Dashboards Made Easy with vRealize Operations

In this blog we will take a look at the new dashboarding capabilities of vRealize Operations 7 Advanced. If you are familiar with vRealize Operations, you know that it is an awesome tool to manage your virtualized infrastructure. One of its great features is the ability to make almost any kind of dashboard you might

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In this blog we will take a look at the new dashboarding capabilities of vRealize Operations 7 Advanced. If you are familiar with vRealize Operations, you know that it is an awesome tool to manage your virtualized infrastructure. One of its great features is the ability to make almost any kind of dashboard you might need in your environment. In previous versions, though very powerful, the dashboard creation process was not as easy as it could be.

With the release of vRealize Operations 7.0 we have made the process to create dashboards quick and easy. Below we will check out the new dashboard creation canvas and see how easy it is to create great custom content for your environment.

The Scenario:

You have been called into a “war room” (you know we have all been there) because the company’s tier 1 batch system is having performance issues. You need to quickly create a dashboard of the virtual machines that make up the batch system and see their performance.

Getting to the NEW Dashboard Creation Canvas:

You can easily find the new dashboard creation canvas by selecting the Dashboard tab at the top of vRealize Operations. Then from the Dashboard screen you will select the Action menu dropdown and click on Create Dashboard.

You are now on the new dashboard creation canvas. Here you can easily drag and drop any of the 44 widgets and 6 views that are available out-of-the-box with vRealize Operations 7.0.

Creating a Dashboard with the New Canvas:

Let’s make a dashboard that shows a set of virtual machines that are used for nightly batch processing. In this dashboard we will use a Heatmap widget, an Object Relationship widget, and a Metric Chart widget.

Configuring Widgets and Views on the Canvas: 

When you select a widget for editing you will be brought to the widget and views edit screen. Here you can edit all the widgets and views you have put on the canvas in one place.

 

Configure the Heatmap Widget:

First, we will configure the heatmap to show our batch system virtual machines sized by CPU Usage (%) and also colored by CPU Usage (%). Then we will filter to only show the virtual machines that are in the Batch Systems folder we have in vCenter. Finally, we will name this widget Batch Systems by CPU Usage.

Configure the Metrics View Widget:

Now we will configure the metrics list widget to show a line graph for CPU Usage (%), Free Memory (MB), and File System Utilization (%). Name this widget Batch System Performance.

Let’s set the first metric to show CPU Usage (%).

You will notice in the above image that you can now set SLA indicators in the metrics widget. This is just one example of enhancements to the widgets and views available in vRealize Operations 7.0. You can visit this blog to see all the enhancements made to widgets and views in vRealize Operations 7. In this example I am setting the thresholds at Yellow=60%, Orange=70%, and Red=80%.

Let’s set the second metric to show Guest | Free Memory (MB) over the given period of time.

Again, you will notice that we set the SLA threshold indicators for yellow, orange, and red as yellow=20(MB), orange=10(MB), red=5(MB).

Let’s set the third metric to show Guest File System| Utilization (%).

Finally, we set our last metric line chart for storage utilization including our SLA threshold to yellow=70(%), orange=80(%), red=90(%).

Configure the Object Relationship Widget:

For the tree view widget, we only need to change its name to “Batch System Relationship.”

Creating Relationships Between the Widgets:

Now that we have our three widgets on the canvas and configured, we need to make them interact with each other so that when you select a virtual machine on the heatmap, it will show you (1) the performance metrics in the metrics view, and (2) its relationships to other components in the object relationship widget. Select Show Interactions.

On the interaction screen you will see your widgets now have a couple symbols on them. These are the connector icons that allow you to create interactions between widgets and view on the canvas. Below is a legend of the connector icons.

Make the Dashboard Interact:

As you can see from the above image, creating interactions between widgets and views is simple – just drag and drop the connector icons from the heatmap widget to the metrics and object relationship widgets. You can also drag the metric connector to the Metric Chart widget to ensure the metric you used for the heatmap is also displayed. (We set that metric when we configured the Metric Chart widget….but still very cool!!)

You can also create interactions to other dashboards easily by selecting the “Select Another Dashboard” link and selecting the dashboard you want to interact with.

In the above example we are going to have the out-of-the-box Troubleshoot a VM dashboard display information about the virtual machine you selected in the heatmap widget in your custom dashboard. This gives you the ability to create a workflow between dashboards to help quickly troubleshoot the collective batch system and then drill into a specific virtual machine for more in-depth troubleshooting.

Name Your New Custom Dashboard:

Now that you have created your dashboard by dragging the widgets onto the canvas, configured the widgets, and created interactions between the widgets and another dashboard, it’s time to name and save our dashboard.

Above you can see we have named our new dashboard “Tier 1 Batch System.” Now click the Save button in the upper center of the Dashboard Creation Canvas.

Now you can see your new Batch System dashboard in the list of dashboards you have access to within vRealize Operations.

Summary:

 

Now you can see how quick and easy it is to create dashboards in the latest of vRealize Operations. Easily drag and drop widgets and views onto the creation canvas, then create interactions between the widgets and views and even other dashboards. This is a simple example but very useful in our scenario where we needed to get a quick dashboard created to show our tier 1 batch system performance and health in a war room situation.

What To Do Next:

 

Now that we have our dashboard ready we need to make sure that everyone can access the great information you have provided. You can now share dashboards in vRealize Operations 7 to other vRealize Operations users AND people who may not have access to log in. Check out the “Sharing Dashboard in vRealize Operations” to see how easy it is to share your dashboards to anyone!

Other Cool Stuff:

 

We now have a dashboard exchange!!! Now you can contribute to the community of vRealize Operations users by posting your useful, or otherwise just plain cool, dashboards you have created in your environment. Visit the dashboard exchange by going to our vRealize micro-site located at vrealize.vmware.com and clicking on the dashboard exchange link.

Other Blogs to Checkout:

Sharing Dashboards in vRealize Operations 7

New Widget and View Enhancements in vRealize Operations 7

What’s New in vRealize Operations 7

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