Viakoo Release Notes 2.16
(January 9th, 2018)
Viakoo Release 2.16 is an incremental step forward for the Viakoo Service. In this release we introduce support for tracking arbitrary IP connected devices (a.k.a. IoT devices), an Access Controller Gauge to Overview Dashboards, and connected switch-port references in Switch and Camera Overview displays.
For more information, please read below.
IoT Device Tracking
New in Release 2.16 is support for arbitrary IP-based devices. This mechanism, along with the newest Agents (v4069 or greater - see "Adding IoT Devices in Viakoo CA Console") allows you to monitor the status of devices that may be in your area of responsibility but that aren’t necessarily part of your video surveillance or access control systems. For example, you may have alarm sensors, unmanaged switches, uninterruptible power-supplies(UPS), HVAC systems, et cetera, that have IP connections to your networks. These devices can now be monitored through the Viakoo system, and can be viewed alongside the rest of your infrastructure in the Viakoo Web Application.
In this first release of IoT tracking capability, Viakoo Agents can be configured to support simple devices using PING or more sophisticated devices using SNMP protocols. The devices you configure will show up in “IoT Devices” tables in your site’s Details Tab, in “IoT Devices” Device Reports, and performance measures for IoT Devices can be plotted in Performance Tabs.
The simplest internet connected devices should respond to ICMP protocol (PING). This is a very simple call-response that confirms that the device is reachable on the network and is electrically responsive. It can be unreliable for two reasons:
- It is not guaranteed so a single request can fail even if the device is actually present on the network and electrically alive.
- The device can be electrically alive but is not functioning properly.
This minimal test, however, may be the only network test supported by the device. To reduce error rates, Viakoo will repeat the PING request six times by default. If the device responds to pings, then the status will be set to “Okay”. If it does not respond, it will show a status of “Failed”.
A ticket will open using the standard rules depending on priority. Specifically, this means:
- For NORMAL PING Devices, a warning level ticket will open after the Ticket Throttling Delay (defaults to 40 minutes) has elapsed.
- For CRITICAL PING Devices, a Critical level ticket will open immediately.
- For IGNORE PING Devices, no tickets will be created.
Additionally, the PING protocol collects network latency data which can be graphed in the Performance Tab for Viakoo Predictive Service customers. This can be used to identify problems affecting network performance if the device is alive and responding.
For devices that will respond to SNMP polling, the Viakoo Agent can test the SNMP port to better identify whether the device is functioning. Unlike PING, a response from the SNMP port indicates that the operating system in the device is working. If Viakoo Agents get a response from SNMP, then we know the device is functioning to some degree and the PING information is redundant. However, if the device is not responding to SNMP, the PING information tells whether the device is electrically connected but maybe inoperable for some reason (i.e., software is hung or overloaded).
Additionally, SNMP allows Viakoo to collect additional information from the device which can be used to better identify its configuration or measure its performance. Performance measures collected can also be used as testing Thresholds, which can create tickets in Viakoo based on device specific measures.
IoT Devices in Viakoo Web UI
IoT Devices configured into your site’s (see “Adding IoT Devices from CA Console”) will appear in the Viakoo UI in the following ways:
- Preemptive and Predictive customers in the “IoT Devices” fold of your “Details” tab.
- “IoT Devices” Device Reports from the Reports Tab
- Predictive customers will also see “IoT Devices” show up as an option in the “Performance” tab with the various performance values graphable over time.
Current Limitations of IoT Devices in Viakoo
- Users need to upgrade to versions of the agents that support IoT devices. This would be versions 4069 and greater. Contact Viakoo Support to upgrade your infrastructure to the necessary agents.
- In the first release, Name, IP Address, Mac Address, Device Type, and Description are the only attributes visible in the “IoT Devices” tables and device reports. To verify that other attributes you may define are uploading and currently working properly, you can view them in the device’s events stream on the Device Overview pane.
- If you would like Mac Address to display in the “IoT Devices” table, make sure the Object Descriptor for your OID Entry is set to “macAddress”.
- Scaling is not yet configured into the Performance data for IoT Devices. For example, TimeTicks may be in units that are fractions or multiples of a second. However, the current mechanism will assume that each time tick equals one second.
Access Controllers Gauge in Overview
Release 2.16 now includes a gauge for Access Controllers in the Overview display. This will only appear for users with Access Control applications in their configurations.
As with the other gauges, it will show you immediately the status of all of your access controllers and give you quick navigation to those devices.
Switch Port References in Switch & Camera Overviews
For many users, knowing which switch and switch-port a camera is connected to is useful in supporting their infrastructure. Historically, this information can be found in a “Switch-Port” Report. However, this requires you to have a report of the entire configuration to determine which switch and switch-port has the cable from the camera connected to it.
New in Release 2.16, we now include switch port references in Switch and Camera Overview displays. For users who have configured in their smart switches, they have been able to see which ports are associated with paths to important devices. This had only been available through Switch Port reports. Now, the switch port information for a Switch will be part of Switch Overview displays.
Along the right side of the Switch Overview, there is now a list of ports which are directly or indirectly connected to other devices. This is a handy way of understanding what devices (and at which port) are connected to the given switch.
Additionally, switch-ports are now part of the Camera Overview display. In Camera Overviews, you will see a list of switches and switch ports that are along the path to the camera. In general, the list is sorted with the port closest to the camera at the top of the list and those further from the camera lower down on the list.
The implication in the above example is that the camera “Hallway Ceiling” is connected to switch “FreezerPOE” at port “e19”. Additionally, the path from the recording server DNG1020 is through switch “Corporate Cameras” then switch “int3560”, then switch “FreezerPOE”.
Some things to note:
The information includes all switches configured in Viakoo, that have ability to access the camera through the network topology. Moreover, if the network topology is not an acyclic graph, you may see some switches with multiple paths to the camera and the list sorting may not be completely accurate.
Finally, this works best if you have included the edge switches (i.e., the ones connected to the camera) into the Viakoo configuration. If the edge switches are unmanaged, you may see the top-most port has more than one device connected to it. The implication is that top-most port is actually connected to the edge switch and not the device directly.
- Some users may see a duplicate references to the same port. We are currently investigating why some users are encountering this problem.
- For users with a lot of switches and switch-ports, the port-reference portions of the Overview displays may take a significant amount of time (>1 to 2 minutes) to render.
Miscellaneous Fixes and Improvements
- Some adjustments have been made to html headers to improve cyber security that prevent Viakoo from being embedded in other web UIs.
- For Realm Administrators, the functions for modifying Ticket Text are now working properly.
If you have any questions, comments, bug reports, or suggestions, please reach out to us through the live-chat feature or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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