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How to build a vROPs dashboard for tracking Total VMs deployed and Growth Trend

In this Blog post I am going to detail how I created a vROPs dashboard based on a customer’s request.

Can we track how many VMs have been created in the past week and track if the number increases or decreases in each cluster?

If you want to just get the dashboard, see directly below, if you want to learn how it was created, keep reading further.

Installing Dashboard
  1. Download the files from code.vmware.com sample page.
  2. Import the files appended with “view” under the view’s in vROPs
  3. Import the file appended with “Dashboard” under the dashboard section in vROPs.
Dashboard Breakdown
  • First Item – This is a list which I’ve created to show each cluster, the total VM metric with some expressions attached, the timescale here is fixed by the list view and not affected by the dashboard timeframe. The change is an expression of the count of VMs at the start and end of the timeframe. I’ve added in some basic colouring to alert at thresholds.
    • Why does it say vCPUs? When using expressions, it requires a Unit to be affixed. This doesn’t work if you’re counting something, so in our next release, this issue should be addressed. It’s purely a vanity thing.
  • Second Item – This shows the VMs attached to the cluster you select on the left-hand side, showing you how old that VM is, its uptime and current power state.
  • Third is a Sparkline – Showing an easy view of the changes in total VMs per cluster over a 7-day period (as defined by the dashboards time scale)
  • Forth item is a trend graph, where we are showing date of the changes in the Total VM metric based on the data we have, and the trend/forecast. This trend into the future is set within the item itself. Currently we can set this to show the forecast for the next 366 days in the future.

vROPS - Total VMs Deployed and Growth Trend

vROPs versions

To show the VM creation date, this metric is available in vROPs 8.2 and later. This dashboard/view should work with older versions of vROPs but omit the data for the missing metric.

How was the dashboard created?

First, we need to create three views.

  • Show total VMs deployed in each cluster currently and the number from X days ago and the change between the two figures.
  • Show VM details from selected cluster in the first view = How long ago was the VM created, what is the uptime of the VM, what is the current state of the VM.
  • A trend view plotting the change in VM numbers we have seen in the clusters and using that data to forecast into the future.
View #1 – Total VMs per Cluster and change
  • Create a new view and provide a name
  • Set the presentation to a list
  • Subjects = Select “Cluster Compute Resource”

View Total VMs per Cluster and change Cluster Compute Resource

  • Under Data tab, add the following metrics and configure as follows
  • Set Metric name as necessary
  • Select all three data series
You should now have the following views created.
Tracking Total VMs deployed and Growth Trend vROPS views
Creating the Dashboard

Next, we will create the dashboard.

This will contain:

  • Our three views we created earlier (2 lists and 1 Trend)
  • A Sparkline widget

Create a new dashboard by clicking the three lines next to the dashboard navigation object on the left-hand pane and then “create dashboard”.

vROPs Create Dashboard

Next, we need to add our three views to the dashboard canvas.

  • Change the bottom selector pane from widgets to views
  • drag and drop the list view object to the canvas

Dashboard Add view

  • Hover over the top of the view object in your canvas and select the pencil icon to edit

Create Dashboard Edit view

  • Provide a name as to be shown on the dashboard (I just matched the view name I created earlier)

Create Dashboard Edit view Configuration provide name refresh content self provider

  • Under Input Data – Select vSphere World

Create Dashboard Edit view Input Data

  • Under Output Data – find your first view you created. here I’ve filtered the view list for my total VMs I created first.
  • Select the view and click save at the bottom of the edit view dialogs.

Create Dashboard Edit view Output Data Select view

Repeat again for the second view.

  • Set as a Self-Provider
  • Under Input Data leave as All Objects
  • Under Output data, find your Second view.

Create Dashboard Edit view VM Age Uptime and State Configuration Self Provider

Create Dashboard Edit view VM Age Uptime and State Configuration Input Data

Create Dashboard Edit view VM Age Uptime and State Configuration Output Data

You can drag the sizes of your view boxes on the dashboard canvas by hovering over the edge of the list view box.

You should have a Canvas like the below. We will now create an interaction between the two views, so that when a cluster is selected on the list from the left-hand view, it will populate the VM data in that cluster on the right hand view.

  • Click Show interactions

Create Dashboard Total VMs Deployed Show Interactions

  • Click and drag the two object points together as highlighted below.
  • This will give you the blue linked line
  • Click Save.

Create Dashboard Total VMs Deployed Edit Interactions

Now when we select a cluster name, the right hand VM view we creates will show us the relevant data.

Create Dashboard Total VMs Deployed Working Interactions

Next, we are going to add our Trend view.

  • Make sure you are still in the view selections and drag and drop trend view onto the canvas
  • Click to edit the same as with a list view.

Create Dashboard Total VMs Deployed Add Trend View

  • Provide a name to show on the dashboard for the view dialog box
  • Under Configuration – Set the Self Provider to be On
  • Under Input Data – Select vSphere World
  • Under Output Data – Filter and find your trend view we created earlier.
  • Click Save

Create Dashboard Total VMs Deployed Edit Trend View

You will now have your Trend View Object which should show you all your clusters and the trend data of VM count as well as forecast into the future.

Create Dashboard Total VMs Deployed Trend View

Finally, the last object we’ll create on the dashboard is the Sparkline. We will create this object on the fly on the Dashboard canvas.

  • Change to view the widget objects list
  • Find the Sparkline object and drag it to your canvas
  • Resize as necessary

Create Dashboard Add Sparkline Widget

  • However, over the Sparkline object box and click to edit (little pencil icon)
  • Provide a name for the object on the dashboard
  • Under Configuration
    • Set to refresh content as needed
    • Set to be a Self Provider
    • Set to show object name – This will show the cluster names for our metrics
    • Column Sequence – Label First (you can test what works for you)
    • Show DT (Dynamic Threshold high and low point markers)

Create Dashboard - Edit Sparkline Widget - Configuration

  • Under Input Data – Leave this set as All

Create Dashboard - Edit Sparkline Widget - Input Data All

  • Under Output Data – Click the green + symbol.

Create Dashboard - Edit Sparkline Widget - Output Data add Metric

In the Add New Metrics Screen:

  1. Filter the list for “Cluster Compute Resource”
  2. Select the Cluster Compute Resource ObTject
  3. Filter the available metrics “Total Number”
  4. Under the Metrics collection “Summary”
  5. Select Total Number of VMs

Click OK. You will see your metric selected as below.

Create Dashboard - Edit Sparkline Widget - Output Data add Metric - Metric selected

Click Save.

You will now have a configured Sparkline view on the dashboard.

Create Dashboard - Sparkline dashboard object.

And that concludes how to manually configure the dashboard and views from scratch.


2 thoughts on “How to build a vROPs dashboard for tracking Total VMs deployed and Growth Trend

  1. Can it show what has caused the difference of machines deleted and added or doesn`t that matter? So we could in theory delete 10 machines and add 10 machines and the change is 0. Or does that not matter?

    1. You should be able to do this, but you’d need to be more creative around monitored VM object count on the cluster as a metric, so count how many objects have been added today, how many have been removed, within vROPs itself. This metric so far is a count of current VMs and summary metrics, so as you say, in your example they would show zero.

      Hope that makes sense.

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