Wednesday, March 19, 2014

vCOPs Custom UI Dashboarding

The vCenter Operations role-based Custom UI dashboards provide real-time information regarding the health of all aspects of the IT landscape such as applications, technology silos, individual resources, and even the normal behavior of individual metrics.

These visual panels, or 'widgets', can be combined to form any number of interactive Dashboards using drag-and-drop interaction. Authorized users can design new Dashboards, publish them to users or create templates that can be optionally shared with others.

When this visual flexibility is combined with vCOPs ability to analyze performance data, the result is impactful business insight and value to your internal IT partners.

The vCOPs Customer UI, which is only available in the vCOPs advanced and enterprise editions, can be reached by https://[machine]/vcops-custom. When you log into the Custom UI dashboard it is blank, the only thing that is added is vCenter Operations manager itself, you need to build-out the dashboard for it to provide specific information. 

For example, you might be asked to create a custom dashboard for the vSphere Admin so that they can understand the health of the environment while keeping an eye on performance issues and faults. 

Alternatively, you may be tasked with creating a custom dashboard for a CIO that wants a view into the health of the infrastructure. In addition to the overall health of the infrastructure, you want to provide him with information on certain business applications that are critical to the organization.

This is where the rubber meets the road; you are able to create insight into the health and performance of the application tiers that are important to the bottom-line of the business. Essentially, you are becoming a strategic partner to your IT business leadership.

Dashboard Tools allow you to Edit an existing Dashboard, Clone an existing Dashboard, set Interactions between the Widgets, Delete your Dashboard, Create Template which allows you to capture their dashboard, save it and allow others to utilize the layout and Share. One thing to note here is that if you want to share your dashboard and allow changes, you’ll want to create a template versus sharing the dashboard. 

In the vCOPs Custom UI there are certain widgets that allow for interactions between other widgets. This feature allows a 'source' widget to display its details or metrics in a 'receiving' widget. Only certain widgets allow for receiving metrics or interaction mode. Those widgets are the metric graph, metric sparkline, and scoreboard widgets.

The majority of widgets can be a provider to the receiving widget as long as they allow for interaction with resources. For example, the heat map, resource selector and health tree widgets all allow for interaction to the below targets:

Lets walk through creating a Dashboard using Alerts, Health Status, Heat Map, Tag Selector, and Root Cause Ranking Widgets.

  1. To get started click on the Home and then the '+' sign to create a new dashboard
  2. Give the Tab a name such as 'Operations Dashboard'
  3. Drag over the 'Manager 2' Template
  4. Leave the Dashboard as 2 columns and make the left column smaller than the right.
  5. Configure the the Heat Map to show the Health (size) and CPU Usage% (color)
      1. Set Min: 0 and Max: 100
      2. Sort by Cluster
      3. Select the Virtual Machine for Resource Kind and only look at the 'Powered on' VMs
  6. On the Dashboard Tools click 'Edit'
  7. Delete the Application Overview and Application Detail
  8. Drag the Alerts and Health Status over to the right and click OK
  9. Put the Heat Map (top) and the Root Cause Ranking (bottom) in the right column
  10. Filter the Alerts to only show Critical Alerts for the Virtual Machines
  11. Alerts will provide Interactions to Root Cause Ranking
  12. Health Status should show the Parents of the objects of the Heat Map
When combining Custom UI Dashboards with Application Tiers it provides a much more robust monitoring solution for the business. You are able to group resources that provide a specific task in the environment, such as a multi-tier application that includes web servers, database servers, and application servers, into a single monitoring entity. This provides the ability to see graphs for the health of the application instead of just individual virtual machines.

vCOPs Custom UI Dashboarding does take some effort, but it is well worth the time.

News: Top vBlog 2016 Trending: DRS Advanced Settings