Using Site Manager with Macrium MultiSite


Introduction

Macrium MultiSite enables you to monitor and manage multiple instances of Macrium Site Manager using one web interface. We host this web interface in Microsoft Azure. This has many benefits, like giving us the ability to streamline setup by hosting MultiSite for the user, and allowing the user to access MultiSite from anywhere they have an internet connection.

MultiSite contains a host of powerful tools that make managing several Site Managers extremely easy. In this blog post, we will discuss these features in depth and how to configure them for your MultiSite. Please use the links below to jump to a relevant section:

 

 

Connecting Site Manager to MultiSite

Watch the video here.

To begin managing your Site Managers using Macrium MultiSite, you first need to add the Site Managers to MultiSite. To do this, navigate to the ‘MultiSite’ page of the settings on the Site Manager that you want to add to MultiSite. On the MultiSite page, use the ‘Connection’ switch to enable or disable the MultiSite connection.

Once this option has been enabled, the Site Manager will begin “pinging” the MultiSite endpoint. If the API key shown on the ‘MultiSite’ page does not match an API key in MultiSite, the Site Manager will not connect. To add the API key to MultiSite, select the ‘Sites’ page of MultiSite, then select ‘Add Site’. You can read more about the connection process and the security we implement in this blog post.

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In the ‘Add Site’ wizard, enter the API key that you copied from the Site Manager. You can also specify a ‘Friendly Name’ for the Site Manager that will be displayed in the MultiSite UI, and configure the rules for how many day’s logs will be shown in the MultiSite UI from this Site Manager:

Follow Site Manager - MultiSite keeps the log value in sync with the Site Manager, logs older than the specified number of days are purged.

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Override Site Manager - This will override the Site Manager value, instead following the specified number of days. Logs older than the specified value are purged.

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On the second page of the Site Manager you can specify tags that will be applied to this Site Manager. This can make grouping and managing particular Site Managers easier in the future.

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Don’t worry if you don’t want to specify your tags yet, they can be specified at any point in time using the ‘Configure’ button on the ‘Sites’ page.

Once you are happy with the settings that you have configured for the Site Manager, select ‘Save’ to add the Site Manager to MultiSite.

If the Site Manager has been added to MultiSite for the first time, the status will show as ‘Initializing’ while initial configuration is performed. Once the Site Manager has been added to the Site Manager, it will be shown as ‘Offline’. Navigate back to the ‘MultiSite’ page of the Site Manager’s settings and select ‘Refresh’. Following this, the Site Manager will be shown as ‘Online’ in MultiSite. You can now begin monitoring the Site Manager using MultiSite.

Selecting the arrow next to the Site Manager will display additional information about it:

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Remote Viewing a Site Manager using Macrium MultiSite

Watch the video here.

Now that a Site Manager has been added to MultiSite, you can remote view the Site Manager at any time by selecting the ‘Remote View’ button on the ‘Sites’ page. This remote view session takes place across the same SSH tunnel that enables communication between the Site Manager and MultiSite, ensuring that the session is secure.

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In the window that opens, you will have access to the Site Manager, this is the same UI that you will be familiar with when accessing the Site Manager directly. There are additional options that can be selected at the top of the remote view window.

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Once you are finished remote viewing the Site Manager, select ‘Close’ to return to the MultiSite UI.

 

Access Control in Macrium MultiSite

Watch the video here.

MultiSite enables you to add users that have varying degrees of access to the sites that are being managed by MultiSite. When the MultiSite domain is created, the email address that was during the domain creation will become the ‘Owner’ account. This account has unrestricted access to MultiSite and the sites that have been added to MultiSite. You can create more accounts by navigating to the ‘Users’ page of the ‘Settings’.

Select ‘Add’ to open the ‘Create User’ wizard. On the first page of the wizard, enter a name and the email that will be associated with the account being created. You can then specify the role of the account. Admin accounts have unrestricted access to the MultiSite. Viewer accounts have more restricted access to the MultiSite: they are unable to edit system settings, can only view sites that they have been given access to, and can only remote view sites if the option has been enabled.

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If ‘Viewer’ is selected, the second page of the wizard allows you to specify the sites that the viewer can access. If the ‘Allow Remote View’ radio button is disabled, the viewer will be able to view the selected sites in the MultiSite UI, but will not be able to remote access the sites. If the radio button is enabled the viewer will also be able to remotely access the sites that they have been granted access to.

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Once the user has been created, it will be shown in the table of existing users. The user can be edited at any time to change the email address, name of the account, role, ability to remote view, and sites the user can access.

The account that has been created will receive an email containing a temporary password. This password can be used to access MultiSite for the first time.

