on the Templates Tab in the DocCloud Management Portal. Once a template is enabled, you can configure any number of reports based on this template.

Enabling the Report Templates

To find and download a template for the report you need click the Templates Tab and select the Show New Reports option. This will display the complete list of templates available to you including the current version number of the templates. You simply click the green download icon next to the template you require.

Once you have enabled the templates, you can choose to select the Auto update template option. This will ensure that your set of templates will be kept up to date automatically.

Configuring Report Generations

Once the desired template has been enabled, the final step is to create the reports definition.

This is done by clicking the Reports Tab in the DocCloud Management Portal and selecting the Add New Record, which will open an in-browser popup windows where a wizard will take you through the process.

  • Select the type of report you need from the dropdown box.
  • Select the Report Template and click next.
  • Select the Servers or Services for your report and click next.
  • Give your report a name and descrition and save it.

After a report definition have been added, reports will be automatically generated every night once the new data has been collected, and available for download the following day.

If you need the report instantly, you can click the generate now icon next report, and the report will be scheduled for immediate creation based on the latest data already collected.

Prerequisites – Installing an on-prem solution

Having chosen to host the DocCloud solution as a private cloud service, you will need to provide the following infrastructure services.

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 or later, standard edition or higher
  • File storage
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 or later with IIS

These servers do not need to be domain joined, and can be placed in a secure network zone.
Sizing and number of Microsoft SQL Server and Webservers as well as size of file storage will be calculated as part of the sales process.

You will also need to provide a trusted Website certificate, as well as be able to create a set of A records within desired domain namespace.

The DocCloud deployment team will then plan and perform the installation process with your administrators and change managers.

There is one requirement for the DocCloud infrastructure. The Servers hosting the web services must be able to connect to the DocCloud Central Services over the internet on TCP port 443 (SSL).