Understanding your dashboards is the first step to getting the best experience from Timebeat. You may be the kind of user who has the Timebeat dashboards running on one of your many monitors 24/7 allowing you to keep track of your estate wide synchronisation at ant moment with exact precision, or you're the kind of user who only ever looks at the dashboards when an alert is fired off. We love both kinds of users here at Timebeat which is why our dashboards are designed to cater to both needs.
We strive to make our dashboards as detailed as possible yet simple to understand where a quick glance can tell you how your synchronisation is globally or similarly if one single server is misbehaving.
The Home dashboard is where it all starts!
As soon as you log in you are greeted by the Timebeat welcome banner which will always have some handy links back to our Knowledge base if you require some quick answers on a particular function, feature, or configuration.
Just below the welcome banner is some of the most important information for any user. At the top left, we have the host/device count. If you know you have 100 hosts and only 99 are showing you very quickly understand that you need to investigate this missing host.
Your search can be hastened as directly below is your alert state list, weighted by severity, meaning any actively alerting items will remain at the top. Another of our articles covers the Alerts in more detail but a handy tip is to configure alerts for each host so that if you have 99/100 appearing your alerts list will very quickly direct you to the missing server as it will appear at the top of the alert list in red. You can't miss it!
To the right of this, you will see the Top 10 Greatest Offset table. Weighted by Offset this table displays the ten hosts reporting the greatest offset from UTC. Quickly understanding which servers are performing with the least effective synchronisation can enable you to understand your infrastructure / networks / workflows better. It is important to understand that this table is constantly active and refreshes every 30s making sure it is always up to date with the present offsets.
The Average offset graph can at times be deceptive but as a rule, provides a holistic view of your global estate's synchronisation. This graph takes into account the average offset of all hosts within the selected group. We mention that it can at times be deceptive because of the following example:
If you have 100 hosts reporting, and 99 of them are synchronising to 1 microsecond but 1 host is synchronising to 1ms the average offset graph would show 10.99 microseconds. This does not fairly represent the outlier of 1ms. That being said the table above would capture this instantly so you won't miss it.
Estate Overview & Sources of UTC:
The estate overview is where we start to see some of your customisations filter through to dashboards. The table within estate overview groups your hosts by the tags you have used in the configuration file. As there can be as many tags as you like this can become a useful table for multiple comparisons across your estate. You can view your hosts by location, operating system, function, production, test, or any other number of categorisations you can come up with. This table will provide you with the maximum values for each tag category regardless of the number of devices reporting with that tag. Again this table operates on present values with an automatic 30s refresh rate irrespective of the time interval selected with the time picker.
Average Source variation provides a simple and effective view of the variance between your sources and your hosts. This is seen as traceability to UTC. A record that allows you to quantify exactly what your confidence level is with your UTC sources. As above if you only have one source the graph will show zero. This graph operates the same as the Average offset graph featured above and as such has the same method of calculating the average.
Sources of UTC represent a heat map of not only the combination of all of your UTC sources (the first graph) but also break them down individually. This allows for identifying rogue sources extremely quickly so that you can act to stabilise them. The heatmap is a good method for showing trends over time with the goal of having your UTC source data focussed as close to zero as possible.
Estate host detail:
This table may be found at the bottom of your home dashboard but it shouldn't be forgotten. This table will show all of your reporting hosts, not just the ten worst ones. Another key element to this table is that it is locked to the main dashboard time period. What this means is that you will see the maximum values for the hosts across the entire time period and not just the here and now.
This information is important, especially when you don't keep a close watch on the dashboards as you can now understand at a glance exactly how your estate performs, just select the time period and go.