An activity map is a dynamic visual representation of the L4-L7 protocol activity between devices in your network. You can see a 2D or 3D layout of device connections in real-time to learn about the traffic flow and relationships between devices.
Activity maps can help you with the following use cases:
- Complete a data center or cloud migration
- As part of your migration strategy, you must determine which services can be turned off and when. An activity map helps you identify which devices are still connected so you can prevent unexpected service disruptions during the migration process. For more information, see the Plan and monitor your migration with activity maps walkthrough.
- Identify the root cause behind a slow application
- Applications often depend on multiple tiers of services within a network. An activity map can help you identify the delivery chain of traffic to your slow application server. Click a device to investigate related metrics, which can shed more light onto the root cause of the slow-down.
- Track suspicious devices or unexpected connections
- During a security event, an activity map can help you identify affected devices by tracking the real-time east-west traffic associated with a suspicious device. As part of a daily security monitoring strategy, you can create an activity map to confirm that devices are not making unexpected connections with other devices.
Here are some important considerations about activity maps:
- You can create activity maps for devices in Advanced, Standard, and L2 Analysis. You cannot create an activity map for devices in Discovery Mode. For more information, see Analysis levels.
- If you create an activity map for a device, activity group, or device group that has no protocol activity during the selected time interval, the map appears without any data. Change the time interval or your origin selection and try again.
- You can create an activity map in a Command appliance to view device connections across all of your Discover appliances. However, connected Discover appliances must be upgraded to firmware version 7.0 or later.
After creating an activity map, you can start investigating data. The following sections provide details about how to interact with an activity map and find information about the data you are viewing.
Devices are represented by circles and connections are represented by lines.
The placement of devices is optimized to display information. The layout can change as data about device activity is updated in real-time. For example, the layout is updated as new connections are observed or devices become inactive.
|Note:||When the time interval in the upper left corner of the page is set to Last 30 minutes, Last 6 hours, or Last day, activity map data will continually update every minute with real-time data. Set a custom time interval with a specific start and end time to stop real-time layout updates.|
Circle labels contain details such as the device hostname, IP address, or MAC address. Line labels contain protocol names associated with the device connection and the direction of traffic flowing between the devices, which is displayed as animated pulses. Specific device roles are represented by an icon, which are listed in the table below.
To optimize the display of information, not every label is displayed. Hover over any circle or line to display its label, as shown in the following figure.
|Note:||Device roles are automatically assigned to a device based on the type of traffic the ExtraHop system observes for that device. For more information, see Change or add a device role.|
The size of objects in the map corresponds with a metric value, which helps to highlight
areas of increased activity, such as the number of bytes, or traffic volume, associated with a
At the bottom of the left pane, you can select a different metric for map elements:
Bytes: See all of the devices transmitting or receiving data during the time interval.
Connections: See only the devices that have established a new connection at least once during the time interval.
TCP Turns: See only the devices that switched between transmitting and receiving data at least once during the time interval.
Blue and gray are default colors for circles and lines. These default colors are optimized to display information in a map. However, you can apply different colors to your map to highlight the severity level of an alert or show when a device connection was established.
To see the severity level of an alert for a device in your map, select Display alert status in the lower left corner or the page, as shown in the following figure. The circle color then corresponds to the most severe status for all alerts assigned to a device during the time interval. If there is no alert assigned to a device or the alert level is informational, the default circle color is green.
To investigate the alert, click the circle and then select the device name in the Go to Device… section. On the device’s protocol page, scroll down to view the Alert History, as shown in the following figure.
|Note:||If all the devices are a single color, such as green, this means that the query did not produce results in the earlier time interval. For example, the origin device did not have any protocol activity in the earlier time interval.|
A step is a level of connections between devices. Devices in each step have a
relationship to devices in previous step. These relationship are defined by their protocol
Add a new step to an activity map to add another layer of information to your map. Click the drop-down list for a particular step, and then select a protocol activity.
You can also filter devices in a step by their group membership. For example, if you select HTTP Servers but only want to see your test servers in the map, you can filter HTTP Servers by a device group, such as My Test Servers.
For more information on how to add steps and filters to a map, see Create an activity map.
If you find a device on your map that is worth investigating, you have several options to gather more information about that device.
- Find recently-connected devices
Click the time interval in the top left corner of the page and click Compare. You can see how device connections changed between two different time intervals.
For more information, see Time interval comparison.
- Navigate to protocol pages to find related metric activity
Click a circle or line to access a drop-down menu as shown in the following figure.
Select the device name from the menu to navigate to the Overview protocol page for that device. The protocol page contains a summary of important protocol metrics that were observed and associated with the device. From a protocol page, you can find related metrics such as errors, requests, responses, and server processing time. You can also drill down on a metric from a protocol page to view metric details, such as server IP address, client IP address, status codes, methods, and URIs.
- Search for transaction records associated with a connection (Explore appliance only)
- Click a circle or line to access the drop-down menu. Click Records. A records query page opens and displays all the records from each connected device, including all record types associated with the device connection protocols.
Check out the following resources that are designed to familiarize new users with activity maps.