Part 1: vCOps Custom UI – Customizing the Generic Scoreboard Widget
This will be the first post of many show how to use the different widgets within the Custom UI in vCenter Operations Manager. The Generic Scoreboard can be used to display data for many different aspects of the environment. From items such as Host/VM CPU utilization, memory usage, disk usage to areas such as VM count per host, capacity remaining, or resource waste, the Generic Scoreboard can prove to be a powerful tool for quick access to data. You can use the scoreboard to focus on an entire datacenter or as specific as single disk on a VM. Below are a few crude examples of the scoreboard in use:
For more information regarding the Custom UI and additional configuration, see my posts here.
1) To get started with the custom dashboards UI interface you must first create (or modify) a dashboard. To create a custom dashboard, click the + sign next to the last dashboard shown, or simply click the Dashboards menu and select Add.
2) Give your dashboard a meaningful name in the Tab Name box.
*Hint – By using name/name you can organize all your custom dashboards in subfolders under the Dashboard Menu. For example, Application/Sharepoint and Application/Exchange will list the custom dashboard Sharepoint & Exchange underneath a new Application folder.
3) Drag and drop the Generic Scoreboard widget from the left to the right side of the screen. Drag as many widgets as you need to create your desired dashboard. Remember, you can set one widget to display VM data while using another to display host data. Click on when finished.
4) Your screen should now display the new custom dashboard with the empty Generic Scoreboard widgets. If you want them side by side, simply drag the bottom one over to the right as desired.
5) The next piece is to start customizing the widget to display the information you want. To start, click the gear icon on the widget. There will be a gear icon on every individual widget to configure it. To configure the custom dashboard itself, use the “Edit” link listed in the Dashboard Tools section.
6) Once inside the Generic Scoreboard you can start modifying every aspect of the widget, including the name, how often it refreshes on the screen, label and value size, and of course what data you want it to display. Highlighted below are the main aesthetic values you’ll change to make the widget look nice on screen.
7) Ok, now it’s time to get some data in this thing. First you’ll need to decide what type of data you want to display. For this example, we’ll choose to display the drive space available within a VM – so space within Windows available on C, D, E, etc. Expand Datacenter on the far left under Resource-Tags and choose the datacenter you wish to work with.
8) In the middle under List, find the resource you wish to display data about and click on it. (You may need to click the Invert Result button under Resources-Tags to get the Lists column to populate – the Gray/Red X icon).
9) Choose the Metric you wish to display under the far right column under Metric Selector with Resource Selection. Double click on the metric you choose which will create an entry at the bottom under Selected Metrics.
10) Repeat steps 7, 8, and 9 until you have all the desired metrics selected at the bottom.
11) Now that we have our desired metrics we can set thresholds (or bounds) to automatically change the display from green, yellow, orange, and red depending on the current value. For example, say you determine that drive space is acceptable at 80% capacity but you want to be visually notified if it reaches higher percentages. Modifying the values for the Yellow Bound, Orange Bound, and Red Bound will do this for you. For this example, let’s say you want the widget to change yellow if at 80%, orange at 85%, and red at 90%. Enter 80, 85, and 90 in the provided space for yellow, orange, and red, respectively.
12) Last but not least, you can modify the Box Label and the Measurement Unit to display within the widget if you want. Personally I typically leave out a Measurement Unit and simply notate the Measurement Unit in the widget title. Click ok when done to see the widget.
A few additional notes to consider in the widget configuration window:
- Self Provider – Choose on if this widget will get data on its own. You can have widgets that display data based on clicking on a different widget but for this example we’re not utilizing that feature.
- Use the Label Size and Value Size values to modify the size of each within the widget (ie C Drive – Free(%) and the 29.6 as shown above)
- Use the Box Columns value to set how many columns to display. For example, if you have 6 metrics and choose 3 Box Columns, it’ll display 3 on the top and 3 on the bottom, similar to the 4th screenshot at the beginning of the post show).
- Use Widget Refresh Interval to choose how often the data is refreshed on screen. Don’t forget to select the Refresh Widget Content button to On.
- Use the Round Decimals drop-down to..well…round decimals 🙂