How it Works

How it Works

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FileLocator Network can search networked computers in one of four ways:

via Administrative Shares, e.g. C$, D$
via standard Network Shares, e.g. \\Computer\Share
via an on demand automatically controlled Search Agent process running on the remote computer
via a manually installed Search Agent process running on the remote computer using TCP/IP

 

Advantages/Disadvantages

 

Each approach has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. The following table may help you decide which is best for your situation.

 

 

Network

Shares

Administrative Shares

Search Process - On Demand

Search Process - Manual

Advantages

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Works with any operating system

Yes

Yes

 

 

Fast parallel searching

 

 

Yes

Yes

Reduced network traffic

 

 

Yes

Yes

Encrypted communication path

 

 

Yes

Yes

Network traffic compressed

 

 

Yes

Yes

Windows Firewall friendly

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Simple to use

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Ability to search all local drives

 

Yes

Yes

Yes


 

 

 

 

Requirements

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Administrative shares must be setup

 

Required

Required

 

Windows 2000 or higher

 

 

Required

Required

Read access to admin shares

 

Required

Required

 

Write access to admin shares

 

 

Required

 

Manual installation/run of Search Agent

 

 

 

Required

Exception on Windows Firewall

 

 

 

Required

Executable code run on remote computer

 

 

Required

Required

All searchable data sent over network

Required

Required

 

 

 

 

Searching via Administrative Shares

 

When searching via administrative shares FileLocator Network connects to the administrative shares on each computer, e.g. C$, D$ etc. and retrieves all the necessary data to perform the search processing locally, i.e. on the computer running FileLocator Network (see illustration below).

 

HowItWorks_AdminShares

The main advantages of searching via administrative shares are that it works on any computer that supports administrative shares, regardless of operating system, and that no code is run on the remote computer. However, because no code is run on the remote computer it does mean that all searched data needs to be retrieved over the network to the computer running FileLocator Network, thereby limiting the possibilities of parallel searching.

 

 

Searching via Search Agent Process

 

When searching via the Search Agent process FileLocator Network instructs a Search Agent process running on the remote computer to run the search and return just the results (see illustration below).

 

HowItWorks_SearchProcess

The Search Agent process can be run on demand or installed manually. In either case data is compressed and encrypted before transmission, see the Secure Communication topic for more information

 

Search Agent Process - On Demand

 

On Demand configuration is the simplest option for running the Search Agent process, although it does require write access to the administrative shares on each remote computer. For every search request FileLocator Network:

1. Copies the Search Agent process to the remote machine via an administrative share.

2. Runs the search through the Search Agent process.

3. Collects the results.

4. Stops and then deletes the Search Agent process and any temporary files.

 

Windows Firewall, in its default configuration, will not normally cause any problems with the Search Agent communication since it uses a method of authenticated inter-process communication (IPC) called named pipes.

 

Search Agent Process - Manual (TCP/IP)

 

In situations where administrative access to the remote machines is not always available or desirable it is possible to install/run the Search Agent process manually and communicate with it via TCP/IP sockets. To correctly install/run the Search Agent process on a remote machine use the Search Agent Parameters Wizard to configure an installation batch file.

 

 

SearchAgentRun

 

Please see the following sections for more help on the running the Search Agent in TCP/IP mode:

 

Search Agent Parameters Wizard

Tool for generating the appropriate Search Agent command line parameters.

Running the Search Agent

Information on running and stopping the Search Agent.

Firewalls

Precautions when running the Search Agent via TCP/IP on computers with firewalls.

 

 

 

 

 


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