When our customers buy Savvius Insights for their remote locations, often times it is in large quantities. This makes sense, given how inexpensive Savvius Insight is, and how powerful the network monitoring capabilities are. So, whether it is for small to medium sized offices, retail outlets, manufacturing, or any other location with a 1G or less network, Savvius Insight is a no-brainer.

And initially, Savvius Insights are a breeze to deploy. Just ship it to a remote location, and plug it in between the cable model and router, and it starts working from there. It is configured to use DHCP, so it gets an address automatically. And unlike the larger appliances, with configurable network cards, where you must manually create a capture, with Insight, the captures are created automatically on the bridge ports, and the analysis is immediately available through the web based dashboards. The web based dashboards are already installed on the Insight, so there is nothing that has to be installed on your client machine, or wherever you happen to be accessing the Insight from. But if you do need to look at the packets, Omnipeek for Insight is freely available from the Insight portal.

So, Savvius Insight is amazingly easy to deploy and set-up. But what happens when you have deployed 100’s of them, and good old Savvius releases a new version of the software. You can imagine how fun it is to connect to each one individually, and upgrade them, one by one. Of course, it is not fun at all, and you have better things to do with your time. And for that reason, we have developed the first in a series of Insight management scripts. This first script, so creatively named insight_upgrade.py, is a python script that will upgrade a list of Insights. It is not a huge complicated script, but it can save a lot of time. The list is a text file containing the IP address, username, and password of any number of Insights.

Here are a couple of examples of how to use the script.

In the second example, that takes a list of Insights, each line is a comma separated line containing the IP address, username, password.

In any example, the script must be passed an upgrade file. The upgrade file contains the files that are copied to the /tftpboot folder on each Insight. The upgrade file must be manually downloaded from the Insight portal. Of course, to download the upgrade you must have an account, and to have an account you must enter your serial number, which is on the bottom of the Insight.


To download the upgrade file, just click the “Get the Insight 2.1 upgrade package” link, and then copy the file to the machine that the script will be run on. An alternative is to “Copy link address”, and use wget on the machine with the script. The upgrade file is a zip file. However, the Insight does not have zip, so if you give the script the zip file with the -z parameter, it will repackage the zip file into a tar.gz file.

The python script requires a module called Paramiko. We tested the script on Ubuntu Desktop, which already has Paramiko. If the script is run on a system without Paramiko, just run ‘apt-get install python-paramiko’ to install it.

Of course, there is more to management than just an upgrade. There are kinds of management operations one might want to bulk perform on their Insights. At Savvius, we are developing a web based Multi-Unit Manager. It will have a fancy UI to perform a growing number of management functions against large numbers of Insights. But until then, I am sure this script will be appreciated. And by the way, there is nothing magical about this script. Savvius Insight is running Ubuntu, so the script just connects via SSH, and executes some remote commands. This being the case, we welcome members of the Savvius Insight community to write scripts of their own. And if you do, we would love to hear about..

The script itself is posted on MyPeek (Title: Insight Upgrade Script) at:


Learn more about Savvius Insight here: Savvius Insight

Posted by:

Chris Bloom, Savvius Technology Evangelist