6.8. Retro Q & A

Complex network analysis in plain English.

Powerful network analysis presented in a “Stack Overflow” style tagged Q & A format.

If you deal with networks on a daily basis you are bound to perform a particular analysis repeatedly. You can certainly use one of the "Retro Tools ":retrotools.html to accomplish your task but it can get repetitive and tiring.

For example, you may start by selecting a time interval and want to find out the following as a matter of routine.

  • Which internal hosts had the maximum traffic ?
  • What are my busiest hosts and ports ?
  • What IDS alerts were seen over this time period ?
  • Which hosts contacted a particular URL pattern ?
  • What were the most voluminous flows ?

Typically you would select an appropriate Retro Tool, type in the information you wish to seek and submit. Retro Q & A makes this whole process painless. The advantages :

  • Any time based analysis can be converted into a Question
  • You can tag related questions together by using #tag
  • Simply select a time interval and click on a question
  • Dynamically adjusting Q & A list will bubble up frequently accessed questions to the top

6.8.1 How to use

To access select Retro → Retro FAQ

You will then be presented with a UI similar to this one shown below.

Here is how you use the UI.

The time selector
Drag and select a time interval of interest
The questions
Simply click on a question to run the corresponding analysis for the interval selected. Click on more if you want to load extra questions. Note that frequently used questions bubble up to the top of this list.
Using the tags
The small buttons besides each question is the tag. Click on a tag to load all questions with the same tag into the right hand side window called Tagged Questions

6.8.2 Creating your own questions

Trisul ships with about 40 common questions. It is easy for you to create your own questions customized to your network. This is how it works.

  • If Trisul determines that a particular query can be turned into a question; a star will appear on the toolbar area as shown here. Click on the star icon.

  • Enter a question name and optionally a set of tags using the # symbol

An example : If you type in What is the bandwidth utilized by my server ? #server #bandwidth
Your question will now appear with two tags named server and bandwidth

  • New questions may initially show up at the bottom of the list so you may have to click on the “More” button to see them

6.8.3 Managing existing questions

You can edit, retag, or delete existing questions if you wish.

To access, select Customize → Retro Favorites

The form shown allows you to manage these questions.