In-Cloud Installation

You can install Alloy Navigator in the cloud using your existing cloud infrastructure. Whether on-premises or in the cloud, the installation process is very similar.

INFO: For an overview of the installation process, see Production Installation Checklist.

This topic describes key considerations for choosing a cloud environment and configuring Alloy Navigator. The instructions apply to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

System Requirements

Server instance requirements are explained in Server Machine Requirements. For example, when your organization has less than 10,000 computers and there are up to 100 technicians, you can host the software on a t2-medium (AWS) or B2s (Azure) server instance with Windows Server 2012 using with Microsoft SQL Server 2017 Express included in Alloy Navigator's installation package.

See our recommendations below:

  Less than 10,000 computers and up to 100 technicians More than 10,000 computers and more than 100 technicians
Hosting
  • AWS: t2.medium
  • Microsoft Azure: B2s
  • AWS: t2.medium
  • Microsoft Azure: B2s
OS

Windows Server 2012 or later

Windows Server 2012 or later

Database Engine

Microsoft SQL Server Express

You can use Microsoft SQL Server 2017 Express, included in our installation package.

Microsoft SQL Server Standard or Enterprise

INFO: For details, see Server Machine Requirements and Database Engine Requirements.

Performance Considerations

The geographic location of the server may significantly affect system performance, especially when running desktop application on a local network. The data center should be located as close as possible to your local network.

Controlling Access

Authorize inbound traffic for your cloud web server as follows:

  • Open the port on which Alloy Navigator web services are running for HTTP (HTTPS) traffic from anywhere, so your web users can reach Alloy Navigator from any network.

  • Close all other ports for any traffic from any IP addresses except for the public IP address of your organization.

INFO: For the instructions on installing Alloy Navigator web services, see Installing and Configuring the Web App, Installing and Configuring the Self Service Portal, Installing and Configuring the API Module.

Connecting to the SQL Server Database Engine

To enable Alloy desktop applications to access your cloud SQL Server instance from the local network, you must allow connections to the TCP port used by the Database Engine (Microsoft SQL Server typically uses TCP port 1443). Allow access only from your organization’s local network

For required ports and other SQL Server settings, see Help: SQL connectivity issues.

Managing Alloy Navigator

We recommend that you configure and manage Alloy Navigator via Remote Desktop Connection, using the Settings App on your cloud server.

Alternatively, you can configure and manage Alloy Navigator from your local network, as follows:

  1. Install Alloy Navigator on a computer on your local network (choose the Client installation option).

  2. Launch the Settings App and log in to Alloy Navigator using the Database Access Key that was generated automatically during the creation of the database. By default, the Database Access Key is placed on the cloud server's desktop. The key's default name is AlloyDBAccessKey_[ServerName]_[DatabaseName].reg.

    IMPORTANT: If you plan to access the database from the local network, you must specify the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the target server when you create the database. For example, alloyserver.mycompany.com\SQLEXPRESS. This full name will be included in the Database Access Key and ensure that your desktop applications will be able to access the database from anywhere. If your cloud server has a static IP address you can specify the IP address instead of the domain name, e.g. 192.0.2.0\SQLEXPRESS.

    TIP: Use this Database Access Key to access the database with a locally installed Alloy Navigator Desktop App or with any other desktop tool

User Authentication

We recommend that you use Standard authentication for Alloy Navigator users. This would allow you to avoid joining the cloud server to your domain, which could be a complicated process. On the other hand, if you join the cloud server to your domain, you will be able to use Windows authentication.

INFO: For details, see Authentication Types.

Active Directory Synchronization

To keep user data in Alloy Navigator in sync with the Active Directory, the cloud server must have access to the domain controller, whether on-premises or in the cloud. Our instructions on configuring Active Directory Synchronization apply to a cloud deployment as well.

NOTE: For instructions, see Administration Guide: Integration with Active Directory.

The default workflow creates customer accounts with Windows authentication for Active Directory users. If you follow our recommendations and use Standard user authentication, you will need to customize the default workflow.

INFO: For details, see Administration Guide: Configuring Active Directory Synchronization Jobs.

Alloy Discovery and Network Audit

Normally, Alloy Discovery should be installed on a computer on your local network. This is necessary so it can access computers and devices on your network without compromising the security of your network. Since your database is going to be hosted in the cloud you would need to install and connect two instances of Alloy Discovery as follows:

On the cloud machine:
  1. Install Alloy Discovery using the Full (Client and Server) installation option, create an Alloy Discovery database, specify the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of your cloud server, and generate a Database Access Key. This access key will be needed later. For instructions, see Managing Alloy Navigator above.

  2. Stop the Inventory Server service and set its startup type to “Disabled.” This would prevent the Inventory Server from running on the cloud machine. For instructions, see Alloy Discovery Administration Guide: Starting and Stopping the Inventory Server.

On a local server residing on your network:
  1. Install Alloy Discovery using the Full (Client and Server) option. Skip the step where you are prompted to create a new database as you will be connecting to the database you have created in Step 1 on the cloud server.

  2. Configure Inventory Server to access the cloud-hosted database using the Database Access Key you have created earlier in Step 1. For instructions, see Inventory Server Configuration.

    NOTE: Use the Database Access Key to allow other desktop applications (the Desktop App and the Settings App) to access the cloud-hosted database from your local network.