Saturday, October 31, 2015

Using a Help Desk Dashboard to Simplify Operations With vRealize Operations Manager!

This post is a resultant of our VMworld 2015 content which we ( me and Iwan Rahabok) have been brewing since the mid of this year. Without taking any credit, I must say that all the content which we presented in various events such as architect bootcamps, VMworld and recently at the VMware APJ Tech Summit was the brainchild of my awesome buddy & colleague Iwan Rahabok.

Post these events, a lot of people have reached out to help them with development of dashboards which can help them effectively use vRealize Operations in there environments. With this post I would share a basic dashboard which can help you with day 2 day operations especially around performance troubleshooting in an organized manner.

We call it the help desk dashboard which can be ideally used by your level 1 team to quickly understand the infrastructure areas which could be a performance bottleneck for a virtual machine.

Let me quickly show you the dashboard and then I will help you build this in your vROps instance:

It's a simple yet effective dashboard and here are a few USE CASES where you can use the dashboard:-

Use Case 1 -  Quickly search for an affected VM & look at the Key Performance Indicators to get a direction for further troubleshooting (CPU, RAM, DISK, NETWORK etc.)

Use Case 2 - Quickly review the utilization of a VM for a past few days to months in case you have a request for resource addition such as CPU or Memory expansion.

Use Case 3 - This can also help the VM Right-Sizing Efforts as you can easily pull out the statistics around CPU or RAM utilization going back in Time and share the same with the app owners to get approvals on right-sizing.

Here are the key metrics which can be viewed with a click of a button in this dashboard:-
  • CPU Usage %
  • CPU Contention %
  • Memory Usage %
  • Memory Contention %
  • Network Workload %
  • Virtual Disk Latency (ms) aggregate for all disks in the VM

Well, if this interests you then let's see how we can get this dashboard. To begin with go ahead and download the following file by clicking on the link below. This is the original export of the dashboard which we will import later:-


Let's start building the dashboard now:-

1- Login to vRealize Operations with a user who has privileges to create a new dashboard.

2- Click on the Content tab and click on Manage Metric Config in the inventory window (you need vROps 6.0.1 or later versions for you to see this option. 

3- Under Manage Metric Config, click on ResKndMetric directory and click on the + Sign to create a new XML named - vmperf.xml

Paste the following xml code in blue color on the right pane and click on Save. A screenshot follows to guide you.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
   <AdapterKind adapterKindKey="VMWARE">
      <ResourceKind resourceKindKey="VirtualMachine">
         <Metric attrkey="cpu|usage_average" label="" unit="%" yellow="85" orange="90" red="95" />
         <Metric attrkey="cpu|capacity_contentionPct" label="" unit="%" yellow="15" orange="20" red="30" />

         <Metric attrkey="mem|usage_average" label="" unit="%" yellow="85" orange="90" red="95" />
         <Metric attrkey="mem|host_contentionPct" label="" unit="%" yellow="15" orange="20" red="30" />

         <Metric attrkey="net|workload" label="" unit="%" yellow="85" orange="90" red="95" />
         <Metric attrkey="virtualDisk:Aggregate of all instances|totalLatency" label="" unit="ms" yellow="20" orange="30" red="40" />
         <Metric attrkey="virtualDisk:Aggregate of all instances|commandsAveraged_average" label="" unit="IOPS" yellow="10000" orange="30000" red="40000" />
         <Metric attrkey="diskspace|snapshot" label="" unit="" yellow="1" orange="2" red="3" />
   <AdapterKind adapterKindKey="bbb">

4- Now let's import the dashboard file which we downloaded before. Click on Content -> Dashboards - > Settings Button -> Import Dashboards. 

5- Select the HELPDESKDB.json file you downloaded earlier and click on OK to import the dashboard.

The above step would create the dashboard for you. Let us quickly share the dashboard as well.

6- Under the Dashboards Tab, Click on the settings button again and click on Share Dashboards.

7 - Now select the newly created HELPDESK Dashboard and drag & drop it on the groups with whom you want to share the same.

By now, you should have your dashboard ready to use. Please do let me know as to how you are using this dashboard in your environment in the comments sections..

Till then.. Do not forget to SHARE & SPREAD THE KNOWLEDGE!! 


  1. Great job as always Sunny!

  2. vROPs version: build 3038036

    Thank you for sharing. I'm fairly new to vROps.
    As a test case I did the things as required in the blogpost.
    Everything seems to be ok except for the overview 'Search for a VM'.

    For instance a vm is reported more than once. In my specific case 21 times. Only one of these items is reported with the badge|health 100. This is also the only item which contains data in the 'key performance metrics' view.

    My question; how can I filter those other 20 useless items out of the view?



    1. Looks like you have extra objects which are stale. You can get rid of deleted resources by adjusting the retention period for deleted / non-existent resources under Administration -> Global Settings.

  3. Hi,
    Could you kindly provide another link to the download.
    The one attached is not working

    1. Working on the broken links. should be online within a few hours.. stay tuned..