VMware vRealize Operations (vROps) offers a significant level of customization to the end user, from alerts to views to dashboards and more. This level of customization empowers the end user to mold the platform to their specific needs without making system-wide changes. A great example of this comes in the form of vROps views.
vROps views allow the end user to display metrics or objects in a custom way. This could be as simple as a list view of objects and a few key metrics, or as advanced as customizing roll-up intervals and transformation (average, max, etc.). The end user is now able to optimize their workflows by presenting necessary data in the best possible way.
Figure 1 – A sample list of available Views
VMware provides premade views out of the box, as do many management packs such as the Management Pack for NetApp Storage and the Management Pack for Cisco UCS from Blue Medora. While the possibilities are endless, here are just a few ways that views can improve your vROps workflow.
List views save you time by providing an easy way to view multiple objects and multiple metrics in one table. Each row represents an object while each column is assigned a metric. This view is a great way to display a list of objects that have a couple KPIs you want to view. For example, you could create a list view of virtual machines and display memory, CPU, and disk utilization averages over the past 24 hours for all VMs that reside on a particular hypervisor, as seen in Figure 2.
Figure 2 – A sample List View with 3 Objects and 3 Key Metrics Displayed
You have complete control over how the objects are listed and how the metrics are aggregated. Want to order VMs by memory usage because that’s the first bottleneck in your environment? See the last collection value? How about an average of the past seven days? A summary row averaging the VMs CPU utilization? Only show VMs using over 80% of their memory? It’s all done in a few clicks.
Views are created for specific object types, such as virtual machine, host system, or datastore (as well as any object types provided by third-party management packs, such as the Oracle Database resource kind from the Management Pack for Oracle Enterprise Manager or the Server resource kind from the Management Pack for Lenovo Compute). The configured object type is then used to identify related object types which supply metrics to the view.
Figure 3 – A distribution by configured memory size is shown for all VMs in the selected cluster
For example, let’s say you’ve created a view of virtual machines. vROps knows that virtual machines are related to hosts, so if you look at a host’s Details > Views page, you will not only see views for hosts, but also the view you created for VMs. When you select the view, vROps will automatically populate it with the VMs related to the selected host. This lets you use the power of relationships to create views that automatically filter themselves.
Views are extremely portable within vROps and can be reused in many different ways, like reports. A view can be one section of the report, or you can mix views that focus on different object types. Views can also be used to create custom dashboards. Views in dashboards can be put side-by-side with other widgets to provide greater contextual information.
Figure 4 – When creating a dashboard, you can select the “View” widget and insert any View into the dashboard
When selecting the metrics for certain view types, you have complete control over how the values are displayed. This includes selecting the value to use, from the last collected, to the average over a period of time, to a forecasted value. If you choose an option such as average, minimum, or maximum, you can also define the roll-up interval. You can order the objects by defining a sort order on one of the selected metrics.
You can also filter views by selecting a metric and the criteria required for inclusion in the view. This is useful for eliminating objects that are not helpful. For example, you might filter a virtual machine view by requiring the Powered Offmetric to be false (removing powered off VMs from your view).
Figure 6: A sample filter configuration where powered off VMs are filtered from the view
Finally, you can provide a summary section in some view types, which allows you to perform computations on a given metric for all objects. This can be useful for identifying the maximum or minimum values for each metric.
I have only touched the surface here on what is possible with views. Spend some time in your environment and try out the different settings and configurations for yourself. For further information, there is thorough documentation on views inVMware’s vRealize Operations Manager Information Center.