Creating an Application Health Dashboard

by Rick Pocklington on July 10, 2019

As data and Information systems continue to grow as an essential asset in nearly every facet of business, the need for dashboards to provide visibility and insight into the performance of your systems is greater than ever. Dashboards are an invaluable tool when it comes to ensuring the health and performance of your information systems and data, and in most situations, an Application Health Dashboard will help you achieve your goal of maintaining a healthy IT environment.

An Application Health Dashboard shows each of the components of your infrastructure at a glance. If a component is unhealthy, you can expand it to list all of the individual objects that make up the component, each with their own health score. Selecting an object lets you see all of the health alerts on that object and a history of its alert volume.

Follow along as we take you through the steps to build your Application Health Dashboard in vRealize Operations. Click here for a video tutorial of the process.

Part 0: Prerequisites

  • vROps 6.7 or newer, licensed for Advanced or Enterprise
  • Blue Medora TVS (True Visibility Suite)
  • Infrastructure monitoring configured
  • A way to identify VM’s supporting your application
    We support identifying VM’s by a naming convention or by tags in vCenter

Part 1: Create the VM’s group

  • Create a new group type.
    1. Select the Administration tab
    2. Expand Configuration
    3. Select Group Types
    4. Click the green plus sign
    5. Enter the Group Type name and select OK
      We recommend “[Application name] Group Type”
Add group Type
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  • Create the group of VM’s used by the application.
    1. Select the Environment tab
    2. Click the green plus sign
    3. Enter the group name
      We recommend “[Application name] VM’s”
    4. Select the group type
    5. Leave the policy blank
    6. Check “Keep group membership up to date”
New Group
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  • Define the membership criteria
    1. Select Virtual Machine in the Object Type for the membership criteria
    2. Select Properties
    3. Select either “Summary|vSphere Tag” or “Summary|Name”, depending on which property you’ll use to identify the relevant VM’s
    4. Select contains
    5. Enter the string value that will identify the VM’s
New group Gif
Click to enlarge
  1. Preview results
    1. Click on Preview Group to confirm that the appropriate VM’s are found
    2. Click OK
Preview Group
Click to enlarge

Part 2: Create the component groups

  1. Create the Storage group.
    1. Select the Environment tab
    2. Click the green plus sign
    3. Enter the group name
      We recommend “[Application name] Storage”
    4. Select the group type
    5. Leave the policy blank
    6. Check “Keep group membership up to date”

  2. Define the membership criteria
    1. Select the appropriate Volume or LUN type as the Object Type – Blue Medora has management packs for monitoring Dell EMC, NetApp, 3Par, Nimble, and Pure storage systems
    2. Set the membership criteria to:
      Relationship, Descendant of, is, [Application name] VM’s
New group 2
Click to enlarge
  • Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the related compute hardware and databases
  1. Create a new “parent” group type.
    1. Select the Administration tab
    2. Expand Configuration
    3. Select Group Types
    4. Click the green plus sign
    5. Enter “Application Parent Group Type”
Click to enlarge
  1. Create the application parent group
    1. Select the Environment tab
    2. Click the green plus sign
    3. Enter the group name
      We recommend “[Application name]”
    4. Select “Application Parent Group Type” as the group type
    5. Leave the policy blank
    6. Check “Keep group membership up to date”
    7. Select “[Application name] Group Type” as the Object Type
    8. Leave the membership blank
Parent Group
Click to enlarge

Part 3: Create the dashboard

  1. Create a blank dashboard
    1. Select the Dashboards tab
    2. Select Actions -> Create Dashboard
    3. Change the dashboard name
      We recommend “[Application Name] Health”

  2. Add the Topology widget
    1. Click and drag the Topology Graph widget onto the dashboard
    2. Click the Edit Widget button
    3. Change the name to “[Application Name] Topology”
    4. Set Self Provider to On
    5. Enter the [Application Name] in the object Filter and select the parent group for the application
    6. Click Save
Topology Graph
Click to enlarge
  1. Add the alert widgets
    1. Click and drag the Alert Volume widget onto the dashboard
    2. Click and drag the Alert List widget onto the dashboard
    3. Click Show Interactions
    4. Drag the arrow icon from the [Application Name] Topology widget to the circle icon on the Alert Volume widget
    5. Drag the arrow icon from the [Application Name] Topology widget to the circle icon on the Alert List widget
    6. Click Hide Interactions
Alerts
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  1. Add object metrics
    1. Click and drag the Metric Picker widget onto the dashboard
    2. Click and drag the Metric Chart widget onto the dashboard
    3. Click Show Interactions
    4. Drag the arrow icon from the [Application Name] Topology widget to the circle icon on the Metric Picker widget
Metrics
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  1. Drag the arrow icon from the [Application Name] Topology widget to the blue circle icon on the Metric Chart widget
    1. Drag the orange arrow icon from the Metric Picker widget to the orange circle icon on the Metric Chart widget.
    2. Click Hide Interactions
    3. Click Save
Metrics gif
Click to enlarge

Thank you for following along with building your new Application Health Dashboard with VMware vRealize Operations Manager . To get started, be sure to check out the True Visibility Suite page on the Blue Medora website and find a package that is right for you!

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