Understanding Tachyon

Tachyon uses a very secure, highly scalable, and extensible client-server architecture supporting a wide variety of operating systems and device types. A web interface allows authorized users to query all clients in your organization and get responses almost immediately. Users can also make immediate changes. Tachyon is especially valuable for addressing immediate concerns, such as newly discovered security vulnerabilities or to correct accidental misconfigurations. Despite its power and responsiveness, it is engineered to not overwhelm your network, clients or servers.

Questions and actions are collectively known as instructions. Instructions are grouped together into product packs that can be imported individually to extend the Tachyon features as these are made available. Tachyon comes with a host of pre-framed questions and actions in the form of product packs, providing extensive out-of-the-box capabilities that can be extended as new and updated product packs are made available. You can also readily create your own instructions.

Instructions are also organized in tasks that you will find relate to the kinds of activities you and your peers typically do. Where appropriate, instructions can be managed through an approval workflow so that changes are only made as authorized.

Data collected in response to Tachyon instructions is not intended to be stored long term but it can be exported. Audit logging provides longer-term accountability.

To use NightWatchman's online status feature you will need a Tachyon server. For most organizations a simple Tachyon server installation will work well. Or if you are evaluating this feature in a lab you can certainly use a simple Tachyon server installation.

With Tachyon server and agents installed, you can integrate Tachyon with NightWatchman in order to show online status of NightWatchman clients. 

Integrating Tachyon with NightWatchman Enterprise

  1. Using Notepad or a similar text editor:
    1. Browse to the C:\Program Files (x86)\1E\NightWatchman Management Center\ConsoleService folder (This is the default path, yours may vary based on the install location of the Nightwatchman Management Center.)
    2. Open NWM.ServiceHost.exe.config
    3. Search for TachyonIntegrationEnabled and update its value to true:

      <add key= "TachyonIntegrationEnabled" value= "true" />

    4. Change the TachyonAPI value to the Tachyon server URL that you defined earlier: 

      <add key= "TachyonApiRoot" value= "https://tachyon.acme.local/consumer" />

  2. Using Services control panel (services.msc), restart the NightWatchman service.
  3. Open the NightWatchman console:
    1. Select the Clients node.
    2. Drill down to one of the lowest clients group.
    3. The traffic light for each client should be red, yellow, gray, or green.

If you have any difficulties with the above, see the Tachyon integration troubleshooting page or the Tachyon documentation.

Macintosh clients will not display online status using this feature, even if the Tachyon agent is installed on them.

The NightWatchman console now includes traffic lights live status of its clients – indicating whether they are currently online or offline (or unknown). You can also check the status of groups within the NightWatchman client hierarchy:

The statuses are:

  • Green – online
  • Red –  offline
  • Yellow – computer is not a Tachyon client
  • Gray – Tachyon integration is not enabled 

Thanks to Tachyon's ability to deliver near real-time client data, it can be particularly valuable to you when you are using WakeUp to wake clients for urgent maintenance, such as deploying a solution to a zero-day vulnerability.

You can also use Tachyon to optimize NightWatchman by using the Tachyon Explorer interface to return live status on clients where:

  • The NightWatchman or WakeUp client logs might indicate an issue 
  • Clients with pending reboots that have become pending in just the last few hoursUsing Tachyon
  • To check for clients that don't have appropriate wake-on-LAN settings

Customizing the integration

NightWatchman's Tachyon integration is designed to be highly reactive and scalable. However, depending on the size or your organization and the capabilities of your server, you might like to increase or decrease Tachyon's responsiveness. In particular:

  • GroupHierarchyMaxComputersInList – the number of clients (default 1,000) listed in the console when you click a lowest-level group in the client location or organizational hierarchies
  • GroupHierarchyMaxComputersInProperties – the number of clients (default 1,000) Tachyon online/offline status is returned for when you check the properties of a group in the client location or organizational hierarchies. A larger value is appropriate if the groups are large but more queries will be done on the Tachyon database
  • MaxClientsForGetDevicesMatchingScopeTachyonCall – the number of clients (default 250) NightWatchman passes to Tachyon on each call to check online/offline status. Calls are made as quickly as Tachyon can respond.
  • TachyonIntegrationClientStatusCacheExpirySeconds – how long NightWatchman will retain Tachyon client status before it returns to Tachyon for updated status (default 30). A larger value reduces the SQL queries to Tachyon but a smaller value ensures the NightWatchman console reflects the current status sooner. A small value is especially desirable for demonstrations

You can review and change those values using SQL Server Management Studio:

  1. Connect Object Explorer to the server.
  2. Open Databases, AgilityFrameworkReorting, Tables.
  3. Right-click the tbNWM_Dimension_GlobalSettings table.
  4. Click Edit Top 200 Rows.
  5. Modify the values as necessary.
  6. Using the Services control panel icon (services.msc), restart the NightWatchman Console service.

By default the Tachyon client will wait up to 15 seconds after a computer resumes from standby. During that period, Tachyon will indicate the computer is offline although it's actually online. This delay ensures that Windows has time to reestablish network connectivity. If this is a concern and you find that your computers reestablish network connectivity faster, you can reduce this delay:

  1. Edit the Tachyon.Agent.conf file on the client(s) in C:\Program Files\1E\Tachyon\Agent 
  2. Add a line such as "FastReconnectTimeInSeconds=10" (supported values are 5 to 60 seconds)

  3. Restart the 1E Tachyon Agent service