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For security reasons, when the account signs in for the first time, they will be prompted to create a new password.

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User accounts can be managed at any time by the ‘Owner’ and ‘Admin’ accounts. Ownership of the MultiSite domain can also be transferred by the current owner to any admin account.

The admin and owner account can also configure Two Factor Authentication for all accounts on the MultiSite domain. This can be done by selecting the ‘Security’ tab in the settings. The security tab will show the current status of 2FA and can be used to disable/enable 2FA.

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When 2FA is enabled, it will be applied to all accounts on the MultiSite domain. Once 2FA has been enabled the email address that is associated with the account attempting to login will receive an email to authenticate the login attempt.

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Once the code has been successfully entered, the login will proceed.

 

Configuring Alerts in Macrium MultiSite

Watch the video here.

One of the main benefits of MultiSite is the ability to display, filter, and sort large amounts of information being generated by numerous Site Managers. ‘Alerts’ can be used to select the information that is most relevant to you and monitor it for changes. The alerts can be viewed, created, and edited on the ‘Dashboard’ page of the MultiSite.

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When a MultiSite account logs in for the first time, there will be a set of default alerts already created. You can create your own alerts using the ‘New Alert’ button shown above the existing alerts.

The first page of the ‘Add an Alert’ wizard enables you to select the type of alert that you want to create.

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The types of alert are Sites, Backups, Computers, Licences, and Repositories. Each alert type will monitor the health of the selected items. For example, when configuring a ‘Sites’ alert, you can select sites that will be monitored. If a Site disconnects from MultiSite, the alert will change to a failing state (if configured to do so).

The second page of the ‘Create an Alert’ wizard allows you to specify the scope of the alert. The scope is the sites that are being monitored. You can select to monitor all sites, all sites except particular sites, or selected sites.

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The next page of the wizard is where the alert is configured. The options that are available on this page will change depending on the alert that has been selected. These options are shown below.

Site Alert:

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Backups:

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Computers:

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Licenses:

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Repositories:

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The penultimate page of the wizard can be used to enable email notifications, if the email notifications have been configured in the settings. For more information about email notifications, please see the next sections ‘Configuring Email Notifications in Macrium MultiSite’.

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The final page of the wizard contains a summary of the settings that you have specified and is a chance to review the alert that you are about to create. The alert is also named on this page, it should be given a name that will help identify the alert in the future.

To save the alert, select ‘Save’. The alert will then be shown in the list of existing alerts on the dashboard.

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The alert card can be clicked to view more information about the alert. This will provide more information about the items that are in a failing state and an overview of the alert’s history.

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Configuring Email Notifications in Macrium MultiSite

Watch the video here.

As seen in the ‘Add an alert’ wizard, email notifications can be enabled for each alert. By leveraging this feature, you can receive an email notification when an alert’s state changes. This can notify you quickly when an event happens, without needing to check the Macrium MultiSite UI.

Before configuring email notifications for your alerts, the email notifications will first need to be enabled in the MultiSite settings. To do this, select ‘Settings’, then select ‘Notifications’. Select the switch at the top of the ‘Notifications page to enable email notifications. Next, you will need to specify recipients to receive the email notifications. The user that is currently logged in will be shown in the ‘Recipients’ list. Select the ‘+’ icon to add another email address to receive the notifications. Each recipient can be enabled or disabled separately. If the switch next to the email address is grey, they will not recieve email notifications.

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On this page, you can also create a global email subject for the alert notifications. The ‘Insert Variable’ option allows you to represent data that can change, in the email subject. For example {$site} will show the site that the alert event relates to. The ‘Example Subject Preview’ will show you an example of the email subject that will be created.

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Once you are happy with the settings that you have specified, select ‘Save’.

Now that email notifications have been enabled, they can be configured for new and existing alerts. On the ‘Email Configuration’ page of the ‘Edit Alert’ or ‘Add Alert’ wizard, you can configure the email notifications. These email notifications will only be enabled for the alert that is being configured.

Frequency - This determines how often email notifications are sent. ‘Failing’, an email notification will be sent any time the alert changes to a failing state. ‘First failure only’, an email notification will be sent the first time the alert changes to a failing state only. ‘Everything’, an email notification will be sent every time the alert changes state.

Subject - This lets you specify the subject that will be used for the notifications sent by this alert. ‘Global’ will use the global alert that was created in the settings. ‘Custom’ allows you to create a custom subject for notifications sent by this alert.

Email Recipients - This allows you to specify who will receive the email notifications generated by this alert. ‘Global’ will send the email notification to every email address that is enabled in the notification settings. ‘Specific’ allows you to specify certain email addresses that will receive the notifications generated by this alert.

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