Summary

How to use Tachyon's Task-based user interface to select and configure instructions.

Tasks

The Explorer→Instructions→Tasks page in Tachyon Explorer provides a structured view of the instructions defined in the product packs. It also lets you schedule the tasks so they can be run in the future or according to a particular schedule.

Using task groups

The benefit of using Tasks lies in the task group structure that is defined in the product packs. It is this structure that enables you to focus in on specific task areas to find the particular instruction that you want.

For example you may be interested in instructions related to particular software vendor's products. Depending on the Instructions that you have uploaded to your Tachyon system you may see the following structure:

  • At the top-level there is a Software Vendors task group whose children are 1E and Microsoft.
  • Underneath the 1E task group there is a Tachyon group that contains Configuration, Diagnostics and Verification groups as well as a couple of Instructions.
  • Underneath the Microsoft task group is the Configuration Manager task group containing Instructions related to that product.

On this page:

Navigating Tasks

Navigating around and using Tasks is simple:

  • The top-level is called Tasks. At this level are all the top-level task groups
  • Clicking on a task group displays all its children in the column to the right, which also shows the name of the selected task group. A child may be a task or another task group
  • Clicking on a child task group in the next column displays all its children in a column to its right and so on
  • Clicking on a task displays a page that lets you set the parameters for the task before sending it to some Tachyon client devices
  • A task is a question or action that has been made part of a task group. Tasks have a grey background and are marked with a question icon  or an action icon

To illustrate the use of the Tasks page we provide two examples: in the first example a user asks a question to retrieve the currently running processes; in the second an actioner has to respond to an emergency situation by asking to perform an action to stop the Configuration Manager client service.

Asking a question from Tasks

In this example we'll track down and ask the What are the Tachyon Agent settings? question, as illustrated in the animation shown opposite.

  1. Navigate to the Explorer→Instructions→Tasks page.
  2. The top-level Tasks is displayed, here there are three task groups: Security, Software and Software Vendors.
  3. The one we want is the Software Vendors task group. Select this to display the child task groups 1E and Microsoft in the next column.
  4. Select the 1E child task group to display its child task group Tachyon in the next column.
  5. Select Tachyon and a combination of groups and Instructions are shown at the next level: the Configuration, Diagnostics and Verification task groups and two Instructions. To get to the question we want select the Configuration task group.
  6. Scrolling to the bottom of the list of Instructions in the Configuration Task group we see the question that we want to run. Click on the What are the Tachyon Agent settings? question to display the task page for that Instruction, which provides parameters and information for running the task and two buttons: Schedule question and Ask this question.
  7. We click the Ask this question button and in our example the question is then asked of all the Tachyon client devices.
  8. After a moment Tachyon then displays the responses from all the target devices - task done.

The Task page

Each question and action has its own Task page which provides information related to the task or action and lets you control how the task is run.

SectionDescription
Name and DescriptionThe title of the task and a description that tells you what the task does.
Task parameters

This section displays the Duration, Coverage, Filter results, Export data on expiry and Comments parameter settings for the current task. To set these you can use the Parameters section of the page.

 

Approximate targetThis provides information about the target devices the task will be applied to.

Ask this question

Perform this action

This button, named according to whether the task is a question or an action, tells Tachyon to start processing the task.
History

This section provides information from the previous times the task was processed.

InformationDescription
Last executionsProvides information on the last time the task was processed.
Projected impactThis describes the projected impact of the task on the Tachyon client devices, based on the last time the task was processed.

Beneath these are a set of statistics related to the selected task based on this instruction's previous runs:

StatisticsDescription
Number of times this instruction was runThe total number of times this instruction has been run previously
Average network transfer per deviceThe average amount of data transferred over the network per Tachyon client device as a result of running the instruction
Database rows inserted per deviceThe total number of database rows inserted per Tachyon client device as a result of running the instruction
Average execution time on deviceThe average time it took to run the instruction on a Tachyon client device
Parameters

This section provides controls for setting the duration and coverage for the task. It also lets you set a filter on the results, specify that you want to export the data and add comments.

A Task page example

As an example of setting parameters on the Task page we'll use the What processes are running? question to filter for occurrences of running the winlogon.exe process and restrict this to a coverage of Tachyon client devices running Windows 10. To speed things up we'll set this to gather responses for 10 minutes and keep those responses for 20 minutes. We'll also select to export the data to a previously defined share with the appropriate permissions and add a suitable comment to the question.

The animation opposite shows the following steps

On the Parameters pane we set:

  • Duration to Gather answers for 10 minutes and Duration 20 minutes
  • Coverage to check Operating system Type Windows and Version is greater than or equal to 10 
  • Filter results using the Executable attribute where the value contains winlogon.exe
  • Export data to export the responses to the previously configured share \\ACME-CM01\Tachyon
  • Comments to Need to find currently running winlogon.exe on devices running the Windows 10 os

We then click the Ask this question button to fire the question off to the devices in the coverage.

Here we can see two responses from the two Windows 10 devices in our environment.

We then speed things up in the animation to get to the end of the 10 minutes of data gathering. Complete responses can only be exported once the question has finished data gathering.

We then pick up the results from the \\ACME-TCN01\TachyonResponses share and see the complete output for the two responses we saw earlier.