Table of Contents

Pollers: General Overview, Deployment Strategy, Build Out & Setup

Saied Ahadi Updated by Saied Ahadi

Read Time: 5 mins

What is a Poller?

A Poller is a device that typically sits within your network in order to monitor and collect network information on deployed devices and bring that data back into Sonar. Additionally, a poller will be able to determine which deployed devices on accounts are connected to which equipment on network sites.

One poller can monitor about one to two thousand devices if enough resources are given. However, a poller can possibly perform worse depending on your network build-out and what kind of equipment you have deployed.

Hardware Requirements:

Recommended OS: Ubuntu 20.04
Recommended CPU: Dual-Core CPU, released 2011 or newer
Recommended Memory: 4 GB of RAM
Recommended Storage: 20 GB HDD

While having a more powerful machine helps with polling, it is recommended to have 2 or 3 pollers if your network consists of 3000 devices or more.

The poller will not return any data or results if the instance is in test mode, which can be identified via an orange banner pinned to the top of the window.

Deployment Strategy

The poller should be hosted within your network rather than outside (Digital Ocean, AWS or Azure). While you can host your poller on the cloud, it is recommended to be as close to your deployed devices as possible. There are 2 reasons why this is recommended: first, being that you will get a quicker response from the devices you are polling, and second, it is more secure than hosting it on the cloud.

Additionally, if you have a larger network that spans a large area, it is recommended to put the pollers as close as possible to the devices you are polling - this ensures that you have accurate information.

Instructions on how to install the Poller on a Virtual Machine can be found on our GitHub here.

Configuration within Sonar

To create a poller in Sonar, go to:

  1. Settings
  2. Monitoring
  3. Pollers
  4. Click on "Create Poller"

In the window that appears, name the poller to something recognizable (a good rule of thumb is to name the poller on where it is located or what subnets it is polling) and choose the subnets you want to monitor. This is also where you can also set the priority of that subnet.

Since each subnet can have a priority set (1 being the highest and 10 being the lowest) - when a device is being monitored and it has multiple IPs assigned, and a poller is set to monitor more than one of the subnets that the IPs are within, the poller will use the subnet with the lowest priority # when deciding which IP to use for SNMP and ICMP queries. Therefore, the lower the priority = the more accurate information you are getting for that subnet.

By checking off additional boxes, you can add more subnets to be polled by that poller.

To quickly select or deselect all subnets, use the All / None buttons.

When creating additional pollers, the Create Poller window will indicate any subnets that are currently being polled by one of your other pollers:

Once a poller has been created, you will be taken back to the poller screen with all your pollers - this is also where you can view the associated API key.

From here, we can install the poller on a virtual machine. The virtual machine should have 4 GB of RAM, at least 2 cores, and 20 GB of hard drive space.

Additionally, we need to set how often we will poll information on accounts and tower equipment. This information is set in Poller Settings screen, which can be accessed by navigating to the Settings menu > Monitoring > Poller Settings.

  • Account Polling: Determines how often deployed equipment on accounts is polled. This should not be set to anything lower than 5 minutes unless you have a very small network.
  • Infrastructure Polling: Determines how often deployed equipment on tower sites is polled. Generally, we want to poll this info every 2 to 5 minutes.

Providing Device Credentials in the Poller GUI

In order to complete the Poller setup process, you need to provide it a means of communicating with both your Sonar instance and with the devices you'd like to monitor. For this example, we'll be using a newly created poller, which was created following the steps described at the beginning of the "Configuration within Sonar" section:

After you've created the Poller, make sure you copy the API key - you'll need to provide it when setting up your Poller if you haven't done so already

Once you've completed the installation following the GitHub guide linked here, you'll need to access the URL or IP Address the Poller is assigned to and log into the device using your instance credentials:

Once you've logged in, you'll want to make sure the Sonar Instance URL and Poller API Key match the information that was created. Navigate to the Settings section, and review the parameters:

After confirming everything matches, proceed to the "Device Credentials" section, and click on "Create" to add a new device to your Poller:

Device Credentials need to be added to your Poller in order to allow communication to a variety of devices. Without credentials, the Poller would be unable to view in-depth information about the device.

With the creation window open, fill out the fields you need for your Device Type:

  1. The Credential Type Dropdown allows you to select from a supported list of devices that can be used by the Poller to access additional information. You can select from the following credential types:
    1. MikroTik API (SSL)
    2. Netonix SSH
    3. Ubiquiti Toughswitch SSH
  2. The username entered here is for the credentials of the device you're adding. The credentials need to exist on the device prior to being added here.
  3. The Password prompts have you enter and confirm the same password for the device user.
  4. The Port configured here is used for communicating with and accessing the device.

Poller Troubleshooting

For assistance troubleshooting the installation or operation of your Poller, an article is available on the knowledge base which highlights common issues and their possible solution: Poller Troubleshooting

How did we do?

Poller Troubleshooting