Data Explorer

The features and use of Kentik’s Core » Data Explorer module are discussed in the following topics:

Note: The functionality of Data Explorer is also available via API; see V5 Query API.

 

About Data Explorer

Data Explorer is Kentik's primary interface for manually exploring the network data (flow records, BGP, SNMP, etc.) stored in the main tables of the Kentik Data Engine (KDE; see KDE Tables). The Data Explorer UI enables you to define settings that are translated into queries that return “views” made up of tables and graphs about the traffic on specified data sources (routers, hosts, clouds, etc.) during a specified timespan.

Views are defined using controls in the right-side Query sidebar (see Query Sidebar Controls), whose visibility is toggled with the Query button (in the SubNav). These controls specify query parameters such as time range, data sources, and dimensions, and narrow the returned data by filtering on dozens of dimensions (see Dimensions Reference). Views can be saved and reloaded at a later time (see About Saved Views).

Results are displayed in the display area and are typically made up of both of the following:

 

Data Explorer Layout

Data Explorer is made up of the following main areas:

  • SubNav controls: Miscellaneous page-wide controls (see Explorer SubNav Controls).
  • Main display: An area for display of query results, which in most cases is made up of a visualization (see Data Explorer Chart) and an accompanying table (see Data Explorer Table).
  • Explorer Query sidebar: This vertical strip at the right of the page is shown/hidden by the Query button in the SubNav. The sidebar contains the controls used to specify the query whose results are returned in the display area. These query settings are detailed in Query Sidebar Controls.
 

Explorer SubNav Controls

The Data Explorer SubNav (silver strip across top of page) contains the following page-wide controls:

  • Full width: A toggle button that expands the contents of the main display area to the maximum horizontal space available within the browser window.
  • Refresh: Updates the currently displayed graph and table based on the current query settings.
  • Auto Update (down-pointing triangle icon): A drop-down menu from which you can set auto-update to Off (default) or select an interval at which the chart and table will automatically update (see Auto Update Mode):
    - When auto-update is on, the interval (60, 90, or 120 seconds) will be displayed in the SubNav to the left of the down-pointing triangle.
    - When auto-update is set to Off, the down-pointing triangle will be displayed alone (no auto-update indicator).
    Note: Auto update is available only when the Time Range selector in the Query sidebar is set to Lookback (see Time Pane).
  • Actions: Export, share, or save the current view (see Data Explorer Actions).
  • Query: Toggle visibility of the right-side Query sidebar (see Query Sidebar Controls), which contains the controls used to specify the query whose results are returned in the display area.
 

Explorer Chart Display

The chart display area is used to display a visualization of the results of the current query. The display area is covered in the following topics:

 
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Chart Display UI

The chart display area contains a number of UI elements in addition to the visualization (chart) itself:

  • Query title (top left): An automatically derived name for the query whose visualization is displayed in the display area. The name is refreshed each time changes to the query are applied via the query sidebar.
  • Query settings summary (below the title): Information about the query whose results are currently displayed, including the time range, the number of data sources, and the number of filters.
    Note: To see and change the query settings, click the Query button (in SubNav) to open the Query sidebar.
  • Chart: A visualization of query results. The visualization type (see Chart View Types) is determined in the Visualization pane of the Query sidebar.
  • Resize handle (between the chart and the table): Drag up or down to change the vertical allocation of the display area between the chart and the table.
 
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Data Explorer Chart

The Data Explorer chart is a visualization based on traffic whose flow records are stored in the Kentik Data Engine (KDE). The available visualization types are covered in Chart View Types.

Most (but not all) portal visualizations are based on the top records returned from the current query, as measured by the metric selected in the Metrics Pane of the Query sidebar. Many are based on time-series data, plotted over a time range (see Time Pane) represented on the horizontal axis, with the metric represented on the vertical axis.

Each plot in the visualization corresponds to a row in the table that appears under the chart (see Data Explorer Table). The number of table rows plotted in the chart depends on the visualization depth (see Advanced Query Settings). Each plotted row is indicated in the table with a colored disc.

