Dimension Settings

The setting of dimensions for queries in Data Explorer and dashboard panels is covered in the following topics:

 

Dimension Panes

The sidebar panes used to set dimensions in Data Explorer and dashboard panels are covered in the following topics:

 
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About Dimension Panes

The sidebar controls in Data Explorer and dashboard panels include two panes for choosing the dimensions that are used for queries:

  • Dimensions pane: Indicates the currently selected group-by dimensions, and enables access to the Group By Dimensions dialog, which has two tabs:
    - Preset: See About Dimensions
    - Filter-based: See Filter-based Dimensions.
  • Matrix With pane: Visible only when the view type is Matrix (see Matrix View). Indicates the currently selected matrix-by dimensions, and enables access to the Matrix By Dimensions dialog.

Note: The Group By Dimensions and Matrix By Dimensions dialogs are effectively identical; see Dimension Selectors.

 
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Dimensions Pane UI

The Dimensions pane includes the following UI elements:

  • Dimensions: A list of the dimensions that are currently selected for the query:
    - When no dimensions are selected, the list is replaced with “No dimensions selected.”
    - Each item in the list has a handle that you can click to change the order of the items.
    - An individual item in the list can be removed by clicking the X at right.
  • Edit Dimensions: A button that opens the Group By Dimensions selector (see Dimension Selectors).
  • CIDR: A pair of fields that appear only when the selected dimension includes a CIDR component (e.g. Source IP/CIDR):
    - v4 CIDR: Use to specify the number of bits of the routing prefix in IPv4. Default is 32.
    - v6 CIDR: Use to specify the number of bits of the routing prefix in IPv6. Default is 128.
    Note: If you have only v4 traffic, the v6 CIDR field will be ignored (can be left at 128).
 
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Matrix Pane UI

The Matrix With pane appears only when the Chart View Type is Matrix. The pane includes the following UI elements:

  • Dimensions: A list of the Matrix With dimensions that are currently selected for the query:
    - When no dimensions are selected, the list is replaced with “No dimensions selected.”
    - Each item in the list has a handle that you can click to change the order of the items.
    - An individual item in the list can be removed by clicking the X at right.
  • Edit Dimensions: A button that opens the Matrix By Dimensions selector (see Dimension Selectors).
 

Dimension Selectors

The Matrix By Dimensions dialog and the Preset tab of the Group By Dimensions dialog are used to choose preset dimensions for the Matrix With selector and Group By Dimensions selector, respectively. These query dimension dialogs are covered in the following topics:

Notes:
- To query on total traffic, don’t select a group-by dimension (the Dimensions pane will say “No dimensions selected”).
- For fastest results, where possible use native dimensions (rather than virtual) as indicated for each dimension in the Dimensions Reference).
- A query can use no more than eight group-by dimensions and eight matrix-with dimensions.
- The Group By Dimensions dialog also includes a tab that can be used to choose a filter-based dimension, which will override the preset dimensions in the Group By Dimensions selector; see Filter-based Dimensions.

 
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Dimension Dialog UI

The query dimension dialogs share the following common UI elements:

  • Close button: Click the X in the upper right corner to close the dialog. All elements will be restored to their values at the time the dialog was opened.
  • Filter field: Filters the list of available dimensions to those containing the entered text.
  • Selected Dimensions list: A list of selected dimensions (up to eight). Use the handle at the left of each selected dimension to change the order in which the dimensions are applied.
  • Available dimensions list: A grid containing of all of the dimensions that are currently supported by Kentik, listed by group (see Dimension Selection Groups).
  • Clear Selections button: Clears all dimensions from the Selected Dimensions list.
  • Cancel button: Cancel changes to the selected dimensions and exit the dialog. The current query’s dimensions will be restored to what they were when the dialog was opened.
  • Save button: Save changes to the selected dimensions and exit the dialog.
 
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Dimension Selection Groups

The dimensions available in the dimension selector dialogs are based on the columns of the main tables of the KDE (see KDE Tables), which each represent a minute of flow records for a given device. The types of dimensions available for querying are discussed in Dimension Categories, which includes links to categorized lists giving a description of each individual dimension.

Dimension Directionality

In the dimension selector dialogs (as well as in the dimension selector for filters; see Ad Hoc Filter Controls), the available dimensions are organized into a grid with the following columns:

  • Source: Source traffic.
  • Destination: Destination traffic.
  • Source or Destination (Filter controls only): Matches on either source or destination traffic (saves adding two filters).
  • Non-directional/Other: Traffic attributes that are non-directional.

Dimension Functional Categories

The rows of the grid organize the available dimensions by functional category:

 
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Choosing Query Dimensions

To choose group-by dimensions (the same procedure applies for matrix-with dimensions):

  1. By default (e.g. when you first navigate to Data Explorer), there are no dimensions selected in the Dimensions pane. Click the Edit Dimensions button to open the Group By Dimensions dialog.
  2. On the Preset tab of the dialog you’ll see the Available Dimensions list (see Dimension Dialog UI). At right above the list is a filter box that you can use to narrow the dimensions in the list.
  3. Click the checkboxes for the dimensions that you want to use in the query, which will then appear in the Selected Dimensions list.
  4. To change the order in which the dimensions are applied, drag the dimensions in the Selected Dimensions list into the desired order.
  5. Click Save to run the query using the currently selected dimensions.

Notes:
- When more than one group-by dimension is selected the combination of dimensions is evaluated together to determine the rows that are included in the results; see Using Multiple Dimensions.
- Dimensions in the category DNS/WWW (see Host Traffic Dimensions) will only appear in the selector if one or more device currently selected in the Data Sources Pane is a host of type DNS/WWW (see Host Configuration).
- The Matrix With selection box operates the same as the Group By Dimension selection box. For more information, see Matrix View.

