Installing a Remote Agent for Seeq SaaS

Overview

Seeq SaaS is a cloud-based analytics solution running in our manage cloud environment. While this offers many operational and security benefits, there are two challenges inherent in this approach. The first is that the data to be analyzed resides inside your corporate firewall, inaccessible to outside systems like Seeq SaaS. The second issue is that there is a significant network latency between your data and the cloud, which can adversely impact performance.

The solution to both of these issues is the Seeq Remote Agent. The Remote Agent is software running on a machine in your network that establishes a secured connections outbound to Seeq SaaS, allowing for the bi-directional flow of data between Seeq SaaS and your data historian. The Remote Agent also collects, encrypts and compresses the data from the data historian, transferring it to Seeq SaaS up to 10 times more efficiently.

This article will walk you through three steps:

  1. Installing the Seeq Remote Agent Software

  2. Connecting to Seeq SaaS

  3. Configuring Access to Datasources.

Prerequisites

The process of installing and configuring the remote agent takes about 20 minutes, depending on the speed of the download and if all prerequisites are in place.

Seeq SaaS Deployment

This article makes the assumption that Seeq SaaS has been deployed for you and it is available. You should have, at this point, the following information provided to you by Seeq:

  • Your Seeq SaaS URL (for this article, we will be using https://yourcompany.seeq.site as an example)

  • Your Seeq Username. Seeq personnel will assign an initial username - likely your email address - and password and grant that user Seeq Admin privileges.

  • Your Seeq Password (Please change this at your first log-in)

  • A link to the Remote Agent Installer that matches the version of Seeq running in your Seeq SaaS deployment

You will also need to have the following information provided by your local IT team:

  • A service account, and credentials, to run the Seeq Server Service. (Note, if you plan on using OSIsoft PI or AF this will be the identity that Seeq uses when accessing PI/AF, so this account should have READ permissions in PI/AF)

  • Seeq recommends that you have Google Chrome, FireFox or Microsoft Edge installed on your remote agent. This will be helpful in verifying connectivity with Seeq SaaS during remote agent installation.

  • If you plan on connecting to OSIsoft PI or AF, you will also need to install PI AF Client 2012 SP2 (Version 2.5.2.5396 Release Date: 6/4/2013) or later installed on the remote agent machine.

Hardware Requirements

The Seeq Remote Agent can initially be installed on a machine with modest resources. The following table describes the hardware requirements for the Remote Agent. This machine can be a dedicated server, a virtual machine, or it can co-exist on an existing server provided there is a similar amount of free resources for the agent. It is highly recommended that this machine reside on a network segment that has low latency (~10ms or less) between it and the datasources you intend to connect to.

If you are unsure of your network latency, contact your IT team and/or log into the remote agent machine and issue the command “ping hostname” where hostname is the network name of the datasource you intend to you. This will report the network round-trip time (aka latency). For example:

C:\> ping corp_pi_server.yourcompany.com

Cores

2

RAM

8 GB

CPU

64-bit

Storage

More than 20GB free space

Operating System

Microsoft Windows Server 2012 or later

STEP ONE: Install the Seeq Remote Agent Software

Verify connectivity to your Seeq SaaS deployment.

The Remote Agent connects to Seeq SaaS using the same ports and protocols that the Seeq User Interface does. To verify connectivity to Seeq SaaS, perform these steps:

  1. On the remote agent machine open a web browser such as Google Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge. Seeq does not support Internet Explorer.

  2. Type your Seeq SaaS URL into the web browser (i.e. https://yourcompany.seeq.site). You should see the Seeq SaaS login screen.

  3. Log in using your assigned credentials. Once you have logged in and can access the Seeq home page, you have verified full connectivity.

If you cannot access the Seeq SaaS URL from the remote agent machine, you may need to contact your IT team. Both the Seeq User Interface and the Seeq Remote Agent establish outbound HTTPS connections on port 443, utilizing TLS1.3, and establish a secured websocket between the Remote Agent and Seeq SaaS. The IT team may need to place the Seeq SaaS URL on a firewall “allow list” and possibly take other actions to enable the connection.

