To start with what is a good use and isn’t a good use for the Service Manager dashboard displaying OpsMgr data we need to review the other dashboard solutions and where they work well:
OpsMgr built-in dashboards: Good for displaying multiple views in OpsMgr including state, alerts and performance among others.
Service Level Dashboard 2.0: Displaying service levels and overview of health for various entities (see this previous article for details on the SLD).
Savision Live Maps & Visio Integration: Both are useful to display the view of the health of entities in OpsMgr.
Service Manager dashboard: Displays data using charts (bar, column, pie, area, line), gauges (circular or linear), data grids (text information on the dashboard), and score cards (health state of metrics in green, yellow or red).
From my experiences the following are reasons to use the Service Manager dashboard to display OpsMgr data:
- There is a requirement to display data in a form which is not available in other dashboard products. Specific examples include charts (column, pie, and to a lesser degree bar), gauges (circular or linear) or score cards.
- There is a requirement to display information which is not currently available in OpsMgr such as displaying top alerts, percentage of healthy agents, and database free space.
What to include is important, but more important is what NOT to include:
- Performance counters – if you can use the existing performance view from the web console to display the performance counters that you are looking for it is much more flexible (including the ability to set the duration of the data shown, change the graphing level, etc). (The screenshots below show an example using a counter displayed in the line chart in the Service Manager dashboard versus the performance view in the OpsMgr webconsole). There are times however when performance counters need to be displayed differently than can be shown in the OpsMgr console in which case these can be displayed in the Service Manager dashboard.
Service Manager dashboard:
Web Console View:
2. If the information is already available in reports – just reference the report URL in the website.
- Don’t read from the OperationsManager database – it’s tempting because it is easier than reading from the OperationsManagerDW. I may follow up to this blogpost later with some samples of how to accomplish the same results versus the OperationsManagerDW as has been accomplished on the OperationsManager database using PerformanceDataAllView, PerformanceCounterView and PerformanceCounterSignatureView. Reading from the OperationsManager database is not supported, and can negatively impact the performance of your OpsMgr environment including your consoles.
- Use existing web based information such as reports, views in the OpsMgr web console, and other dashboard solutions to augment the Service Manager dashboard.
Additional reading on this topic:
Using the Service Manager dashboard for OpsMgr: https://www.catapultsystems.com/cfuller/archive/2010/12/11/using-the-service-manager-2010-dashboard-for-operations-manager.aspx
Service Manager dashboard for OpsMgr: https://www.catapultsystems.com/cfuller/archive/2011/04/26/mms-2011-operations-manager-evolution-using-the-service-manager-dashboard-to-display-operations-manager-dashboards-in-sharepoint.aspx
Also discussed in Windows IT Pro article: Operations Manager Dashboards
Summary: When deciding whether to use the Service Manager dashboard to surface information from OpsMgr first determine if there are other methods available which are sufficient. Also determine if there is a requirement to display data in methods available within the Service Manager dashboard. Finally do not query the OperationsManager database (use the OperationsManagerDW).