The chart in the display area is dynamic:

  • Hover over any line in a line chart or area upper boundary in a time series stacked graph to see a popup containing data for a specific record at a specific point in time.
  • Drag and release in the chart to select a portion of the time range to zoom in on. When zooming:
    - the Time pane is automatically set to From + To with the start and end times defined based on the zoomed region;
    - the graph and table in the display area, along with its associated URL, update so that the zoomed range can be shared; and
    - a Zoom out button appears at the upper right of the graph, which can be clicked to zoom out to the previous time range.
  • Clicking on the colored disc at the left of any row in the table will hide the area or line corresponding to that row from the chart. The disc will turn into a circle. Click the circle to restore display of the line or area in the chart.

Note: If at least one AS group exists in your organization (see About AS Groups), the Use AS Groups switch is on in the Advanced pane of the Query sidebar, and a query's group-by dimensions include destination and/or source ASN, then results from all ASes in each AS group will be summed for top-X evaluation, graph plotting, and display in the results table (see Table AS Grouping).

 
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Auto Update Mode

Auto Update mode allows you to optionally set an interval — 60, 90, or 120 seconds — at which the Data Explorer graph and table will automatically be refreshed. The countdown to refresh starts over each time you apply changes and the new result is returned in the display area. To enter Auto Update, choose the desired update interval from the drop-down Auto Update menu (see Explorer SubNav Controls). To exit, choose Off.

Note: Auto Update mode is available only when the Query sidebar's Time Pane is set to Lookback.

 

Data Explorer Table

The query results displayed in the chart display area are also presented as a table, which is covered in the following topics:

 
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Explorer Table Overview

The Data Explorer table lists (in descending order) the values of selected metrics for the results returned from the current query. The last row (at bottom) will show the combined total of all records returned from the query. The table also doubles as a legend for the chart above; the rows that are marked with a colored disc at left are those that are plotted in the chart (the number of plotted rows is determined by the Visualization Depth setting; see Advanced Query Settings).

The location in which the table is displayed depends on the current view type (see Chart View Types):

  • When the view type is a graph or chart, the table is shown below the chart display area (see Explorer Chart Display).
  • When the view type is set to Table, the table alone is displayed without a graph or chart. In this mode, the table itself can still be exported (see Export Chart or Table) or added to a dashboard (see Add View to Dashboard).
  • The table is not shown when the view type is Matrix.

Notes:
- The number of rows in the results table that accompanies visualizations is dependent on the Visualization Depth setting and limited to a maximum of 350 unless the view type is Table (may include up to 50,000 rows depending on group-by dimension and metric).
- When displaying results from a compound query (see Compound Queries), multiple tables are used, each on a separate tab corresponding to one axis (left/right) and/or direction (positive/negative).

Table AS Grouping

If at least one AS group exists in your organization (see About AS Groups), the Use AS Groups switch is on in Advanced Query Settings, and a query's group-by dimensions include destination and/or source ASN, then results from all ASes in each AS group will be summed for top-X evaluation, graph plotting, and display in the results table. If a table row represents a group it will include a group icon at the left of the group name; click the icon or name to pop up a list of the ASes in the group.

 
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Explorer Table Columns

The left-most columns of the table always correspond to the dimensions selected in the Dimensions pane of the Query sidebar (see Dimension Panes).

The other columns depend on the metrics currently selected in the Metrics Pane with either the drop-down Metrics menu or the Metrics dialog (see Metric Settings). The dialog allows you to customize which columns are shown, but if you don't customize then in most cases the default columns for a given metric will include the following:

  • Average
  • 95th Percentile
  • Max
  • Last Datapoint

Notes:
- The table will include a row (at bottom) for the combined total of all records returned from the query.
- If Historical Overlay is on (see Advanced Query Settings) the table will also include a row for historical values.
- The Last Datapoint column gives the value of the datapoint at the end of the time series represented in the chart/table.

