How to configure Sitebulb Server

This guide explains how to set up your server in order to work with Sitebulb Server on a rented/external server (e.g. Prostack/Ionos/AWS/Google Compute). If you are using a server machine on your local network (e.g. spare computer) then please read our specific setup guide for local machines.

As a reminder, you must use the specific Sitebulb Server install file, which you can download from the Customer Portal.

Our base assumption at this point is that we have assigned you a 'Server' license, and you have access to a server you can use to test this out on. If you do not, please click here to view our server recommendations.

This article explains how to get Sitebulb installed and set up on your server.

Configure your server

There are a few steps you will need to take in order to configure the server itself, to enable Sitebulb Pro (running on a desktop computer) to connect to Sitebulb Server.

Set the correct region/locale

You will need to make sure that the server is running the correct time/date, otherwise this will mess up audit times and (in particular) scheduled audits - also make sure your regional settings are correct.

Make sure both the 'Region' and the 'Regional format' match up.

Set region correctly

Open up a port on the network firewall

It is likely that you will need to open a port on the network firewall of your server, as often all ports are closed by default.

So you need to create a firewall policy to open port 10401, which is the port that Sitebulb Server uses.

You should not also need to open up a port on Windows Defender, but in case you do, we have a guide on how to do that.

Install and set up Sitebulb on your server

Create a Remote Desktop Connection and connect to your server, then download and install Sitebulb using the 'Sitebulb Server' installer link that you can access via our Customer Portal. Do not use the installer from our normal 'Downloads' page.

Sitebulb Server Download link

Once installed, you will need to login with your account and activate your 'Server' license:

Activate Server License

There are a few steps you will need to take in order to configure the server itself, to enable Sitebulb Pro (running on a desktop computer) to connect to Sitebulb Server.

Configure Sitebulb Server Settings

Once you have activated the Server license, Sitebulb will take you to a settings panel.

>>DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP<<

There are various things you need to configure on the server to ensure that it is secure and that Sitebulb Pro users are able to connect to it.

Concurrent audits

Ticking this option means that Sitebulb will run multiple audits simultaneously, as long as there are threads available to do so. If there are not enough threads available, new audits will simply get added to the queue. Once the running audit(s) complete, this will free up threads, so the queued audits will then be able to run.

The 'Concurrent Queue Type' dropdown controls how this queue is handled

  • First in first out - means that audits will run in the order that they were added
  • Next based on available threads - means that audits which require fewer threads will run next, should enough threads become available

Concurrent Audits

Reserved threads

Every time a user connects to the server, that user will be allocated a thread. This setting allows you to reserve a set number of threads on the server to ensure that users are still able to log onto the server, even if there are audits running.

This means you need to think about how many users might be working on the machine and how many might log on at any particular time.

Here are some rule of thumb suggestions:

  • 1 reserved thread if you are the only user (minimum)
  • 2 or 3 reserved threads for 2-4 users
  • 3 or 4 reserved threads for 5-8 users

If your users experience slowdowns when accessing data (e.g. the app hangs), you may need to increase this number. If you increase this number at a time when all the threads are being taken up by crawling activity, the reservations won't become active until one of your crawls has freed the threads.

To learn more about how all this works, please read our guide on thread management.

Once you have finished your configurations, make sure to hit 'Save'.

Server keys

This is how you authenticate the server so that only people who know a server key can log into it - which enables 'permitted' Sitebulb Pro users to connect to your server, while ensuring it remains secure.

Add the name of a team (or individual) in the box, and Sitebulb will automatically generate a unique 16 digit key.

Adding Server Keys

Then share this key with the user(s) who need to connect to the server, which they will need to use as authentication.

Add as many keys as you need, and remove keys in order to remove user access (e.g. if someone leaves the company).

Final notes on server setup

That should be everything now set up on your server. One final thing to be aware of the the version of Sitebulb which runs on the server actually runs as a Windows service, rather than the typical executable program you are used to. 

Windows services run in the background once the computer starts up - even if users are not logged in. This is significant as it means Sitebulb will always be running in the background, even if you get logged out or the machine decides to do some Windows updates.

This does mean the Sitebulb experience will be a little different - the machine will want to restart when you do updates, and the UI won't automatically appear (until you open up the program). Otherwise you should not notice a big difference, it mostly just means that Sitebulb will be more stable.

Now that the server is set up, it's time to move on to the final stage: 'Connecting to Sitebulb Server from your desktop machine'.

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