How To Create Executive Dashboards and Accounts in Turbonomic

Video created by fran.schwarzmann on Nov 1, 2016

    Do you want to show Turbonomic’s impact to management? We’ll show you how to in 10 minutes.


    Learn how to create an Executive Dashboard in three easy steps: Navigate easily to each of the steps with the video bookmarks (select the three little bars on the lower right corner of the video window).


    1. Create a limited user account
    2. Create a customized dashboard
    3. Turn your dashboard into a report


    Utilize this video as a how-to for creating Executive facing dashboards, or take snippets for your own custom dashboards, reports.

    Feel free to like this video, comment below, or post any suggestions for follow-up Green Circle How-To Knowledge Base Videos!


    1.) Set-up limited Turbonomic User Account

    Let’s start at the log in. Once we are in our administrator instance we want to go directly to menu bar and click on the admin tab.


    From here, on the left side click “Workflows” on the fly-out panel.  You can also pin the fly-out panel so that you don’t have to keep hovering over, whenever you want to move around the GUI.


    So now, click on “user configuration”, and once in the “user authentication configuration page” there are two options. One, you can select the account that you want that has been pulled from your active directory, IF you have it configured to your Turbonomic instance, or you can manually add a user, which is what we’re going to do today.


    To set up the new account, we’ll first want to create a username and password for our executive. Make sure to write this information down if you haven’t done so already. Then we will have to select the TYPE, ROLE, and SCOPE of our new account.


    For reference on what each setting means, the GUI has a legend at the bottom right of the screen. You might have also noticed that throughout the GUI if you hover over any tab or button you will get a brief explanation of what each section and action within the instance does.


    I recommend that you set up this executive Turbonomic account as a “Dedicated, Observer”


    Now what does Dedicated mean?


    A dedicated user has a full GUI view. Since this account is geared for an end user, we want to focus on observer and advisor type accounts, since they cannot execute any action within the Turbonomic instance. This means that they cannot automate, click and apply, or configure any part of the environment.


    Now what is the difference between an observer and an advisor?


    Well as you can see here, Observers can only see the inventory, dashboard, supply chain and reports view. Advisors on the other hand can see the same parts of the GUI, plus see the plan view, but cannot take actions from it.


    Now, the scope depends on your purpose. What does this mean? If the executive only cares about a certain portion of the environment, or certain workloads you can scope it down to show only what they care about.


    We are going to assume that our executive wants a holistic view of the environment, so we won’t scope down. You can always go back and amend the scope.


    When we’re finished we’ll just click “create”, log out of our instance and log into the end-user account with the credentials you gave it.


    2.) Create a custom dashboard within a new account

    That’s exactly what I’m doing right now. The first thing we notice is that the instance looks the same but fewer tabs available. We’ll want to begin on the left side of the screen and toggle out and pin the “dashboard” panel. From the bat this panel already has a lot of great dashboards to choose from. However, since we are looking for specific information about the environment our best bet will be creating our own dashboard that we can leave as the homepage for our executive.


    You need to familiarize yourself with the dashboards Turbonomic offers out of the box. This will help you understand what type of panels you can incorporate into your dashboard or so that you may duplicate and tweak a dashboard when you become better familiarized with the dashboard editor.


    For our purposes and for good practice we are going to create a dashboard from scratch.


    First we’ll click on the green plus sign, which will populate the dashboard editor. Within this editor we’ll see some panel options on the left side.


    We are creating a dashboard for an executive. So what does he care about? He wants to see what value that Turbonomic provides.


    One way to do this is by focusing on panels that show things like overall actions taken, resource utilization levels, and overall health of the environment. Why? Executed actions shows, how much work you would’ve done manually without Turbonomic, so essentially this panel shows how much work the system has saved you. Resource utilization levels show how much more you are leveraging your infrastructure compared to before Turbonomic. Lastly to show overall health, in the environment I recommend using the “risks avoided panel” because it shows how many alerts and fires were evaded in every part of your environment.


