Advanced features in vRealize Operations dashboards.

One of the strong points in vROps is the custom dashboards that you can build yourself to show any content just the way you want. In fact after custom groups and policies I think this is the third step of making your vROps environment really work for you. There are excellent guides and documentation to build your own, for example the “vRealize Operations Dashboards Made Easy” video series by my friend Thomas Kopton. Highly recommended. You can also clone one of the many custom dashboards that are included in the product and tinker away!

But in this blog post I want to talk about some of the lesser known advanced features, such as linked dashboards and auto-rotating dashboards.

Linked dashboards.

This is a really cool feature that almost no one knows about. I used it recently for a dashboard I needed to build for a large telco. They wanted to know how much power they could save by consolidating hosts on blades and switching of enclosures. There was too much info for one dashboard, so I used this feature. Yes I pulled it off, but sadly I cannot show you here … But let’s show you !

A simple colorful dashboard

This is a simple dashboard that I built for this blog, using different visual elements – we will come back to that later. Let’s edit this dashboard and call up the interactions.

Dashboard interactions

As you can see there are none at the moment. But have you ever noticed the ‘select other dashboard’ menu item ?? Let’s click it and select a dashboard. Here I will use my infamous ‘Historic Idle VM’ dashboard.

Interaction to another dashboard

You see the dashboard represented and you can now link them just as you would link to widgets in the same dashboard! here I linked the Top CPU demand VM widget to the VM widget in the ‘Historic Idle VM dashboard’.

Dashboard interaction menu

Notice a new dashboard menu appears in the top left of the source widget. It is very discrete, so I circled it in the screenshot. When you click a VM in the list this menu will ‘wiggle’, indicating you can link to another dashboard! Watch my recording to see how this works.

showing linked dashboards
Auto-rotating dashboards

This is the feature you need to put those big TV screens to work in the office! You can configure any dashboard to automatically rotate to another dashboard after a preset number of seconds. You can even create nice loops!

This is ideal after you create some key dashboards for your team to always display them in a highly visible place. Watch the short video for a quick how-to. And don’t forget to change the “Session timeout” in the “System Settings” menu under “Global Settings” in the Configure menu item.

Configure Rotating Dashboards
Change summary dashboards

A last feature worth mentioning is the “Change Summary Dashboards” setting in “Manage Dashboards”. You can replace the summary dashboard displayed for any object in vROps ! So you can create a dashboard with just the info you want and change it there. Or you can find a number of fine replacements on the Dashboard Exchange!

As always I hope this is useful to you, let me know your thoughts. You can contact me here or through my ComDivision contact page!

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