Part 6: vCenter Operations Custom UI – Customizing the Text Widget
Something I stumbled upon within the vCOps Custom UI was the text widget. Simple, yet effective, the text widget allows you to add text to a custom dashboard by reading it from the URL or designated file. As soon as I noticed that it supported reading from a URL and could support HTML I immediately wanted to test it. The first application that came to mind was a weather map to add to a permanent display in a NOC-like display. Ultimately I want to be add additional widgets to display environmental information for our datacenters using the SNMP Adapter. With the ability to pull in metrics from physical servers and other devices, it’s easy to see that VMware vCOps could be the only monitoring tool you’ll need.
The text widget is easy to configure as it only has a few options. Give it a title, choose the View Mode (text or HTML) and set the file location or URL you wish to read from. I used a weather map I found at http://fullscreenrader.com (no affiliation) but I’m sure you use your Google-Fu to find a suitable one that you like. Although you can’t see it in the picture, the radar is in motion within vCOps, even without having to configure the refresh on the widget.
To configure the Text widget to read text from a file, follow the directions below found in the vCOps Getting Started guide found here.
- Configure the root folder that contains the text file: Add the textDisplay_root property to the vcenter-ops\user\conf\web\web.properties file.
- On Windows, use double backslash characters in the path. (For example: textDisplayroot=C:\\folder\example).
- Restart the Web service to make your changes take effect.