Customers may occasionally need to install additional software on a Virtual Appliance, and this document shows how you can install the software in a way which will be supported. Examples of where this might be useful include:
Installing monitoring agents that customers use to monitor the rest of their infrastructure (e.g. Nagios)
Installing other data collection tools (e.g. for Splunk or ELK)
Note that for earlier versions of the Traffic Manager Virtual Appliance (before 9.7) we support customers installing software only via our standard APIs/interfaces (using extra files, custom action scripts).
This "open access virtual appliance" support policy was introduced at version 9.7, to allow installation of additional software. However, we still do not support customers modifying the tested software shipped with the appliance.
Traffic Manager virtual appliances use a customized build of Ubuntu, with an optimized kernel from which some unused features have been removed - check the latest release notes for details of the build included in your version.
What you may change
You may install additional software not shipped with the appliance, but note that some Ubuntu packages may rely on kernel features not available on the appliance.
You may modify configuration not managed by the appliance.
What you may not change
You may not install a different kernel.
You may not install different versions of any debian packages that were installed on the appliance as shipped, nor remove any of these packages (see the licence acknowledgements doc for a list).
You may not directly modify configuration that is managed from the traffic manager (e.g. sysctl values, network configuration).
You may not change configuration explicitly set by the appliance (usually marked with a comment containing ZOLD or BEGIN_STINGRAY_BLOCK).
What happens when you need support
You should mention any additional software you have installed when requesting support, the Technical Support Report will also contain information about it. If the issue is found to be caused by interaction with the additional software we will ask you to remove it, or to seek advice or a remedy from its supplier.
What happens on reset or upgrade
z-reset-to-factory-defaults will not remove additional software but may rewrite some system configuration files.
An upgrade will install a fresh appliance image on a separate disk partition, and will not copy additional software or configuration changes across. The /logs partition will be preserved.
Note that future appliance versions may change the set of installed packages, or even the underlying operating system.