Enterprise Agent deployment using Docker

Last updated: Mon Mar 11 13:45:30 GMT 2019

Docker containers are lightweight virtualized environments which can run the ThousandEyes Enterprise Agent through the use of the Docker environment. Docker and Docker containers can be deployed faster and achieve higher density of Agents on a host than virtual machines with full guest operating systems running in a hypervisor.  Additionally, while a Linux package Enterprise Agent deployment is restricted to Ubuntu LTS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Oracle Enterprise Linux, and CentOS distributions, the Docker environment can be run on a much wider variety of operating systems.

Docker container Enterprise Agent is currently supported on 64-bit Linux distributions running Kernel version 3.10 or newer, such as:

  • Ubuntu 14.04 LTR or newer
  • Debian 7.7 or newer
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7
  • CentOS 7
  • Fedora 24 or newer
  • Oracle Linux 7 or newer
  • openSUSE 13.2 or newer
  • and others (please refer to official Docker documentation for the list of supported OSes)

We do not support Docker for Mac or Docker for Windows for production deployments.

Installing the Enterprise Agent image

  1. Log in to your Docker host as a privileged user
  2. Make sure Docker is properly installed. Follow the official Docker installation documentation to install it on your system. Verify the installation with the docker run hello-world command. The output should look similar to:


    Hello from Docker.
    This message shows that your installation appears to be working correctly.


  3. Log into ThousandEyes, then navigate to Settings > Agents > Enterprise Agents.
  4. Click + Add New Agent
  5. Select the Docker tab
  6. Pick a name for your Agent.  The Agent should not contain underscores or spaces in the name.
  7. Pick a folder on the Docker host where persistent Agent files will be stored (e.g. /opt). Folder will be created automatically upon Agent instantiation, and log content will be sent here.
  8. (optional) Select proxy configuration by clicking Static or PAC, then proxy information.  See the ThousandEyes Knowledge Base article Configuring an Enterprise Agent to use a proxy server for more information.
  9. Copy the CLI commands generated for your agent, and paste them in the CLI of your Docker host. We recommend saving the commands used, in case reinstallation of the Docker image without changing the Enterprise Agent configuration is needed.

Your Docker-based Enterprise Agent will be installed and start running. The Enterprise Agent will be restarted automatically upon Docker host restart.

NOTE: You may receive a WARNING: Your kernel does not support swap limit capabilities, memory limited without swap message when issuing the docker run command. You can safely continue as this will not affect your Enterprise Agent installation.

The Enterprise Agent container will be automatically connected to the default docker0 network bridge and assigned a private IP address.  The container uses network address translation (NAT) to the Docker host default interface to connect the Enterprise Agent to the network. No additional network configuration is required.

Stopping, starting and restarting Enterprise Agent

After the installation you can verify that the Enterprise Agent is running by using the docker ps command:

docker ps

Output should be similar to:

CONTAINER ID IMAGE                         COMMAND         CREATED        STATUS      PORTS NAMES
400b4ad7bb34 thousandeyes/enterprise-agent "/sbin/my_init" 2 minutes ago  Up 2 minutes      <agent-name>

You can stop the container by running the following command:

docker stop <agent-name>

Note: If you stop the container using the docker stop command, the container will not automatically restart upon Docker host restart

To verify that the agent has been stopped, run docker ps -a.  This will show status of all containers, including stopped ones.

docker ps -a

Output should be similar to:

CONTAINER ID IMAGE                         COMMAND         CREATED        STATUS               NAMES
400b4ad7bb34 thousandeyes/enterprise-agent "/sbin/my_init" 2 minutes ago  Exited (0) 5 sec ago <agent-name>

You can start the agent container by using docker start:

docker start <agent-name>

Note: The enterprise agent container will automatically restart upon Docker host reboot if started with the docker start command.

Removing an Enterprise Agent

To remove an enterprise agent container, use the docker rm command.  

docker rm -f <agent-name>

If you're permanently removing an enterprise agent, delete the persistent volumes as well.  If you're just updating the container, running docker start will automatically update the container to the latest version.

