Browse Definitions:
Definition

agentless

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Agentless, in computing, refers to operations where no service, daemon or process (AKA an agent) needs to run in the background on the machine the action is being performed on.

In reality, all computer tasks require related programs to run and these programs could be considered agents. However, operations can generally be performed on a controlling machine that may use an agent, while its target is agentless in that it need not install or run new software related to the task itself. This capacity can save time required for managing agents on numerous target machines, especially in large enterprises. That said, even some software called agentless may use built-in services in an operating system, and they may require configuring. So the term agentless can be a bit misleading.

Agentless software generally requires the creation of a user account on the target machine or machines  to facilitate access to the data on the account related to the desired operation. Agentless programs directly access the files, often remotely, via this user account. So the created profile must have the necessary access to these files and the software must store the login credentials to access the profile.  This access may be facilitated through a number of different Internet communication standards (e.g., FTP, CIFS/SMB, TELNET, SSH).

 Generally most home, SOHO, and SMB don’t need to narrow their choices between agent-based and agentless solutions. Most single computers and small networks have no need for agentless software. In enterprises, there may be considerations like tight security for trade secrets and the logistics of managing agents on thousands of machines. In the end, it comes down to deciding what works best for the particular company. Some may consider the risk of stored login credentials too great a risk even when encrypted.

This was last updated in November 2014

Continue Reading About agentless

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • password

    A password is an unspaced sequence of characters used to determine that a computer user requesting access to a computer system is...

  • adware

    Adware is any software application in which advertising banners are displayed while a program is running.

  • botnet

    A botnet is a collection of internet-connected devices, which may include PCs, servers, mobile devices and internet of things ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • data migration

    Data migration is the process of transferring data between data storage systems, data formats or computer systems.

  • compact disc (CD)

    A compact disc is a portable storage medium that can be used for recording, storing and playing back audio, video and other data ...

  • secondary storage

    Secondary storage is used to protect inactive data written from a primary storage array to a nonvolatile tier of disk, flash or ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID)

    SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID) is a methodology commonly used to protect data by distributing redundant data blocks across ...

  • Tier 0

    Tier 0 (tier zero) is a level of data storage that is faster, and perhaps more expensive, than any other level in the storage ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close