Timebeat Installation Overview
This document details the general breakdown of what you will need to get started, how best to approach installing timebeat, and some recommendations of how best to get up and running with Timebeat as pain-free as possible.
Before we begin it is important to understand what components are required for Timebeat to operate and how they fit together.
Depending on your design and requirement from Timebeat there are several methods to deploy.
In summary, a traditional deployment requires:
- Timebeat Application
- Elastic Database
- Front End - Kibana or Grafana
For a Timebeat Cloud deployment, a representative of Timebeat will provide all the necessary connection details and PKI files required to connect. If you are not a Timebeat Cloud customer you will need to deploy the dependencies on your own equipment/environment.
For lightweight installations where you are looking for a similar service to other default timing systems such as chrony or windows time service, you can operate Timebeat as a standalone application that reports to a log file, or where it doesn't report at all (no front end, no alerting).
This will maintain synchronisation on your device extremely well in comparison to alternative solutions but reduces Timebeat's observation capabilities.
Timebeat has been designed to allow the user to not only obtain great synchronisation from NTP / PTP or PPS but to provide a feature-rich environment with best in class visualisation and monitoring so that you can ensure your synchronisation is working the way you want.
To really get the most return and value from Timebeat there are a couple of dependencies required. These are a database, specifically, this is an Elastic database and a front end. Timebeat ships with a default dashboard that can be loaded into Kibana; Kibana is a visualisation tool specifically for the Elastic database. For Timebeat Enterprise deployments, however, we recommend using Grafana, an open-source visualisation system, of which we provide several pre-configured dashboards that you can load into Grafana or you can utilise one of our out of the box container solutions which has the dashboards packaged in as standard.
Database and front end deployment
It is possible to deploy these elements to the same device that you wish to synchronise however this is not a great model if working at scale.
Timebeat is designed so that each device running Timebeat reports back to a centralised system, this system is the Elastic database. With this in mind, we recommend you dedicate a separate device to run the elastic database and front end
To understand the best way to set this up in your environment get in touch with your Timebeat representative who can discuss your specifics and detail the most effective solution for deploying the database and front end.
Dependency based deployment methods
There are two primary methods to deploying Timebeat's dependencies which are the traditional (more manual) approach. This involves downloading an rpm or binary which can be found on the respective technology websites (further details in the dependency guides). Or if you are an Enterprise customer you can take advantage of our available containers or Kubernetes manifest. We always recommend the container or Kubernetes approach where possible as we have configured these and packaged up everything you need to get started, from an out of the box Elastic/Kibana system to a fully populated Grafana front end with out of the box dashboards and configurations. Although it is your choice for how to deploy we attempt to make this process as simple as possible for you.
If you already have Grafana or Elastic deployed in your environment you can easily direct Timebeat to report directly into your system without the need to deploy a separate environment. Our team here at Timebeat can help assist with this specific to your needs, just get in touch.