MCP Heartbeat

To monitor the status of managed products, MCP agents poll Control Manager based on a schedule. Polling occurs to indicate the status of the managed product and to check for commands to the managed product from Control Manager. The Control Manager web console then presents the product status. This means that the managed product’s status is not a real-time, moment-by-moment reflection of the network’s status. Control Manager checks the status of each managed product in a sequential manner in the background. Control Manager changes the status of managed products to offline when a fixed period of time elapses without a heartbeat from the managed product.

Active heartbeats are not the only means Control Manager determines the status of managed products. The following also provide Control Manager with the managed product’s status:

  • Control Manager receives logs from the managed product. Once Control Manager receives any type of log from the managed product successfully, this implies that the managed product is working fine.

  • In two-way communication mode, Control Manager actively sends out a notification message to trigger the managed product to retrieve the pending command. If server connects to the managed product successfully, it also indicates that the product is working fine and this event counts as a heartbeat.

  • In one-way communication mode, the MCP agent periodically sends out query commands to Control Manager. This periodical query behavior works like a heartbeat and is treated as such by Control Manager.

The MCP heartbeats implement in the following ways:

  • UDP: If the product can reach the server using UDP, this is the lightest weight, fastest solution available. However, this does not work in NAT or firewall environments. In addition, the transmitting client cannot verify that the server does indeed receive the request.

  • HTTP/HTTPS: To work under a NAT or firewall environment, a heavyweight HTTP connection can be used to transport the heartbeat

Control Manager supports both UDP and HTTP/HTTPS mechanisms to report heartbeats. Control Manager server finds out which mode the managed product applies during the registration process. A separate protocol handshake occurs between both parties to determine the mode.

Aside from simply sending the heartbeat to indicate the product status, additional data can upload to Control Manager along with the heartbeat. The data usually contains managed product activity information to display on the console.