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Sending information to Acquia Insight

The Acquia Insight service needs information from the environments it monitors to create their overall ratings and to report alert conditions. Environments send their information to Acquia Insight using the Acquia Connector. This information includes:

  • General application information, including node counts, user counts, and non-sensitive basic information
  • Drupal information, including versions of core and enabled modules
  • Security information, testing some common insecure practices
  • PHP, web infrastructure, and database versions, configuration information, and statistics

For more detailed information, see What the Acquia Connector sends.

Configuring what the Acquia Connector sends

After you have installed and enabled the Acquia Connector, you can configure Acquia Connector to limit the scope of information you want collected and sent to Acquia Insight.


If your administrative username (user 1) is a commonly used administrative username, Cloud Platform will direct you to change your username for security reasons. Examples of usernames that must be changed include admin, administrator, and root. Although you can use these phrases in your username, the overall length for a username with these phrases must be at least 15 characters.

To configure the Acquia Connector settings, complete the following steps:

  1. Go to the Configuration > Acquia settings page:

    • Drupal 8.x - Go to http://[site_URL]/admin/config/system/acquia-connector
    • Drupal 7.x - Go to http://[site_URL]/admin/config/system/acquia-agent
  2. Choose the items that you want to collect and monitor.

    Connector configuration fields

    • Admin privileges

      • Security information for the application, including privileges for anonymous and logged-in users and file security
      • Number of admin users
      • Whether or not the User ID 1 account has an insecure username, such as admin or root
    • Nodes and users

      • Titles and types of the last 15 nodes
      • Titles of the last 15 comments
      • User names and email addresses of the last 15 created users
    • Watchdog logs

      • Last failed log-in attempts
      • List of page-not-found references
      • Critical, alert, and emergency watchdog messages
    • Source code

      If you enable this option, Acquia Insight checks whether the contents of core or contributed Drupal code files (not custom files) have been modified.

  3. Allow Insight to update the list of approved variables.


    This feature has been deprecated and will be removed in a future release.

  4. Clear the Send via Drupal cron check box. For best performance, it is best not to use Drupal’s cron process to send your website’s information to Acquia Insight. Instead, set up a infrastructure cron process to send the information, as described in Using infrastructure cron to send information.

Using infrastructure cron to send information

For best performance, set up an infrastructure cron process to send your environment’s information to Acquia Insight. Follow this procedure to add a command for each of your environments in the Cloud Platform interface on the Applications > [Environment] > Scheduled Jobs page.

  1. On the Configuration > Acquia settings page of your Drupal website, clear the Send via Drupal cron check box. With that check box cleared, the page displays the Acquia SPI URL, which is in the form http://[site URL]/system/acquia-spi-send?key=a1b2c3e4f5.

  2. Sign in to the Cloud Platform user interface. and open the Scheduled Jobs page for your application and environment.

  3. Click Add job.

  4. In the Job name field, enter a name for the job to identify it in the Cloud Platform interface.

  5. Under Command, enter a command like the following, using the Acquia SPI URL from step 1. Do not include a cron time string. For example:

    /usr/bin/wget -O - -q -t 1 http://[Acquia SPI URL]
  6. Under Command frequency, set the cron schedule. Note that the time zone for the schedule is UTC. We recommend that you set the cron schedule to run not more frequently than once per hour and not less frequently than once a day.

  7. Click Add.

For more information, see Using scheduled jobs to maintain your application.

Configuring a cron job in the UI

What the Acquia Connector sends

With its default settings, the Acquia Connector sends the following information to Acquia Insight:

  • General application information, including node counts, user counts, and non-sensitive basic information
  • System variables that enable Acquia Insight to check whether your application is responding to requests or in maintenance mode, as well as your application’s performance and implementation of best practices
  • Drupal information, including versions and enabled modules
  • A list of all Drupal code files, including the last change date, the user and group of the file owner, and the hash value
  • PHP, web infrastructure, and database information, including:
    • PHP version, extensions, memory limit, maximum post and upload size, and cookie lifetime
    • OS version, Apache version, configuration variables, and running statistics
    • MySQL version, configuration variables, database cache statistics and other running statistics
  • Security information, including information needed to check whether:
    • Drupal installation files and directories are writable by the infrastructure, except as required.
    • Users with untrusted roles are allowed to input dangerous HTML tags or use the PHP input format.
    • Dangerous tags were found in any submitted content (fields).
    • Error reporting is set to a log only, rather than to the screen.
    • The private files directory is outside the web infrastructure root.

Information never sent by the Acquia Connector

The Acquia Connector does not expose the following information to Acquia Insight:

  • Passwords or password hashes
  • System-level user account names (excluding system accounts that own Drupal code files)
  • Contents of custom files or modules

How the Acquia Connector connects to Acquia

The Acquia Connector, for Drupal 8, is comprised of two modules: Acquia Insight and Search. In the 7.x versions, the Acquia Insight module is divided into separate Acquia Agent and Acquia Site Profile Information modules. These modules are responsible for retrieving, parsing, and communicating data between the client (a Drupal website with modules installed), and the infrastructure (Acquia Insight).

All communications between the Drupal application and Acquia Insight happen with XML-RPC over HTTPS, with the exception of one case (SPI makes HTTPS GET requests to Acquia Insight for read-only data). Message authenticity and integrity is maintained by including message authentication code (HMAC) components in the request and response. This is helpful for secure communications in cases where the client application does not support SSL. The client and the infrastructure share a private key that’s used to sign and validate messages. Messages are outgoing from the client to the infrastructure, except for one feature of the Insight service that allows for comparing Drupal core and contributed module code that is invoked by the infrastructure.

The SPI module sends configuration and system information for use in the Insight service. The Search module sends application content to be indexed by Apache Solr as part of Acquia Search. Information is sent by default as part of the Drupal cron system, though the Acquia Connector can be configured to send data separately.

When the Acquia Connector connects to Acquia

The Acquia Connector module sends information to Acquia Insight when your environment runs cron, and Insight updates your environment’s scores and alerts every 30 minutes, so you can expect changes you make to your environment to be reflected in your Insight scores after 30 minutes plus your environment’s cron interval. Module information is updated not more than every 22 hours, regardless of the cron interval. Some other information is updated not more than every six hours. You can cause Insight to update more quickly by sending information to Insight manually. Do this on your Drupal application’s Admin > Reports > Status report page, under Acquia SPI, by clicking manually send SPI data.