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Tag Archives: Cluster Capacity

Create a vCOps One-Click Cluster Capacity Dashboard Part 2

Sunny DuaBy Sunny Dua, Senior Technology Consultant at VMware

As I promised in my last post, Create a One-Click Cluster Capacity Dashboard Using vCOps, I am going to share the recipe for preparing dashboards similar to the “One-Click Cluster Capacity Dashboard,” which received a lot of appreciation from the Twitterati. A number of people  deployed the dashboard and within minutes they could showcase the capacity of their vSphere Clusters.

Now I want to take this one level deeper and tell you how you can create your own cool XMLs within vCOps Custom UI (included with Advanced & Enterprise Edition) to create the dashboard to showcase to your CxO, IT VP or the NOC team who are monitoring the virtual infrastructure. I call this the “behind the scenes” post because it will get into XML coding. Creating these XMLs is way easier than I thought, so go ahead, read on….

To begin, let’s have a look at the XML file I created for scoreboard interactions in Part 1 of this two post series. Here is how the file is structured and the details of the components that make up this file. Understanding this is critical.


One-Click Part 2 Image 1

Hint: Open this image on a separate page to get all the details.

Now if you have spent some time reading the details of the image above, the first question you will have is “Where can I find the adapterkindKey, resourcekindKey and the Metric attrkey to make my dream dashboard?”

adapterkindKey – This is the easiest one. If you want to see metrics from your vSphere environment, you will use VMWARE as the adapter kind. If you have collectors installed for third-party products, refer to their documentation for the adapter name.

resourcekindKey and attrkey – These keys are stored in the vCOps database. The procedure to access the database is defined in VMware KB – 2011714, but I have simplified it in the steps below.

To access the VCOps database and retrieve the resourcekindKey and attrkey

1. Open the following URL in your environment:

2. When you see the vCOps DB Access Query page, run the following query. This will fetch the data you need. Note: Copy and paste the query starting at select and ending at ‘HostSystem’. (Ignore the asterisks.)

from AdapterKind a
inner join ResourceKind b on (b.ADAPTER_KIND_ID = a.ADAPTER_KIND_ID)
inner join AliveResource c on (c.RESKND_ID = b.RESKND_ID)
inner join ResourceAttributeKey d on (d.RESOURCE_ID = c.RESOURCE_ID)
inner join AttributeKey e on (e.ATTRKEY_ID = d.ATTRKEY_ID)

where a.ADAPTER_KEY = ‘VMWARE‘ or b.RESKND_KEY = ‘HostSystem


If you are looking for keys related to an adapter other than VMware, change the values highlighted in blue in the query.

3. The query will give you all the data you need, in the following format. (The screenshot below is from my lab.)

One-Click Part 2 Image 2

Here, you will see the resourcekindKey and attrkey which will help you to create your own XML for the values you want to showcase for a particular resource. Once you have done that, you just need to import this XML into the default interactions location mentioned in my last post. Now you are ready for scoreboard interactions.

It’s that easy!

I hope you will use this recipe for good, and I would appreciate if you can share the XMLs you create with it. I am planning to host a repository on my blog to include some easily re-usable dashboards that can help those in the VMware Community who are using or planning to use the vCenter Operations Manager. As always, please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.

This post originally appeared on Sunny Dua’s vXpress blog. Sunny is a senior technology consultant for VMware’s Professional Services Organization, focused on India and SAARC countries. Follow Sunny on Twitter @sunny_dua.

Create a One-Click Cluster Capacity Dashboard Using vCOps

Sunny DuaBy Sunny Dua, Senior Technology Consultant at VMware

It’s easy to set up a cluster capacity dashboard in just one click and I’ll show you how to do it with vCenter Operations Manager Custom Dashboards. In this two-part blog series, I’ll guide you through steps to get this dashboard installed in your environment and explain how to create the interaction XML.

Let’s take a look at the final dashboard in the screenshot below, the problems it will solve, and its features. Then we’ll take a closer look at the process of designing this dashboard and the related customizations you can do. DuaOCCCD1
Here is a quick summary and the features of this dashboard:

  • The list of clusters in the environment being monitored in your Virtual Infrastructure (left pane).
  • Once you select a given cluster, you will see the Capacity Overview of the cluster (right scoreboard widget).
  • The scoreboard gives you the summary of the cluster, consolidation ratios, capacity remaining, waste, and stress data.
  • Each score’s color designates VMware configuration maximums. (For example, if the number of hosts comes out to 33, the box will turn red as vSphere 5.x currently supports a 32-node ESXi Cluster. You have the option to define these thresholds while creating the XML—I’ll share this in a moment.)
  • This dashboard can help CXOs get details about the capacity of each cluster with just a click of a button. It can also easily help them make procurement decisions.
  • Using this dashboard helps IT teams quickly decide which clusters can be used for any new Virtual Machine demand from the business, etc.
  • Finally, large service providers can use this dashboard to keep tabs on the resource utilization and available capacity.

Download Files

The beauty behind this customization is that I can export this dashboard right from my vCOps instance and import it into any vCOps instance with a few steps–and it will work like a charm. You can successfully reuse this dashboard in your vCOps instance, if you have the vCOps advance or Enterprise edition, which includes a custom UI.

Download the Cluster-XML.xml file below to see all of the metrics to display in the scorecard on the right as soon as a cluster is selected on the left pane. In part two of this series, I will tell you how to write this file. The Cluster-Capacity Dashboard.xml file is just a simple export of the dashboard from the Custom UI.

You can do the same for any dashboard that does not have any dependencies for resource IDs (unique identity number given by vCOps to each of its inventory object). You would take a two-step approach to use these files to achieve the final result.

Files to download:


Cluster-Capacity Dashboard.xml

Step-by-Step Instructions to Place the Cluster-XML.xml in a Specific Location of UI VM

  1. Use an SCP software to login to the UI VM using the root credentials. I am using WinSCP.
    Change the directory to the following location: /usr/lib/vmware-vcops/tomcat-enterprise/webapps/vcops-custom/WEB-INF/classes/resources/reskndmetrics
  2. Drag and drop the Cluster-XML.xml file from your system where you downloaded it to this directory as shown in the screenshot below.DuaOCCCD2
  3. Right click the target file, and then click on Properties to change the permission level to 644 (for read and execute rights) as shown below.DuaOCCCD3

Now that you’ve finished the first set of steps, let’s go through the second set of instructions.

Step-by-Step Instructions: Import Cluster-Capacity Dashboard.xml Dashboard in vCOps Custom UI

  1. Log into vCOps Custom UI using an ID with administrative privileges.
  2. Click the Import Option under the Dashboard Tools menu.
  3. Browse to the location where you saved the Cluster-Capacity Dashboard.xml and click Import.
  4. You’ll now see a dialog box indicating that your dashboard was successfully imported. Close the window and click the Dashboards Menu to find a new dashboard named “CLUSTER-WISE CAPACITY OVERVIEW”
  5. Click this and you will now have see the dashboard I displayed at beginning of this post. It’s that simple! :-)After importing the dashboard, if you do not see the names of your cluster in the Resources Widget, you must edit the “Resources” Widget -> Select “Cluster Compute Resource” in the left pane and click OK. This will list all your clusters.

Stay tuned for part two of this article where I’ll provide steps to help create your own .XML files to build additional dashboards. This is useful for those who want a single pane to view the entire capacity of a Virtual Infrastructure.

Additional Notes and Resources

Lior Kamrat, who like myself is a part of VMware Consulting group, has a list of great list of vCOps resources available on a dedicated page of his blog called IMALLVIRTUAL.COM. I would highly recommend you bookmark the page if you are using, learning about, or want to become an expert on vCenter Operations Manager. He also has a blog series on One Click Capacity Planning Dashboards with another angle on capacity in your Virtual Datacenter. In addition, you can review other articles on vCOps on vXpress.

This post originally appeared on Sunny Dua’s vXpress blog. Sunny is a Senior Technology Consultant for VMware’s Professional Services Organization, focused on India and SAARC countries. Follow Sunny on Twitter @sunny_dua.