Viakoo Release Notes 2.17
(February 9th, 2018)
Viakoo Release 2.17 is an incremental step forward for the Viakoo Service. In this release, we include special features to support LifeCycle Management of devices. Additionally, we augment support for tracking arbitrary IP connected devices (a.k.a. IoT devices) with the ability to dynamically display SNMP derived attributes in IoT Device tables. This release also includes a few security improvements that includes a geometric backoff when you fail to login successfully. Finally, there are a number fixes to a set of important issues.
For more information, please read below.
Device Life Cycle Management Support
In Release 2.17, we introduce two new fields in device tables that can help users with managing their inventory throughout the device lifecycle:
- First-Put-In-Service Date
Both fields are hidden by default but can easily be made visible by clicking on the table’s or report’s setting icon and then “Show/Hide” options. CSV Exports will allow you to optionally include these fields as well.
Like the odometer in your car, the date a device is First-Put-In-Service (FPIS) is important to track since failure rates are often related to how long a device has been in use. For example, a five year old camera is more likely to fail than a camera that has been operational for just a year.
Keeping track of this FPIS date in your device inventory can allow you to have a better understanding of how old your device inventory might be and possibly anticipate when you might need to order replacement inventory. Therefore, every physical device whether its a camera, a server, or a hard drive, now has an FPIS field that can be viewed in device tables or device reports.
This value defaults to the date Viakoo first saw the device, usually when the device was first activated and discovered by Viakoo. For a lot of customers, this value is just the date that Viakoo was activated at the site which may be well after the actual date the device was first put in service. Therefore, Viakoo provides ways of not only viewing this attribute of various pieces of equipment, sorting tables and extracting these values in exported spreadsheets, but also provides a way for users to correct these values to more accurately reflect the day the device was first powered on.
Note: if an object table doesn’t have a “First Put In Service” field, it may mean that the associate type is logical (e.g., a video stream or volume). FPIS fields are only available for physical devices which can fail based on usage and wear.
In addition to FPIS Dates, users are often needing to associate additional information with a device. For some organizations, they like to associate their own asset tag information with the device. For other organizations, they are required to include information from manual inspection of the device or live feed that is beyond what is detected by the Viakoo system. For example, if the camera is blurry and needs refocusing or has mud or some other object that is cluttering the lense. Users can choose to issue a manual ticket to get the device focused or cleaned but there could be regulatory requirements to include this information in regular documentation about each device.
This is why we’ve added a flexible “Comment” text field that users can enter any information they choose about the device. Whatever, text is entered in the Comment field can be show in whenever the device table renders, when generating a device report or spreadsheet export.
Editing Date-First-Use and Comment Fields
To edit these fields, you need to make sure they are visible. If you do not see them in your device table or report, click on the “Settings” icon and then the “Show/Hide” options. Check the boxes for “First Put In Service” and “Comments” fields and save your “Show/Hide” settings. You should then see the columns for these two fields.
You can change the values in these fields simply by typing new values in the individual devices FPIS or Comments fields. The FPIS field also comes with a date selector.
There is also a bulk editing feature. At the top of table when in “Edit” mode, you will see a field to enter a new FPIS (i.e., “First Put In Service”) date as well as a field to enter a comment. By selecting the check boxes to the left of each device, you can have a single entry for FPIS or Comment be applied to all the selected devices when you click “Save”.
Set Versus UnSet FPIS
If a user has never set the value for FPIS, the value displayed in the tables will be the date when Viakoo first saw the device. To indicate whether a date has been set by a user or is derived from the Viakoo “First Seen” date, the field value in Details Tables will be in italics.
Dynamic Fields for IoT Devices
For SNMP-based IoT Devices, users can have the Viakoo Agents collect any attribute or performance variable that the device supports through OID references. However, in the prior release, it was only possible to see “Performance” variables plotted from the “Performance” tab. Default values for IP Address, Name, Status, Device Type, et cetera were visible in IoT Devices tables from the “Details” tab and “IoT Device Reports” in the “Reports” tab.
In Release 2.17, IoT Devices Tables and Reports now will show user added “Attribute” fields that are configured through the agents and OID Entries. In this way, a device specific field can be viewed in tables and reports or extracted in CSVs.
Failed Login Backoff
As a security defense, Viakoo now includes a mechanism to thwart brute-force guessing of passwords referred to as Failed Login Backoff. This mechanism will let users try up to 4 times to login to their account. However, if they fail a fifth time, the system will lock the target user account for 1 minute and won’t allow that user to even attempt a login until that time has expired. After the lockout, that period quadruples to 4 minutes of lockout, then 16 minutes and so on geometrically.
A normal user who has forgotten their password can go through the “Forgot Password” recovery link available on the login page. However, someone who is attempting to hack into your account can no longer just guess at passwords in automated or manual ways without the process potentially taking hundreds of years. In this way, automated or manual attacks that seek to guess your password can be thwarted.
Miscellaneous Fixes and Improvements
- Thresholding for derived measures like “Motion %” and “24-hour avg bitrate” now works properly.
- System now displays “Allocation Size” for Windows Volumes (Partitions) and “Block Size” for StorStac Volumes
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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