Custom Dashboard: Virtual Machine Performance

OnCommand Insight's custom dashboards and widgets help provide operational views into inventory and performance trends.

About this task

There are many challenges facing IT operations today. Administrators are being asked to do more with less, and having full visibility into your dynamic data centers is a must. In this example, we will show you how to create a custom dashboard with widgets that give you operational insights into the virtual machine performance in your environment. By following this example, and creating widgets to target your own specific needs, you will be able to visualize backend storage performance compared to frontend virtual machine (VM) performance, or view VM latency versus I/O demand.

Custom dashboards allow to you to prioritize efforts and identify resource availability. You can respond to the ebb and flow of workloads and minimize the time to detect and remediate emerging issues. Custom dashboards allow you the flexibility to create prioritized views into business-critical infrastructure, and are useful for identifying performance availability across multi-vendor technologies.

Here we will create a Virtual Machine Performance dashboard containing the following:

This is just a basic example. You can customize your dashboard to highlight and compare any performance data you choose to target for your own operational best practices.

Steps

  1. Log in to Insight as a user with administrative permissions.
  2. From the Dashboards menu, select +New dashboard.
    The New dashboard page opens.
  3. Let's give our dashboard a meaningful name. Click Save. In the Name field, enter a unique name for the dashboard, for example "VM Performance by Application".
  4. Click Save to save the dashboard with the new name.
  5. Let's start adding our widgets. If necessary, slide the Edit switch to "On" to enable Edit mode.
  6. Click the Widget button and select Table widget to add a new table widget to the dashboard.
    The Edit Widget dialog opens. The default name is "Widget 1" and the default data displayed is for all storages in your environment.

  7. We can customize this widget. In the Name field, delete "Widget 1" and enter "Virtual Machine Performance table".
  8. Click the asset type drop-down and change Storage to Virtual Machine.
    The table data changes to show all virtual machines in your environment. For now, the table only shows the VM names. Let's add a few columns to the table.
  9. Click the Columns button and select Data Center, Storage name, and IOPS - Total. You can also try typing the name into the search to quickly display the desired field(s).
    These columns are now displayed in the table. You can sort the table by any of these columns. Note that the columns are displayed in the order in which they were added to the widget.
  10. For this exercise we will exclude VMs that are not actively in use, so let's filter out anything with less than 10 total IOPS. Click the" + "button next to Filter by and select IOPS - Total (IO/s). Click on Any and enter "10" in the from field. Leave the to field empty. Click the button to save the filter.
    The table now shows only VMs with 10 or more total IOPS.
  11. We can further collapse the table by grouping results. Click the" + " button next to Group by and select a field to group by, such as Application or Cluster. Grouping is automatically applied.
    The table rows are now grouped according to your setting. You can expand and collapse the groups as needed. Grouped rows show rolled up data for each of the columns. Some columns allow you to choose the roll up method for that column.

  12. When you have customized the table widget to your satisfaction, click the Save button.
    The table widget is saved to the dashboard.
  13. You can resize the widget on the dashboard by dragging the lower-right corner. Make the widget wider to show all the columns clearly. Click Save to save the current dashboard.
  14. Next we will add some charts to show our VM Performance. Let's create a line chart comparing VM latency with Storage latency.
  15. If necessary, slide the Edit switch to "On" to enable Edit mode.
  16. Click the Widget button and select Line Chart to add a new line chart widget to the dashboard.
    The Edit Widget dialog opens. Click the Name field and name this widget "VM vs Storage Max Latency"
  17. Select Virtual Machine and choose Latency - Max. Set any filters you wish, or leave Filter by empty. For Roll up, choose "Sum" by "All". Display this data as a Line Chart, and leave Y-Axis as Primary.
  18. Click the +Add button to add a second data line. For this line, select Storage and Latency - Max. Set any filters you wish, or leave Filter by empty. For Roll up, choose "Sum" by "All". Display this data as a Line Chart, and leave Y-Axis as Primary.

  19. Click Save to add this widget to the dashboard.
  20. Next we will add a chart showing VM Read, Write and Total IOPS in a single chart.
  21. Click the Widget button and select Area Chart to add a new area chart widget to the dashboard.
    The Edit Widget dialog opens. Click the Name field and name this widget "VM IOPS"
  22. Select Virtual Machine and choose IOPS - Total. Set any filters you wish, or leave Filter by empty. for Roll up, choose "Sum" by "All". Display this data as a Area Chart, and leave Y-Axis as Primary.
  23. Click the +Add button to add a second data line. For this line, select Virtual Machine and choose IOPS - Read. Leave Y-Axis as Primary.
  24. Click the +Add button to add a third data line. For this line, select Virtual Machine and choose IOPS - Write. Leave Y-Axis as Primary.

  25. Click Save to add this widget to the dashboard.
  26. Next we will add a chart showing VM Throughput for each Application associated with the VM. We will use the Roll Up feature for this.
  27. Click the Widget button and select Line Chart to add a new line chart widget to the dashboard.
    The Edit Widget dialog opens. Click the Name field and name this widget "VM Throughput by Application"
  28. Select Virtual Machine and choose Throughput - Total. Set any filters you wish, or leave Filter by empty. For Roll up, choose "Max" and select by "Application" or "Name". Show the Top 10 applications. Display this data as a Line Chart, and leave Y-Axis as Primary.

  29. Click Save to add this widget to the dashboard.
  30. You can move widgets by holding down the mouse button anywhere in the top of the widget and dragging to a new location. You can resize widgets by dragging the lower-right corner. Be sure to Save the dashboard after you make your changes.
    Your final VM Performance Dashboard will look like this: