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David Davis on vCenter Operations – Post #18 – What is the vC Ops Custom Interface and Why Do you Care?

In my last post, I covered some of my favorite vC Ops Tips for Success, based on what I have learned during my testing of vC Ops and covered in my vC Ops series of posts,. In this post, I’d like to talk about something you’ve likely heard about but may not have known what it is or how it can help you — the vC Ops Custom Interface.

what-is-the-vcops-custom-interface-1 Figure 1 – The Default vCenter Operations Manager Custom Interface Homepage

What is the vCenter Operations Manager Custom Interface?

Available in the Advanced and Enterprise editions of vCenter Operations Manager, the custom interface is an alternative user interface that provides advanced and customizable functionality. As you see in Figure 1, above, the homepage of the customer user interface is quite different from the homepage of the standard vCenter Operations user interface. For example, by default you don’t see any health scores and badges. Instead, what you’ll find upon logging in are numerous tabs and subtabs with a lot of extremely useful virtual infrastructure performance and capacity analytics. Too many people think that the vC Ops custom interface is only needed if you want to add a management pack however, what they don’t know is that it the most powerful way to use vC Ops. With the vC Ops custom interface, you can create custom dashboards, heat maps, and reports based on any data that vC Ops knows about or that you can bring into vC Ops.

To access the vC Ops custom user interface, go to-

http://[server name or IP]/vcops-custom

Login with the same admin username and password that you would use to login to the standard interface.

How can the vC Ops Custom Interface Help you?

Most admins investigate the vC Ops custom interface when they decide that they want more than just what the standard interface offers. Typically this the custom interface is used by-

  • Admins who want to customize their interface and gain access to the data that they want, faster
  • Admins who want to create custom interface for other IT pros or application owners
  • Admins who need to import custom dashboards or widgets

There are a lot of resources on customizing the vC Ops custom interface on the VMware Cloud Management blog as well as on the web. For example, one of the best contributors around to the body of vC Ops knowledge is Sunny Dua – both on this blog as well as on his own, vExpress. One of Sunny’s articles is How to Create a One-Click Cluster Capacity Dashboard Using vCOps which demonstrates just how easy it can be to create a custom dashboard using the vC Ops custom interface.

Figure 2 – vCenter Operations Manager Custom Cluster Capacity Management Dashboard

You can also learn more about quickly creating custom vC Ops dashboards from Lior Kamrat, VMware consultant and blogger at in his muiltipart 1 click capacity planning dashboard series.

It may be a little extreme (and not common practice) but you can even use custom dashboards to do just about anything – like analyze soccer scores, as posted by Lior.

What’s New in vRealize Operations Related to the Custom Interface?

With the announcement that vCenter Operations Management Suite has been renamed to vRealize Operations, you may be wondering what changes with the new version in relation to custom dashboards.

To find out, I asked Himanshu Singh, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Cloud Management at VMware about vRealize Operations 6.0.

According to Himanshu, in vR Ops 6.0…

“the concept of having two separate UIs (as we have in 5.x) is going away. We are bringing the best of both world together in vRealize Operations 6.0, and it will have a single, unified UI and will also allow you to do further customizations. There will be built-in dashboards that you can use, and then add visualizations (different types of views, which include widgets, reports, charts, etc.) on top of that per specific needs and environments. Notably, ALL data sources are treated equally in vR Ops 6.0. So you can have powerful visualizations, and deep insight regarding the performance of a variety of managed tools, technologies, apps and devices.”

There is additional information on the upcoming vRealize Operations Manager 6.0 available at-

Here’s a short video (of the numerous available on Himanshu’s introductory blog post) about how VMware vRealize Operations 6.0 includes many out-of-the-box dashboards, reports and views that you can fully customize to visualize key performance indicators, provide role-based visibility and enable better collaboration across infrastructure, operations and applications teams.

In summary, the vC Ops custom interface is a powerful tool for admins to add greater functionality and efficiency for virtualization management. All current vC Ops 5.x users should consider how it can help them and their IT group. At the same time, I recommend that they start learning about what’s new in the recently announced vRealize Operations 6.0 (vR Ops). Happy customizing!


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