A quick tutorial on adding properties and values for use when setting the coverage for questions.

Tachyon enables Device tag properties to be created and set on Tachyon client devices, which can then be used when setting the coverage for a question. The basic workflow is:

  1. A Tachyon Full Administrator defines the name of a Device tag and one or more associated values. See Adding properties - tutorial for more details on this step.
  2. Actioners with permissions to the Tachyon client tags product pack run actions that use the defined properties and values and assign them to particular Tachyon client devices. See Actions to set tags - tutorial for more details on this step.
  3. Questioners can then use the Tags parameter, when defining the coverage for a question, to constrain the coverage to particular properties and values thereby targeting particular Tachyon client devices. See Using tags to set the coverage for a question - tutorial for more details on this step.

This page provides a quick tutorial on how to perform step 2.

On this page:

Setting tags

The example

On the Adding properties - tutorial page we set up a scenario with three departments whose devices we want to manage using Tachyon. The three departments are Finance, IT Support and Sales. We want to map these departments onto the devices in our example by setting tags. The only thing that links the devices is the departments they belong to, and this is known according to the FQDN of the devices. The best way to handle the setting of the tags is to use a question where the coverage is set to a list of FQDN for a particular department, and follow that with an action that sets the tags for that department.

The following table shows the department mapping we want to model using tags:

DepartmentDevice FQDN
IT Support1ETRNW102.1etrn.local

Our example environment, as shown in the picture opposite, is obviously very small, but the advantages will be seen for much larger examples, where each department's set of devices may run into the hundreds or even thousands.

Explorer Devices

Choosing the right question

To run an action, you first need to ask a question, but which question should you ask?

Fundamentally, questions return a list of device names, with associated information. This list of device names can then be used to target the devices on which to run actions.

There are many different circumstances, questions and actions that may be used, but generally the question selected should try to meet the following guidelines:

  • The question should identify a superset or the set of devices that you want to run the action on. Question responses can always be refined by setting coverage, response filters or view filters.
  • Avoid questions that retrieve information that isn't relevant to the action. This is mainly to avoid unnecessary network traffic.

In our example, we will select the question of How many of each operating system version are installed?.

We choose this question because:

  • We want a question that would get a response from every device, and we'll apply a coverage that selects the devices we want using their FQDN
  • The question does not return much unnecessary information.

Setting coverage tags

For our example, the user Tachyon_Admin1, with the Tachyon Full Administrator role, is going to set the tags for the finance department. The following steps illustrate how to achieve this:

  1. Tachyon_Admin1 selects the How many of each operating system version are installed? question.
  2. After the question has been selected, they then edit the question parameters, expand the Coverage heading and enter the FQDN for the device in the finance department into the field under the Device List (FQDN) heading. To save the list to the question they click on Set.
  3. Asking the question, by clicking on the Ask the question button, gets a response from the device named in the FQDN list.

Asking an Explorer question

Explorer responses

  1. Having got back the responses they were looking for they now run the follow-up actions that will set the correct tag for that device. The action is selected from the Actions tab.
  2. They type set device into the edit field and then select the Set device tag <tagname> to <tagvalue> action.
  3. The parameters for the action are populated from the device tag and values that have previously been set. They set the <tagname> to Department and the <tagvalue> to Finance.
  4. After setting the values they click the Perform this action button.
  5. The action is subject to confirmation, authentication and approval. They first confirm their credentials by entering their password.

Confirm your credentials

  1. When challenged to provide an authentication code, Tachyon_Admin1 then checks their email, copies the code and pastes it into the challenge dialog.
  2. Now Tachyon_adminG, a global approver, will be sent an email, using the link at the bottom of the email they navigate to the Tachyon Explorer and approve the action.

Authentication code

Request for Instruction Approval

  1. The action now runs and the responses appear to Tachyon_Admin1. Here you can see the device that was targeted using their FQDN has responded and the tag with the property name Department and a value of Finance has been set.

Device tag

Having set the tag for the finance device, the exact same approach can be used to set the tags for the other two department's devices. Once all the tags have been set, questions can be asked with scopes that target the tags, as described in Using tags to set the coverage for a question - tutorial.