To remove the persistent volumes on your Docker host:

rm -Rf <host-os-agent-folder>/thousandeyes/<agent-name>

Reinstalling the Enterprise Agent

Enterprise agent containers can be easily removed and reinstalled. You may need to reinstall the enterprise agent in a case of serious enterprise agent failure and/or when suggested to do so by ThousandEyes support. All persistent data for the enterprise agent is stored in the persistent volumes on the host. As long as you keep the <agent-name> consistent, and persistent volumes on the host the same, enterprise agent will keep the data and same identity in the ThousandEyes Application even if you remove the container and replace it with a new one.

You can reinstall the enterprise agent:

  1. Ensure you have the latest Enterprise Agent image on your host by running the following command on the Docker host:

    docker pull thousandeyes/enterprise-agent
  2. Log into ThousandEyes, and navigate to Settings > Agents > Enterprise Agents.
  3. Click + Add New Agent to open the form
  4. Click the "Docker" button for the Package Type setting
  5. Enter a name for your Enterprise Agent, which must be the same as the name of currently running Enterprise Agent you want to reinstall.
  6. Enter a folder on the Docker host where persistent files for the existent Enterprise Agent are already stored (e.g. /opt).
  7. Copy the CLI commands generated for your container by the + Add New Agent form, then paste and run them in the CLI of your Docker host.

Warning: Removing data from persistent volumes on the host (<host-os-agent-folder>/thousandeyes/<agent-name>/*) will result in reinitialization of the Agent. The Agent will register as a new Agent in ThousandEyes.

Agent System Time

Docker containers use host system kernel clock. Enterprise agent containers cannot alter the clock. If agent's system time is offset, you need to adjust host system time, ideally by configuring valid NTP servers on the host system.

Advanced DNS configuration

Enterprise Agent containers use the host's DNS settings by default. You can configure a different set of DNS servers for the Enterprise Agent, if needed. When utilizing the docker run command upon Enterprise Agent installation, add the --dns=<dns-server> parameter before be last line. If you need to add multiple servers, repeat the command:

--dns= \
--dns= \
thousandeyes/enterprise-agent /sbin/my_init

Exposing ports for agent to agent tests

If you are connecting your Docker-based Enterprise Agent to the world using the NAT network (which is Docker default), agent to agent tests targeting your Docker agent will not work out of the box. To enable the agent to agent test traffic to reach your Docker agent hosted behind a NAT network, relevant ports need to be exposed and published. To achieve this, add the following parameters to your docker run command:

--expose=49152/udp \
--expose=49153/udp \
--expose=49153/tcp \
--publish=49152:49152/udp \
--publish=49153:49153/udp \
--publish=49153:49153/tcp \
thousandeyes/enterprise-agent /sbin/my_init

Agent Proxy configuration

Customers deploying ThousandEyes Enterprise Agents behind a proxy may need proxy-specific configuration for the Enterprise Agent in order to use certain tests, reporting test data to the ThousandEyes collector and performing software package updates.

You should configure proxy settings upon Enterprise Agent installation. See the Deploying a Docker Agent section of the ThousandEyes Knowledge Base article Installing Enterprise Agents in Proxy Environments for instructions on installing Docker

You can verify the proxy settings of a running agent by running the following command on the Docker host:

docker exec <agent-name> cat /etc/te-agent.cfg | grep proxy

You cannot change the proxy configuration of a currently running agent. You must reinstall the agent with a new proxy configuration. Follow the Reinstalling the Enterprise Agent section of this article.

Troubleshooting and Log information

If you're directed by ThousandEyes customer success to pull log files for the agent, the logs are found in the persistent volume, under thousandeyes/<agent-name>/log folder.  The agent log is te-agent.log, and this file rolls over automatically.  You can tail this log from the Docker host using tail -f.  An example is found below, assuming /opt was the persistent storage location supplied, and agent-name is the agent:

tail -f /opt/thousandeyes/agent-name/log/te-agent.log