 
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Explorer Table Actions

A number of actions can be taken in the table to change the display of information in the table and also the corresponding chart (see Data Explorer Chart):

  • Hide/show row: Clicking on the colored disc at the left of a given row will hide the area or line corresponding to that row from the chart, and the disc will turn into a circle. Click the circle to restore display of the line or area in the chart.
  • Add filter to query: Choosing Include or Exclude from the Action menu will create and apply filters in the Filtering Pane that correspond to the values in this row's dimension columns (the dimension selected in the Dimensions pane). The operator used for the filter varies depending on the dimensions:
    - for Include the filter will use either the = or LIKE operator;
    - for Exclude the filter will use either the <> or NOT LIKE operator. When the changes are applied, the row will be excluded from the chart.
  • Add filter and change dimension: Choosing Show by from the Action menu at the right of each table row results in two combined actions:
    - adds an Include filter as described in "Add filter to query" above;
    - opens a Show By Dimension dialog that is identical to the Group By Dimension selector described in Dimension Selectors. The dimensions selected in this dialog will replace the dimensions previously shown in the Dimensions pane of the Query sidebar.
 

Data Explorer Actions

The Actions menu (in SubNav) provides multiple ways to use query results outside of the Data Explorer module itself (e.g. saved to a panel on a Dashboard or shared with other Kentik users). The dialogs related to these capabilities are covered in the following topics:

 
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Export Chart or Table

Choose Export from the Actions menu to show the Export submenu, which allows you to export the information represented by the chart and/or table in the display area to an external file. The following export options are available:

  • Chart + Legend: Export, as a single PDF, both the visualization and the results table (which functions as the chart’s legend).
  • Chart Data: Export, as CSV, the data represented in the chart.
  • Legend Data: Export, as CSV, the data in the table.

Note: If Data Explorer is currently displaying the results of a compound query (see Compound Queries), then the Export submenu will list the Chart Data and Legend Data options above individually for each of the axes (e.g. positive and negative) of the current chart.

After you choose what to export, you'll see a notification explaining that the file is being prepared. When the file is ready another notification will give a link for downloading the file.

 
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Share Explorer View

Choose Share View from the Actions menu to open the Share View dialog, which provides a URL that you can send to another registered user within your organization. By navigating to the link (e.g. pasting the URL into the address bar of their browser) they will be able to see the Data Explorer's current view in their own instance of Kentik. When the Share View dialog opens, the link will be shown in the text field. Click the Copy to Clipboard button to copy the link to the clipboard so you can paste it into a message or email to another member of your organization.

 
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Create Saved View

Choose Create Saved View from the Actions menu to open the Add Saved View dialog (see Saved View Dialogs), which you use to set the properties of a new saved view (see About Saved Views). Once created, a Saved View can be accessed from the Saved Views tab of the Library (Core » Library; see Library).

 
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Add View to Dashboard

The Actions menu includes two options that enable you to add a the current Explorer view to a panel on a dashboard:

  • Add to New Dashboard: Opens the Add Dashboard dialog (see Add Dashboard from Explorer). Specify settings for the new dashboard, then click the Add Dashboard button. The new dashboard will open and will display the new panel.
  • Add to Existing Dashboard: Opens the Add View Panel dialog (see View Panel Dialog Settings). In the Dashboard pane, choose the existing dashboard to which you want to add the new panel, then click the Add View Panel button. The dashboard will open with the panel that you just added, and a notification will confirm that the new panel was created.
 
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Show API Call

The Show API Call item on the Actions menu provides access to a set of dialogs that contain code (cURL or JSON) that can be used to return the current view (content of the display area) from the Kentik Query API. The code in these dialogs can be copied and pasted to enable access to Kentik functions programmatically rather than via the portal.

Query API code is accessed via the following dialogs, which each display code in a text field from which it can be copied either manually or using the Copy to Clipboard button:

  • For Chart (cURL): Opens a dialog containing the cURL for returning an image of the Data Explorer's current chart from a CLI such as Terminal. Equivalent to the Query Chart Method of the Kentik Query API.
  • For Data (cURL): Opens a dialog containing the cURL for returning the Data Explorer's current table from a CLI such as Terminal. Equivalent to the Query Data Method of the Kentik Query API.
  • JSON Input: Opens a dialog containing JSON that can be used in the Query Data Method.

When using the cURL, the following placeholders must be replaced with the appropriate information:

  • Replace <YOUR_EMAIL_HERE> with the email address used to register you as a Kentik user.
  • Replace <YOUR_API_TOKEN_HERE> with your API token, which you'll find on your User Profile.
  • If the cURL is for a chart, replace <CHOOSE ONE OF:pdf|png> with the desired file type.
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