Spokes v1.1.0

Published at February 18, 2021 ·  4 min read

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Release v1.1.0 of Spokes is a big update and includes many new features. This release also lays the ground work for many future improvements that are on our roadmap and will shape Spokes into a robust tunneling and web server with more automation support and simpler integration with external systems.

Dashboard Updates

We’ve added more metrics to our dashboard to provide more useful information to admins. Active tunnels, those that were created but not necessarily online, are broken out. Online tunnels are captured separately now too.

The software version and uptime is also presented. We included an alerts page that is used for reporting issues to the administrator.

Overview

Overview

We are planning on adding more metrics to this dashboard so we can provide some information at a quick glance.

License Files

Spokes has evolved quite a bit in the last year. Up to this point each Spokes license included a Token that was used by the server to authenticate and pull down the license information from Packetriot.com.

This begs the questions: What happens to my Spokes server if Packetriot.com goes down? To help answer that question we’ve implemented the server license through a file that can be setup and installed in the Spokes dashboard.

The server no longer needs to connect to Packetriot.com to operate.

These changes also make it possible to setup Spokes without a license, exercise it’s admin API (to a degree) and trial it in a limited fashion. Of course, please contact sales if you’re interested in a no-cost trial license to exercise all the features available in Spokes.

License Files

License Files

The authentication token mechanism is still supported to help users transition and migrate but at some point, Q4 of this year, we will stop supporting it.

Updates to our documentation is available that illustrate the few simple steps to download your Spokes license file from Packetriot.com and then log into your Spokes server and install it.

Please reach out to our support address if you have any questions.

Administrative API

We’ve been working on an administrative API for some time and have expanded it with this release. In addition, we’ve also documented the API and datatypes so that users can automate maintaince of the Spokes server.

License Files

License Files

The API includes support for retrieving information about tunnels. Creating and managing registration tokens. It also supports creating and importing users and then creating new tunnels, and corresponding auth tokens, for them.

Spokes Client Library

An API is helpful for automation but an available client library makes it instantly accessible. We’ve written a library in Go and it’s available on our GitHub.

We’ve interested in implementing more client libraries in different languages. Please contact us and let us know what we can support that would help you.

What’s next?

There is a lot planned on our roadmap. In the very short term we plan on adding support for containerized deployments and installing Spokes using Homebrew (macOS). We also want to make configuration easier.

We’ll be adding supports for Webhooks. As events occur on the Spokes server, e.g. tunnel up/down, created or deleted, license expiring, admin logins, etc… Spokes will publish the events to external systems using a webhook.

A similar notification system via email is planned as well.

Supporting a high-availability deployment is on our roadmap as well. We plan to include support for load balancers that would support HA and an active-inactive configuration of Spokes servers.

We’ve been looking at integration patterns and think we could make integrating easier by providing some basic web serving and reverse proxying support to Spokes.

Another idea we have is to create reverse tunnels through our client program and so we can expose the other tunnels (and the services running behind them) to each other. This would also enable external applications to access those services privately.

In addition, the application servers configured through this planned reverse proxying support would be available as well in a more distributed manner opening up more integration scenarios.

It’s going to be a busy year for Spokes development :) Thanks again to our users and customers who have shared their feedback and suggestions to us.

Cheers!