By: Scott Walsh
In this blog, we are going to take a look at building an Application focused dashboard by leveraging custom groups and application groups within vRealize Operations Manager (vROps). One of the advantages of working with Blue Medora Labs is that our customers get the benefit of our experience with a wide array of other customers, and as such, a wide array of requests. We spend a lot of time building dashboards, and automating business workflows, so our toolset expands rapidly. In this blog, I will quickly cover one such technique that we use to provide what we refer to as an application stack dashboard. The intent of this dashboard is to provide visibility into a single, business critical application, but you will probably see that the same technique could be used to organize a variety of dashboards.
Think of an application stack as every component that an organization would want to monitor to ensure the health of a business critical application. In our example, we are using our VDI environment. Most management packs in vROps focus on a single technology. The key to an application focused dashboard is that we aggregate these technologies in an organized way so that the complete environment can be monitored. One way we do this is by utilizing Custom Groups and Application Groups.
Management Packs within vROps collect data related to the specific technology being monitored. As a part of this data collection, the management pack creates relationships between objects. Sometimes these relationships cross from the management pack technology to include VMWare objects, but there are also cases where you need objects to be related to each other but the relationship was not created as part of the normal management pack data collection.
One way to relate different objects is using a custom group. Navigate to the environment tab to see out of the box custom groups, and create your own groups. Custom groups can be dynamic or static. Using tagging, or property thresholds you can create groups that will auto-update as new objects are added to your environment. Or, you can simply create your group, and assign objects to the group manually. Alain Greenrits created a great blog here that shows more information on creating custom groups.
Within the same area you will see the option to create application groups. Application groups differ from custom groups in that they are utilized to organize various tiers of a business application in order to provide a more logical view of the application environment for monitoring purposes.
In our use case, we are monitoring our VDI environment. As you can see in the image below, you can organize tiers based on how you want to view/monitor them, as opposed to relying on natural relationships between the objects.
From here, we can create a simple dashboard utilizing the topology widget to view our environment in a clear and organized fashion.
From this dashboard, you can dive into deeper analytics related to each tier. This is a fairly simple example, but the methodology can be extended and utilized in a multitude of scenarios where application specific monitoring is required.
Blue Medora Labs is the professional services arm of Blue Medora. We provide custom integration with various components of the vRealize Operations Suite, as well as professional services utilizing more out of the box functionality. We help our customers and partners provide a user experience which is more customized to their unique business challenges.
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