This article covers the more technical aspects of Tulip Connector Hosts. This article is intended to be a guide for individuals with a background in Information Technology (IT).

For an overview of Tulip's Connector system, see our Introduction to Connectors.

What is the Tulip Connector Host?

Tulip Connectors are designed to allow your Tulip Apps to interface with external systems such as databases, APIs, and machines.

The Tulip Connector Host is the part of the Tulip platform that creates connections to these external services.

For the Connectors module of Tulip to be used, a Connector Host must be able to establish a connection to the external system.

Where does the Tulip Connector Host Software Run?

The first, and most common, deployment option is a Cloud Connector Host. A Cloud Connector Host is included in your Tulip subscription and is deployed alongside the Tulip Platform and is available for use on the “Connectors Page” as “Cloud Connector Host”. 

For cloud customers, this means that connection requests from this Connector Host will come from an IP address in Tulip’s Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) block (3.208.72.192/26). This allows customers to whitelist access from the Tulip Connector Host to their service. For on-premise customers, the Connector Host will make requests from the same IP address as the Tulip Platform, which is dependent on your particular deployment configuration.

The second, less common, deployment option is an on-premise Connector Host. In this case, a customer elects to host an on-premise version of the Connector Host within their own networking infrastructure to remove the need to allow incoming connections from Tulip’s CIDR block. This type of deployment is not standard and has many additional requirements such as:

  • An additional subscription cost for the software.
  • Remote access requirements for Tulip to support, maintain, and update the Connector Host.
  • Delays in the deployment of updates including those that may affect security.
  • Delays in support for outages or configuration errors.
  • Additional work for the customer to host and support this software.

Deployment options for on-premise Connector Hosts should be discussed directly between Tulip’s implementation team and your IT department. If you would like to move forward with this option, please contact your Tulip representative for more information.

What are the requirements for hosting an on-premise Connector Host?

The Connector Host must be connected to the internet. The following TCP ports must be open outbound to your Tulip Platform (for cloud customers, Tulip’s CIDR block):

  • 80: For HTTP connections
  • 443: For HTTPS connections
  • 3265: For remote support / updates and secure Tulip access.
  • Access to all systems to be used in Connectors over the relevant ports for the external service (default ports listed below).
  • The Connector Host must have an IP address.
  • The Connector Host must have access to a DNS that can resolve the IP address of your Tulip Platform.
  • No inbound access (from the internet to the Connector Host) is required. The Connector Host initiates all connections to the Tulip Cloud.

Here are the default port numbers for these services:

Databases:

  • PostgreSQL: TCP/5432
  • Microsoft SQL Server: TCP/1433
  • Oracle: TCP/1521

HTTP:

  • HTTP: TCP/80
  • HTTPS: TCP/443

Machine Protocols:

  • OPC/UA: TCP/4840
  • Kepware OPC/UA: TCP/49320
  • MTConnect: TCP/5000 or TCP/80

Resource Requirements

For most use-cases, the connector host is a lightweight piece of software. For Connector Host VMs, Tulip recommends:

25GB disk space

2GB RAM

1 vCPU

You should monitor the resource usage of your Connector Host. You may need to give it more resources if you're using the machine monitoring features to consume hundreds of data points per second via OPC/UA, or executing hundreds of requests per second using the HTTP or SQL connectors.

If you have additional questions, please reach out to your Account Manager or to our support team through the Support Request or Live Chat option using the Help button in the top right of the screen.

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