    To create the first panel of our dashboard, we’ll just click and drag the chart that we want, “Executed Actions” on to the editing space, and you’ll see grids populate. These grids help you see how big or small the chart that you are making is, relative to the space available.


    When we drop the panel we want, a panel editor will come up. This editor does two main things, it allows you to name the panel and scope the panel. It’s good practice to name your panel something relevant and descriptive. Let’s assume vMotions are automated throughout our environment, so I’m going to name this panel “actions taken by Turbonomic”. Then we’re going to scope down to “groups” and I’m going to select “physical machines by PM clusters” because we want our panel to show actions Turbonomic has taken at the cluster level.


    You can scope down further to specific clusters, or groups within the clusters that Turbonomic has automatically discovered from your vCenter or Hypervisor management system, or even to groups that you have created yourself. However, today we are going to make the assumption that the end user wants to see all Actions Taken by Turbonomic throughout the entire environment.


    Then we’ll press done, and the dashboard Executed actions by Turbonomic will populate. You’ll notice that the panel is too small to digest. I’m going to make it bigger by just dragging the bottom right corner out.


    What the panel show is how well Turbonomic is controlling the environment, but how well can we show how Turbonomic prevents problems? Let’s add a “Risk avoided by Taking Actions” panel by doing the same steps that we did for our Executed Actions panel. This panel shows how many actions Turbonomic has taken to avoid specific risks. In this case, Turbonomic has taken XX actions in relation to CPU contention risks.


    Lastly let’s add a Supply and Demand panel because it shows trend data on the growth of our host, storage, and vm count over time. I’ll go ahead and expand this panel so that it is more easy to view.


    Executives who have to focus on budgeting and the efficiency of the environment will find this panel useful in understanding what the vm growth trend is relative to your hardware. This panel can also show the VM:Host density ratio by pressing the density toggle, and we can even see VMs per host, containers per host, and containers per storage density in our environment, if we happen to have any in our environment, which I do not.


    Last thing we’ll do here, is save our dashboard and name our dashboard. I’m going to name this dashboard “Executive View”, and then I’m going to press the green arrow to save the Dashboard.


    Once it is saved, I’m going to exit out of the dashboard editor by pressing the ”X” in the upper left hand. And you’ll notice that the dashboard is now in the “My dashboard” folder in the bottom.


    3.) Generate a report from a Dashboard

    There are a few things we can do with this dashboard; we can either share it with other users or we generate a report from this dashboard. A report allows me to extract the information in the dashboard either as a PDF or Excel format.


    We can generate a report of this dashboards in two ways. The first way is by pressing the PDF icon up in the dashboard toggle the report on the fly…sometimes you might struggle to find the PDF icon. In that case, you can try expanding the dashboard toggle a bit to the right, and  the icon will populate. The second way to generate a report from this dashboard and what I recommend you do is select “save as a report”. You’ll have to name the report and give it a brief description if you would like… I’m going to name mine ”Executive View Report” and in the description put “weekly executive report on the actions taken, risks mitigated, and resource trend”.


    Then just press OK. Now it might seem that we ended up doing nothing because it just reverts back to the dashboard, but what we want to do is redirect myself to the “reports tab”


    On the left side of the screen there will be a few canned reports, but what we want to do is search for the report we created. As we type the name of our report in the search bar, we’ll see our report come up. we can automate the reports to be generated and emailed in whatever time period we choose, which is very convenient, specially for executives.


    If we want our report to come out every week, we’ll just click on our report so that it is highlighted and press the green plus in the bottom right panel called “scheduled reports””. What you see pop up is the so-called “Schedule Report”.  Here you can select what timeframe and day of the week you want Turbonomic to send the report out. You will also have to choose the report format, and the email or emails that you want to send your report to.


    Let’s say that we want this report to be sent weekly on Mondays, as a PDF, and to myself. (Fill it out) Then we’ll just press apply, and the report will populate in the “Schedule reports” panel. When the report gets sent out it will show up in the top “Generate/View report” panel for our records. We can easily access these reports later in time if we want to review a collection of reports for a period of time, for example. To achieve this, we’ll just select the series of historical reports we want and press “generate now.”