Appliance Administration

This section describes administrative tasks including renaming the appliance, software updates, utility management, appliance reboot, certificate management, and viewing hardware and software details about the appliance.

Rename the appliance

Changing the appliance name respawns the Minion on the appliance. This process triggers a brief service interruption. The appliance name is then sent to the OpenNMS core and appears there.

We recommend configuring this information as part of the initial deployment of the Minion Appliance.

To rename the appliance, sign in to the terminal user interface (TUI), type the correct number to access the system settings, and follow the prompts.

Note that appliance names can only contain alphanumeric and '-.' characters.

Update appliance software

By default, the appliance software begins updates weekly on Wednesday between 4:00-6:00 UTC. To change this default time, create a monthly, weekly, or daily schedule that suits your requirements. Downtime for software updates is minimal, but could last several minutes depending on the following:

  • How many snaps are being upgraded.

  • Available bandwidth for downloads.

  • Software installation time, which may include a reboot (for example, the hardware appliance takes 2–5 minutes to reboot).

We recommend that you schedule updates for time ranges that are the least disruptive for your network, particularly if you have a lot of Minion Appliances. Updates will start randomly within the time range you specify, meaning Minion Appliance updates are staggered. Depending on when an update starts, it may not finish during the specified time range, particularly if it begins near the end of the range.

In the unlikely event that an update does not start at the scheduled time, the update fails silently and waits for the next scheduled update time to try again. To troubleshoot an update issue, navigate to Appliances and click the vertical ellipsis (⋮) beside the appliance that you want to troublesoot. In the drop-down menu, click Appliance Utilities to view recent update activity for appliance software.

To change the software update time, you must create a schedule, add it to an appliance profile, and add that profile to an appliance. You can create multiple appliance profiles, each with different update schedules, and apply them to specific groups of Minion Appliances to ensure software updates occur at the best time for the location of those appliances.

For more information on the Minion Appliance architecture and how software updates work, see Minion architecture.

To create a software update schedule:

  1. Navigate to Appliances → Update Schedules and click Add New.

  2. Click the Monthly, Weekly, or Daily tab to create the corresponding type of schedule.

  3. Fill in the appropriate information and click Add New.

For the "week of the month" option, use "last" to indicate the final week of the month. This captures months that have five weeks, and defaults to "Fourth" with months that have only four weeks.

Choose a descriptive name for the schedule. This will make it easier to choose a specific schedule when you add it to an appliance profile.

Manage utilities

The appliance has several utilities (snaps) associated with it that you may want to update outside of the scheduled update time to ensure that you have the latest version. You can also view details of these utilities and see a log of changes made to the system. To manage utilities, the appliance must be online.

Only users with Admin privileges can update snaps.

To view the status of the utilities associated with an appliance and update them, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Appliances and locate the appliance whose utilities you want to update.

  2. Click the vertical ellipsis (⋮) to view the drop-down menu and click Appliance Utilities.

  3. In the Update Snap area, choose a single snap from the list and click Update.

    You can also click Update all Snaps to update all of an appliance’s snaps. If you choose this option, the appliance will reboot.

Reboot the appliance

You should not need to reboot an appliance, but if you do, be aware that you will experience temporary loss of connectivity during the reboot period.

Only users with Admin privileges can reboot an appliance.

  1. Navigate to Appliances and locate the appliance you want to reboot.

  2. Click the vertical ellipsis (⋮) to view the drop-down menu, and click Appliance Utilities.

  3. Click Reboot.

  4. Click Yes when prompted to confirm reboot.

The reboot activity appears as a series of events (reboot command received, successful reconnection, successful setting of update timer) in the appliance events screen.

You can also reboot the appliance when logged into the terminal user interface (TUI).

Add certificates

You may want to use a custom certificate to secure communication with OpenNMS (via HTTPS) or with the message broker (OpenWire over TLS). To do so, you need to add your certificate to the Minion’s default trust store. Certificates can be .pem or binary files.

To add a custom certificate, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Certificates and click Add New.

  2. Add a name for the certificate, upload the certificate file, and click Add New.

  3. To associate a certificate with an appliance, add it to a connectivity profile.

Manage certificates

Changes to a certificate respawns all Minions associated with that certificate. This process triggers a brief service interruption.

To edit, delete, or download a certificate:

  1. Navigate to Certificates and click the pencil icon beside the certificate that you want to modify.

  2. Make any relevant changes:

    1. Edit certificate name.

    2. Delete certificate.

    3. Download certificate.

    4. Upload a new certificate.

  3. Click Update.

Specify a Minion Appliance's geographical location

A map that displays the physical location of your appliance is available in the appliance’s configuration screen.

Display the Minion Appliance’s geographical location on the map:

  1. Click Appliances in the left menu.

  2. Click the edit icon beside the appliance that you want to modify.

  3. Expand the Physical Location section.

  4. Click a location on the map or click the magnifying glass icon and type the street address of your appliance location.

  5. Click Update.

View appliance details

To view hardware and software information about an appliance (make, model, serial number, MAC address, networking details, and so on), follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Appliances and locate the appliance whose details you want to view.

  2. Click the vertical ellipsis (⋮) to view the drop-down menu and click Appliance Details.

  3. Expand sections to display the information you want to view.

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