vRealize Operations and vRealize Operations Cloud are both great tools for self-driving IT operations management. vRealize Operations provides you full stack visibility for both private, virtual and cloud infrastructure and includes capabilities for performance & capacity planning and management, alerting, remediation and compliancy.
Most of the capabilities are available “out-of-the-box”, but there are also many possibilities to build and create fully customized dashboards and reports with vRealize Operations / vRealize Operations Cloud.
In this new series of blogposts I will discuss and explain how to build great dashboards with vRealize Operations Cloud. I will first give you a general overview, after that we will dive into available widgets and views, how to customize these components and how to create interaction. All with one goal: build great dashboards with vRealize Operations Cloud.
vRealize Operations versus vRealize Operations Cloud
So…I’m talking about both vRealize Operations and vRealize Operations Cloud. So what’s the difference here?
- vRealize Operations – Operations management solution by VMware, installed as (on-premises) solution, you have to do lifecycle management (patches and upgrades) yourself. The latest version of vRealize Operations is version 8.4 (March 2021) and part of the vRealize Suite. vRealize Operations is available as Standard, Advanced and/or Enterprise edition and can be procured through a perpetual a-la-carte license, a vRealize Suite perpetual license or the subscription based vRealize Cloud Universal license.
- vRealize Operations Cloud – Is a SaaS based operations management solution available as-a-service through VMware Cloud Services. VMware takes care of the lifecycle management, so no upgrading and patching from your side. Just sign up for the vRealize Operations Cloud service and use the platform. vRealize Operations Cloud is only available through the vRealize Cloud Universal licensing option.
In this series of posts I will use vRealize Operations Cloud to illustrate how things are working, at the end of the day is very similar on how you would configure things using vRealize Operations installable.
Introducing the dashboard option in vRealize Operations Cloud
Of you’re a vROPS user of course you know the welcome screen of vRealize Operations (Cloud):
This is your starting point to explore the available data. One of the dashboards we all know is available is called “Operations Overview”:
This is the operations overview dashboard you see when you open vRealize Operations Cloud and select “Operations Overview”. It’s also available through Dashboards>Dashboard Library>Deprecated>Operations Overview.
This particular dashboard consist of seven different widgets and there’s some interaction between these widgets: for example you can select a datacenter whereafter the Cumulative Up Time, Alert Volume and Top 15 widgets display different information. Although this particular dashboard was made available as part of vRealize Operations Cloud – it would be rather easy to create this dashboard yourself.
Building a dashboard…important questions to ask
This series of posts is about building great dashboards. Of course you can use the dashboards that are available out-of-the-box…but why don’t build some dashboards yourself.
Before you start building a dashboard, I recommend to first ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the purpose of the dashboard?
- What should the dashboard display? Is it a general overview dashboard? Is the dashboard focussed on a specific part of your infrastructure and/or cloud? Is the dashboard used for further investigation of issues, alerts and/or troubleshooting?
- How is the audience of you dashboard? Is it (higher) management you want to provide an overview of your applications and infrastructure is doing? Is the dashboard used by (technical) colleagues/personnel?
- Does the dashboard require interaction or is it just displaying information?
- Can you build the dashboards based on the available metrics in vRealize Operations Cloud, or do you need to build custom metrics (supermetrics)?
- Is the dashboard already built by someone else and made availble through the VMware Sample Exchange?
We will use these questions in the upcoming posts to build great dashboards!
So this is the end of part 1, stay tuned for my upcoming posts. In Part 2 we have will have a closer look at the vRealize Operationd dashboard canvas, the available widgets and views. Stay tuned!