Bigger, Stronger, Faster Dashboards using vRealize Operations 7.0

by Brian Williams on October 22, 2018

With the release of VMware vRealize® Operations™ 7.0 we are gifted many new features to improve Self-Driving Operations. While many of these additions move the product into the future, none of these features gets me excited as the dashboard building and management improvements in version 7.0.

Let me dive into these feature improvements and share my thoughts on functionality or use cases. For a full list of what’s new, check out the vROps 7.0 Release Notes.

Dashboard and Report Enhancements

  • Simplified dashboard creation with an intuitive canvas and multiple out-of-the box widgets and views.
  • Ability to create four-column dashboards with a unified widget editor and the ability to set cross dashboard interactions as well as interactions within dashboards.
  • Ability to share dashboards using URLs without login requirements. Sharing options include copy, email, or embedded URLs in other websites with embedded code generated using vRealize Operations.
  • Ability to track URL usage and revoke URL access using manage dashboard capabilities.
  • Ability to transfer dashboard ownership to other users.
  • Options to manage content such as dashboards and report schedules for a deleted user, using the new Orphaned Content page.
  • Enhanced Getting Started dashboard with access to a community managed dashboard repository.

Widget and Views Enhancements

  • New scoping option in the view toolbar to select the scope for all the views such as List, Summary, Trend, Distribution, and so on.
  • Enhanced pie and bar-chart distribution views to provide distribution data.
  • Option to set the limit for the number of rows to be displayed in the List view for improved reporting.
  • Option to create calculations in views using the new Expression transformation.
  • Ability to set thresholds in Trend views and in the Metric Chart widget.
  • Option to add hyperlinks in the Scoreboard widget columns for cross dashboard or web-page navigation.
  • Enhanced Alert List widget with the ability to filter for alerts with actions and the ability to run actions from the widget.

Let’s take a look at some of my favorite features in this release. Starting with “Simplified dashboard creation with an intuitive canvas and multiple out-of-the box widgets and views,” we can see this immediately after starting new dashboard creation. The canvas now has graphing points to help widget sizing and placement. There are also better images and descriptions for the widgets available. This was a much needed cleaning of the interface. I’ve also noticed that it seems to load and move much faster than the previous version.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster Dashboards using vRealize Operations 7.0

Also introduced was the ability to create four-column dashboards with a unified widget editor. Adding a fourth column allows for better spacing, and getting more of those critical metrics pushed to the part of the dashboard that matters the most, the top.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster Dashboards using vRealize Operations 7.0

As part of the canvas update, we also get a simplified and much easier to use Dashboard Interactions page. We can now simply drag and drop the interaction arrows. This allows us to set up widget interactions super fast, and when reviewing dashboard configurations, easily make sense of interactions already in place.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster Dashboards using vRealize Operations 7.0

Bigger, Stronger, Faster Dashboards using vRealize Operations 7.0

Now, we review the feature that vROps administrations have dreamed of having for a long time – the ability to share dashboards using URLs without login requirements. Sharing options include copy, email, or embedded URLs in other websites with embedded code generated using vRealize Operations.

With this, we can create single-use dashboards to share with a developer or database administrator. We can share expiring dashboards with other business units, or even our own management. With management capabilities like setting the dashboard to expire, or unpublishing the dashboard, you truly are in control the dashboard sharing on vROps!

Bigger, Stronger, Faster Dashboards using vRealize Operations 7.0

We also now have the ability to set cross dashboard interactions as well as interactions within dashboards. Setting cross dashboard interactions can be game changing. Instead of building a single dashboard for a single use case, we can now build a “First Pane of Glass” for a high level view of the environment, and use the dashboard linking to drill down into an inventory object or jump to a more detailed troubleshooting dashboard. Overall, taking advantage of this feature can significantly reduce the number of clicks required to find the root cause.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster Dashboards using vRealize Operations 7.0

By taking advantage of the new ability to link dashboards from one to another, we can build a comprehensive troubleshooting workflow. Starting at a high level view, we can choose deeper dives into troubleshooting objects such at the Virtual Machines in this example.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster Dashboards using vRealize Operations 7.0

Bigger, Stronger, Faster Dashboards using vRealize Operations 7.0

Bigger, Stronger, Faster Dashboards using vRealize Operations 7.0

Lastly, for the dashboarding enthusiasts, we now have a quick link on the Getting Started page that takes us to the VMware {Code} Sample Exchange. From here we can quickly download example dashboards, or upload dashboards to share with the community.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster Dashboards using vRealize Operations 7.0

Bigger, Stronger, Faster Dashboards using vRealize Operations 7.0

So that’s my take on some of the best new dashboarding features for vRealize Operations 7.0. What do you think about dashboarding in vRealize, or any other monitoring tools you use? You can find me on Twitter, or ask for me on the Blue Medora website chat.

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