Questions, actions and their responses
Tachyon lets you question the devices on the network directly and, based on the responses, run any associated actions.
Questions, actions and responses are presented to the user via the Tachyon Explorer, a web-based portal that lets Tachyon users interact with Tachyon and its agents.
The questions, responses and actions feature includes:
- Graphical display of response information
- Instruction impact assessment
Coverage, question filters, view filters and follow-on instructions
Questions and responses can be tailored to focus on specific ranges of device through the use of coverage and filters:
- Coverage acts first to let you restrict the devices that will be asked a given question
- Question filters act before devices have responded to narrow the responses that are sent
- View filters act after the responses have been sent to focus the responses presented to the user and to determine the input into the follow-on instructions
The responses to initial questions can be further refined by asking follow-on questions or actions, allowing Tachyon questioners and actioners to focus in on the results they want to see.
Tachyon lets you export responses to CSV files. These can then be used for auditing purposes or to drive external programs.
The Tachyon Agent
Tachyon enables rapid response to instructions using the Tachyon Agent, which supports the retrieval of information, running actions and device tagging. The Agent can also be extended to support additional features. On Windows OS, the Agent is installed as a service, with a small footprint.
Tachyon Agent Historic Data Capture
On Tachyon Windows Agent devices Tachyon continuously captures events, which enables Tachyon to capture all significant events as they happen. This should be contrasted with polling, which to a certain degree relies on luck to capture conditions that are brief enough to fall between polls. In this way Tachyon Agent Historic Data Capture compares with the Windows Task Manager or Perfmon. Tachyon captures the data to a compressed and encrypted database to ensure that it has a very low impact on device performance and security.
Tachyon is a powerful system enabling rapid diagnostic and remediation across an entire network in seconds. For this reason careful attention has been paid to how the system is locked down to access by authorized users and devices.
Tachyon users, administrators and roles
The capabilities of Tachyon users are configured through role-based access to Tachyon features. When using Tachyon there are generally four types of access: Actioner, Approver, Questioner and Viewer corresponding to the main Tachyon users. These can be determined broadly or down to the level of access to individual Instruction Sets.
Tachyon administration access can be determined through role-based access to the extended properties, infrastructure, Instruction Set and permissions areas of Tachyon.
Tachyon uses certificates on the Tachyon Server and Tachyon Agent devices to maintain the security of the system. Any custom Instructions must be code-signed with a certificate that has been registered in your 1E license before they can be run in Tachyon.
The certificates feature includes:
Support for Cryptographic Next Generation certificates
Upgrade to latest version of OpenSSL v1.0.2h
Security to enforce Tachyon Agent device certificates
To enhance the safety of running actions in the Tachyon system, there is an approval workflow that ensures that every Tachyon action requires the approval of designated approvers before it can be run. To make it even safer, someone with approval permissions cannot approve their own action.
When an attempt is made to run an action the Tachyon approval workflow sends an email and a Tachyon notification to all the approvers associated with the action. Any of the approvers may approve or reject the request to run the action.
The workflows feature includes:
- New-look email template for approval workflow
Users must provide their user credentials when attempting to run an action, this prevents unauthorised access by a third-party attempting to make use of an unattended computer.
Actions can also be configured to require two-factor authentication, where the user attempting to run an action is challenged to enter a unique, one-time Tachyon authorization code that has been sent to them via an alternative method - such as email or via a registered mobile.
System status dashboard
Tachyon infrastructure administrators have access to a system status dashboard where they can monitor the performance of Tachyon and find useful data when troubleshooting issues. Tachyon provides instrumentation data on key performance metrics for the core components.
1E Support may ask you to investigate the system status dashboard if you encounter certain types of issue.
Tachyon provides a trail of action, question and Explorer management data to help in auditing the use of Tachyon in your environment.
System status bar and notification area
Tachyon includes a system status bar that displays the number of Tachyon instructions in progress and current and historical connectivity information for the total number of devices connected to Tachyon.
The notification area provides information on the logged on user or administrator and access to their notifications.
Inventory and connectivity
The Devices page in the Tachyon Explorer shows you all the devices that have connected with Tachyon and their current connection status. There are two views provided that let you research the devices: the devices table and the devices dashboard, please refer to Checking inventory and connectivity - The Devices table and Checking inventory and connectivity - The Devices dashboard for more details.
Tachyon can integrate with 3rd party products. It integrates seamlessly with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, it can use 1E Nomad to add content download capabilities, provides a fully-featured consumer API and can even be used as a response delivery mechanism by 3rd party applications.
Tachyon provides a dedicated page where the 3rd party consumers can be enabled and managed by Tachyon Consumer Administrators, as described in Consumers.
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager console integration
Configuration Manager users can use all the features of Tachyon from within the Configuration Manager console.
- Run questions and actions that target the devices in Configuration Manager collections.
Agent integration with 1E Nomad to enable efficient download of content
Tachyon can leverage the features of the industry-respected 1E Nomad to enable content to be downloaded to the Tachyon Agent device. Using 1E Nomad provides the following benefits:
- Significantly reduces the bandwidth required for delivering software
- Small offices or sites connected via poor network links can receive software updates more reliably
- Reduces the need for large numbers of Configuration Manager servers
- Faster Configuration Manager implementations because fewer servers are required
- Distribute software to home, mobile and remote office users
- Low cost – easy to deploy
- No new infrastructure or skills required
- Reduces software distribution costs
The feature is a set-and-forget option on the Tachyon Agent. By default it is enabled and means that Tachyon will automatically use Nomad to download content if it is installed on the Tachyon Agent device (Nomad is currently supported on Windows devices only). The prerequisites for using Nomad are given on Supported Platforms. The options for configuring Nomad integration are NomadContentDownloadEnabled and NomadContentDownloadTimeoutSecs in the Tachyon Agent configuration file.
Tachyon consumer API
Tachyon implements a complete API for controlling the questions, answers, responses and workflows that implement the Tachyon features from third-party applications.
The Tachyon API feature includes:
- Consumer API versioning
- Improved version and error reporting support in Consumer API
- Extended RBAC API extensions for consumers
Tachyon can offload responses directly to 3rd party applications
Tachyon can be used as the means to gather data for 3rd party applications. Using its fast response time to gather the data it then be configured to pass the data on without storing it locally. The offloading is configured for each consumer on the Consumers page. To use this feature the consumer must be configured to use the offloaded responses data.
Tachyon lets you tag Tachyon Agent devices with Coverage Tags so that they can be easily targeted when setting the coverage for specific questions. For example you may want to tag devices related to different departments so that they can be managed appropriately.
Tachyon has two installers, one for the Tachyon Server components and the other for the Tachyon Windows Agent.
Tachyon Setup is used to validate a server prior to running the Tachyon Server installer, and supports a range of configurations as described in Design Considerations - Tachyon Setup configuration choices.
There are also Tachyon Agent installation packages for supported non-Windows OS.