This post is to add a little fun to how we use the VMware management solutions in our day to day lives at our workplaces. We know the power of vRealize Operations Manager that allows us to capture structured and unstructured data from literally any object in your datacenter, run smart analytics on this data and then produce meaningful output based on which you can take some intelligent decisions, which would help IT and ultimately your business. While all this helps the IT organization to keep the lights on as well as drive new initiatives, I thought about using the same solution to bring in some fun in the daily life of an IT admin.
With this, let’s move our discussion to cricket. For those who do not know, cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players each on a field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. Each team takes its turn to bat, attempting to score runs, while the other team fields. Each turn is known as an innings. Cricket was first played in southern England in the 16th century. By the end of the 18th century, it had developed to be the national sport of England. The expansion of the British Empire led to cricket being played overseas and by the mid-19th century, the first international match was held. ICC, the game’s governing body, has 10 full members. The game is most popular in Australia, New Zealand, England, the Indian subcontinent, the West Indies and Southern Africa.
Like soccer, cricket has it’s own world cup and it happens every four years. In the year 2011, India won the championship and now, the 2015 World Cup is already on it’s way. It started on the Valentine’s Day and would run for 49 days. Since I am a big fan of the game, I used vRealize Operations Manager to create a dashboard which would give me the insights into each game of cricket happening in this tournament. This is how my dashboard looks like:
This dashboard shows all the world cup matches fixtures along with the live score card and team information. It even allows you to buy tickets to watch the match live in the stadium 🙂 Ain’t it cool!
Now, if you are a Discovery Channel Fan like me, the next question you would have is this…
Well, to tell you the truth, this is as simple as this:
1. Create a new Dashboard on vRealize Operations with a single pane and a Text Widget
2. Give a name to your dashboard. Let us call it “ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP 2015”
3. Click the “html” option and place a link to the ICC Cricket World cup official website – http://www.icc-cricket.com/cricket-world-cup/fixtures This is what essentially comes up on the Dashboard inside vRealize Operations Manager and then you can surf around within the website, which gives you the look and feel of a dashboard.
4. Save the settings of the dashboard and you are done.
Note: You must have internet connectivity on your vRealize Operations appliance for this website to open since its on the web. Also, some browsers might not load this dashboard and give you a warning symbol on the address bar of the browser, which you are using to open the vRealize Operations product UI. Just click on that warning symbol and allow the script to run. This will bring up the dashboard immediately.
With this example, I am just opening the possibilities of using vRealize Operations dashboards in a much more creative way to make operations management easier for an IT Admin. I have used this technique to create custom dashboards for customers, which have helped them tremendously. Some of the use cases I can think of are:
1. Ticketing System Page – If you have Service Ticket Management system which you would want to access from vROps, then you could create a Custom Dashboard pointing to the URL of your ticket management system.
2. Internal / External Knowledge Base – Based on the recommendation engine of vRealize Operations, while vRealize Operations can point you to a knowledge base article, instead of opening the same in a separate browser, you can open it with the KB Dashboard which basically uses the URL of your internal or external knowledge base such as http://kb.vmware.com/
3. Policy / Procedural Document Access – You can create dashboards that point to a share-point or an intranet site hosting your operational policies and procedures documents, which might be useful for your operations team for troubleshooting, change management etc.
With vRealize operations, the possibilities are endless. I will leave it on you to explore and see how you can make use of this feature, both for fun & making your life easier at work. As always, do share your feedback and your stories around using this or a similar custom dashboard.