 
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Using Multiple Dimensions

The following example illustrates how multiple group-by dimensions combine to determine the results returned from a query. The example shows a common use case for multiple dimensions, which is when an organization that generates traffic wants to see where it’s going and which links and devices it’s using to get there (which enables you to see if the traffic is going to the expected geographic locations in the expected proportions):

  1. Using the Metrics Pane, set the metric to Bits/s and set Primary Display & Sort Metric to Average.
  2. Use the Time Pane to set the time range.
  3. Use the Filtering Pane to filter so that you are seeing only outbound traffic. (Assuming that Interface Classification shows that at least 75 percent of your interfaces are classified, the easiest way to do this is to set a Destination Network Boundary filter to External.)
  4. In the chart display settings (see Chart Display UI) set the View Type to Sankey Flow Diagram.
  5. Use the Data Sources Pane to select multiple devices.
  6. Use the Group-by Dimension selector to set following group-by dimensions:
    - Full: Device
    - Destination: Next Hop AS Number
    - Destination: AS Number
    - Destination: Region
    - Destination: Country
  7. Click Save to exit the dialog. The graph and table will update to show traffic categorized by the specified dimensions.

In the results:

  • The Data Explorer Table will include a column for each dimension in the key (the five group-by dimensions specified above).
  • All traffic with the same dimension value for each component of the key will be measured in Mb/second and summed onto a single table row, meaning that each row will represent traffic that has the same device, same dst_next-hop-asn, same dst_as, same dst_region, and same dst_country.
  • The rows will be listed in descending order of highest average bits/second.
  • The Sankey diagram will show the paths of the traffic represented by the top table rows.
 

Filter-based Dimensions

Filter-based dimensions are covered in the following topics:

 
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About Filter-based Dimensions

Filter-based dimensions allow a single query result (graph and table) to combine a set of time series that can each have different filters applied. You can specify a nominally unlimited number of series, each with its own specific filters; collectively this set is referred to as a single filter-based dimension (of which you can have only one at a time). As shown in the screenshot below, for example, you might want to look at the traffic across your network to two specific ASes and compare the balance of traffic to each AS from two different source countries.

Note that a query can’t mix filter-based dimensions with regular (“preset”) group-by dimensions. Any dimensions that you already have in the group-by selector will be overridden when you save a filter-based dimension.

 
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Filter-based Tab

Filter-based dimensions are configured on the Filter-based tab of the Group By Dimensions dialog. The tab includes the following elements:

  • Enable Filter-based Dimension: A switch that turns on/off filter-based dimensions. When the switch is on, the dimension configured on the Filter-based tab overrides the group-by dimensions set with the Preset tab.
  • Dimension Name: A user-specified name string for the dimension. The name will be displayed as the query title in the display area (see Chart Display UI) and in the Group By Dimensions selector in the Dimensions pane of the Query sidebar.
  • Auto-Add Other Series: Include a series for all traffic that has been filtered out of the series configured in the Series section.
  • Series: A set of configuration UI for the series that make up the filter-based dimension (see Series UI).
 
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Series UI

The controls of the Series pane of the Group By Dimensions dialog are similar to those of the Ad-Hoc Filter Groups pane of the Filtering Options Dialog. The interface includes the controls described in the topics below.

Series Controls

The following UI elements are high-level controls for the set of series that make up a filter-based dimension:

  • Remove All Series: Removes all filter groups. Located at top right of Series pane.
  • Add Series button: Adds a new filter group to the set. Located below the last series.

Series-level Controls

A single container for one or more individual filters, which includes the following controls:

  • Name: A user-specified string for the name that will be used to identify the series in results table and in the key of the graph.
  • Include/Exclude: A drop-down selector that determines whether results that match the group are included or excluded from the results of queries to which the filter set is applied.
  • All/Any: A drop-down selector that, if there are multiple filters in a filter group, determines the conjunctive operator used to join those filters:
    - All (default) is used to AND the filters.
    - Any is used to OR the filters.
  • Remove Series: Removes the entire filter group.
  • Add Nested Group: Adds a filter group that is nested within the series.
  • Add Condition: Adds a filter to the group.

Filter Controls

An individual filter in a group, which includes the following controls:

  • Dimension selector: Opens a dialog enabling you to choose a dimension on which to filter (see Dimension Selector Dialog).
  • Direction button (shown only when the filter dimension supports directionality): toggles between source and destination.
  • Operator: The operator to apply in the filter. Options vary depending on dimension, but may include:
    - equals/does not equal;
    - greater than/less than;
    - contains/does not contain (case insensitive);
    - matches regex/does not match regex.
  • Value: The value to match.
  • Remove (X): Removes the filter from the group.

Dimension Selector Dialog

The dimension selector presents a list from which you can choose a dimension on which to filter. The dialog includes the following elements:

  • Filter field: Filters the available dimensions to show only those whose name contains the entered text.
  • Dimension lists: Lists of the available dimensions in each category (source, destination, etc.; see Dimensions Reference).
 
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Setting a Filter-based Dimension

To set a filter-based dimension for a query in Data Explorer:

  1. In the Dimensions pane of the Query sidebar, click the Edit Dimensions button.
  2. In the resulting Group By Dimensions dialog, click the Filter-based tab.
  3. Click the Enable Filter-based Dimension button to activate the controls of the tab.
  4. Fill in the Dimension Name field, and specify the Auto-Add Other Series button (see Filter-based Tab).
  5. Configure the series that you want to appear in the graph and table (see Series UI).
  6. Click Save to apply the Filter-based dimension, which will appear in the Group By Dimensions selector. The filter-based dimension will override any preset dimensions specified for the query.
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