Download and Install the Seeq Remote Agent

Using the web browser on the remote agent machine, copy the Seeq Software Installer download link into the address bar of the browser. This will download the installed to the remote agent machine.

The installer is between 700-800MB in size. If download speeds are constrained on the remote agent machine, you can alternately download it onto another machine on your corporate network and copy it to the remote agent machine.

Locate the installer in the Downloads directory of the remote agent machine.

Double click on the installer to begin the installation process.

You will be presented with 3 screens. Click “Next” on the first screen, “Agree” on the next screen, and “Install” on the third.

 

The installation will take between 3 and 10 minutes, depending on the speed of your hard drive and other factors. Once completed, click “Finish.

 

STEP TWO: Connect To Seeq SaaS

Initialize the Software

After installing the Seeq Software, double click on the Launch Seeq icon that was placed onto the Desktop. (If you see any Windows Defender pop-ups, make sure to click “Allow Access”).

You will be prompted for a Name and Email Address. These are required fields to fill in, but in a remote agent installation, they are not used. (The installer is shared with our Seeq Server installation).

Seeq will begin to initialize its on-disk directories, and once it has completed, you will see the phrase “Server is Running” on the bottom of the screen.


Click “Shut Down”.

Once the phrase “Server is shut down” appears, you can close this dialogue by clicking on the “X” at the upper right corner of the screen.

Configure the Agent

From the Windows Start menu (lower left corner of the screen) search for and select the Seeq Command Prompt:

When the command prompt open, type the following commands. The first command must be changed to replace “yourcompany.seeq.site” with the proper URL for your Seeq SaaS deployment. Type the commands exactly as listed, since upper-lower case of the commands matters.

1 2 3 4 seeq config set Network/Webserver/Url https://yourcompany.seeq.site seeq config set Features/RemoteAgentUpdates/Enabled True seeq config set Installation/ServerType Agent seeq config set Installation/RunAsService True

Set the authentication key

Log into your Seeq SaaS deployment using a web browser. Select the Administration page from the hamburger menu on the upper right corner of the screen:

The agent authentication key is located in the upper right corner of the screen. You can click the small icon to the right to Copy this key value.

In a text editor, such as Notepad or Notepad++, open the following file:

C:\ProgramData\Seeq\data\keys\agent.key

Replace the second line with the key value you copied from the Seeq SaaS administration page. Note that the file should only be 2 lines long, do not add a Carriage Return or NewLine to the end of line 2.

Save the file and close Notepad.

1 2 agent_api_key YYYYYY3ZZZZZZY0-X-Xxxx

Configure the Seeq Agent as a Service

Open the Windows Services control pane app, and locate the Seeq Server service:

Right-click on the service and select Properties. Set the Startup Type to be “Automatic”:

Select the Log On tab, and set the account credentials to be the domain account that you wish Seeq to run as.

Click Apply.

Select the General tab. Click “Start” to launch the Seeq Agent as a service. The service is running when the status is listed as Running.

Verify Connection

Returnt to the Seeq SaaS administrative page in the user interface. Select the Agents tab:

Verify the presence of a .NET agent connection and a JVM agent connection for your remote agent machine in the first column.

In some corporate environments, the TLS certificates are intercepted at the corporate firewall and replaced with locally generated certificates. In these cases, it’s possible that you will only see a .NET agent connection. The windows operating system will properly adjust to honor the local certificate for the .NET agent but the Java Virtual Machine used by Seeq will not. The JVM connection is only required for certain connectors. In this case, contact Seeq Support (via the “Send Support Request” item on the Seeq hamburger menu in the upper right corner of the screen) to determine if your use case requires the JVM connector.

 

STEP THREE: Configuring Access to Datasources

Seeq can connect to numerous types of historians and databases, both on-premise and in the cloud. The list of supported connectors, and the individual instructions for configuring each is contained in this Support Connectors knowledge base article.

To configure connectors, you open the Administration page in the Seeq SaaS user interface, and select the “Datasources” tab:

The instructions for setting up connections to the data sources are covered in the Connector Setup and Configuration knowledge base article.