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Agent-Cloud link (ACLK)

The Agent-Cloud link (ACLK) is the mechanism responsible for securely connecting a Netdata Agent to your web browser through Netdata Cloud. The ACLK establishes an outgoing secure WebSocket (WSS) connection to Netdata Cloud on port 443. The ACLK is encrypted, safe, and is only established if you claim your node.

The Cloud App lives at app.netdata.cloud which currently resolves to 35.196.244.138. However, this IP or range of IPs can change without notice. Watch this page for updates.

For a guide to claiming a node using the ACLK, plus additional troubleshooting and reference information, read our get started with Cloud guide or the full claiming documentation.

Data privacy#

Data privacy is very important to us. We firmly believe that your data belongs to you. This is why we don't store any metric data in Netdata Cloud.

All the data that the user sees in the web browser when using Netdata Cloud, are actually streamed directly from the Netdata Agent to the Netdata Cloud dashboard. They pass through our systems, but they are not stored.

We do however store a limited number of metadata to be able to offer the stunning visualizations and advanced functionality of Netdata Cloud.

Metadata#

The information we store in Netdata Cloud is the following (using the publicly available demo server frankfurt.my-netdata.io as an example):

How we use them:

  • The data are stored in our production database on Google Cloud and some of it is also used in BigQuery, our data lake, for analytics purposes. These analytics are crucial for our product development process.
  • Email is used to identify users in regards to product use and to enrich our tools with product use, such as our CRM.
  • This data is only available to Netdata and never to a 3rd party.

Enable and configure the ACLK#

The ACLK is enabled by default, with its settings automatically configured and stored in the Agent's memory. No file is created at /var/lib/netdata/cloud.d/cloud.conf until you either claim a node or create it yourself. The default configuration uses two settings:

[global]
enabled = yes
cloud base url = https://app.netdata.cloud

If your Agent needs to use a proxy to access the internet, you must set up a proxy for claiming.

You can configure following keys in the netdata.conf section [cloud]:

[cloud]
statistics = yes
query thread count = 2
aclk implementation = legacy
  • statistics enables/disables ACLK related statistics and their charts. You can disable this to save some space in the database and slightly reduce memory usage of Netdata Agent.
  • query thread count specifies the number of threads to process cloud queries. Increasing this setting is useful for nodes with many children (streaming), which can expect to handle more queries (and/or more complicated queries).
  • aclk implementation - see ACLK implementation section

ACLK implementation#

Currently we are in process of switching ACLK to brand new technical stack called ACLK-NG. To choose your implementation, change the aclk implementation setting in your netdata.conf (accepted values ng or legacy).

Before changing this value, check the desired implementation is available (determined at build time) by running netdata -W buildinfo. Following lines indicate which ACLK implementations are available:

Features:
ACLK Next Generation: YES
ACLK Legacy: YES

To verify which ACLK implementation Netdata uses, visit the /api/v1/info endpoint on your local dashboard and check the aclk-implementation key.

New Netdata Cloud features will be implemented on top of ACLK-NG from this point on. ACLK Legacy is therefore kept as a fallback in case some users have issues with ACLK-NG or need to use features which are not yet available in ACLK-NG (like IPv6 support and SOCKS proxy).

Improvements of ACLK-NG over Legacy are:#

  • No dependency on custom patched libmosquitto (no bundling of libraries). Which should remove obstacles many GNU/Linux distribution package maintainers had trying to provide Netdata with Cloud support
  • No dependency on libwebsockets
  • Lower latency and higher throughput
  • More up to date, new features for Netdata Cloud are currently developed on top of ACLK-NG first

Disable the ACLK#

You have two options if you prefer to disable the ACLK and not use Netdata Cloud.

Disable at installation#

You can pass the --disable-cloud parameter to the Agent installation when using a kickstart script (kickstart.sh or kickstart-static64.sh), or a manual installation from Git.

When you pass this parameter, the installer does not download or compile any extra libraries. Once running, the Agent kills the thread responsible for the ACLK and claiming behavior, and behaves as though the ACLK, and thus Netdata Cloud, does not exist.

Disable at runtime#

You can change a runtime setting in your cloud.conf file to disable the ACLK. This setting only stops the Agent from attempting any connection via the ACLK, but does not prevent the installer from downloading and compiling the ACLK's dependencies.

The file typically exists at /var/lib/netdata/cloud.d/cloud.conf, but can change if you set a prefix during installation. To disable the ACLK, open that file and change the enabled setting to no:

[global]
enabled = no

If the file at /var/lib/netdata/cloud.d/cloud.conf doesn't exist, you need to create it.

Copy and paste the first two lines from below, which will change your prompt to cat.

cd /var/lib/netdata/cloud.d
cat > cloud.conf << EOF

Copy and paste in lines 3-6, and after the final EOF, hit Enter. The final line must contain only EOF. Hit Enter again to return to your normal prompt with the newly-created file.

To get your normal prompt back, the final line must contain only EOF.

[global]
enabled = no
cloud base url = https://app.netdata.cloud
EOF

You also need to change the file's permissions. Use grep "run as user" /etc/netdata/netdata.conf to figure out which user your Agent runs as (typically netdata), and replace netdata:netdata as shown below if necessary:

sudo chmod 0770 cloud.conf
sudo chown netdata:netdata cloud.conf

Restart your Agent to disable the ACLK.

Re-enable the ACLK#

If you first disable the ACLK and any Cloud functionality and then decide you would like to use Cloud, you must either reinstall Netdata with Cloud enabled or change the runtime setting in your cloud.conf file.

If you passed --disable-cloud to netdata-installer.sh during installation, you must reinstall your Agent. Use the same method as before, but pass --require-cloud to the installer. When installation finishes you can claim your node.

If you changed the runtime setting in your var/lib/netdata/cloud.d/cloud.conf file, edit the file again and change enabled to yes:

[global]
enabled = yes

Restart your Agent and claim your node.

Reach out

If you need help after reading this doc, search our community forum for an answer. There's a good chance someone else has already found a solution to the same issue.

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