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
- Response history.
Exporting data from Explorer
Results visible in Explorer can be exported to files containing comma-separated values (CSV) or, in the case of the Export all option on the instruction response page, tab-separated values (TSV), and results can be marked for export at the point of asking a question to automate the process. Explorer lets you export the data on a number of pages to CSV files:
- Instruction history
- Responses - you can export a single page or all results once the Instruction has finished gathering responses - these can then be used for auditing purposes or to drive external programs
- Drill-down responses
- Device information
For more information on exporting data from Explorer please refer to:
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.
For more information on coverage, question filters, view filters and follow-on instructions please refer to:
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.
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.
For more information on authentication please refer to:
Task-based organization for accessing and scheduling instructions
Tachyon provides a way of accessing the questions and actions that is organized around the way that network administrators typically interact with their network. This interface also lets you run the Instruction using a schedule.
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.
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.