A deep dive into Savision Live Maps Unity dashboards

As you may already know Savision with its products adds another level of functionality to the System Center suite by letting us take that extra step in managing our IT environment. If you´ve been around and have followed this blog for a while, you may already have seen my last blog where I showed a couple of custom dashboards created in the solution with the appropriate name, “Dashboards”. In that post I took advantage of the opportunity to pick up whichever data exists in the Operations Manager operational database by composing a SQL query. If you haven´t read the post, it can be found here.

But enough about my previous blog posts, it´s time to show some newly created stuff instead. Savision´s flag ship Solution “Live Maps Unity” is perhaps to most people known as a business service model solution. That is completely true since it´s an excellent solution to deliver business service models and to visualize the services which is crucial for your business. Another thing that isn’t equally known out there is the ability to create awesome custom dashboards in Live Maps Unity also. Since this is a not so well known fact I´m going to create a couple of custom dashboards just as I did in the last post mentioned above.

Custom dashboard 1

This first dashboard is going to show a couple of services on a map over Europe. As you will see, this one is almost straight-forward but let´s go!

Start by opening up the Live Maps Authoring Console (in this case installed on a management server) and then choose “Create Dashboard”.

On this first page, I choose to go on with the Tile style for my dashboard. There´s also a classic tile which you can use if you like. This is also the place where you can import an image to place as a logo on your dashboard to make it even more suitable to your company needs.

At this stage, choose the services you created in Live Maps and add them so that they show up in the right window just like I´ve done below.

Name your dashboard and choose where you want it to be stored. The folder structure you see below is what you see inside the Operations console. In this case I created a new MP named “Custom views” to which I then created a new folder. This folder is where I will find this dashboard later on.

Move on and finish your dashboard. After I´ve finished creating the dashboard, the Savision logo will be made clickable. This is done by just right clicking the picture and choosing “Hyperlink…”.

Choose if you want the link to open a service, send an e-mail or to open a web page. In this case the picture will lead to Savision´s web site.

In the picture below, I´ve used my art skills to place the services on the map. You can see the tiles that I picked up in the beginning of the wizard but I have also dragged and dropped the services from the left of the admin space to the map. This makes it possible not only to show the state but also to show the geographical location of the services.

Below is what it looks like once I´ve opened the dashboard in the Operations console. As you can see, the dashboard is stored in the Custom views folder created earlier.

Custom dashboard 2

For the second dashboard, we´re going to use some more features and creating diagrams as well to visualize the status of Operations Manager.

Choose to create a Dashboard and pick the style you want to use.

In this case, I choose to add the SCOM service only and move on.

After adding the SCOM service I just finished the wizard and moved on to adding the servers of the service.

By clicking “Membership rules” seen at the bottom of the Authoring console you will be presented with the below screen. What I´ve done here is to point out that I want to import Windows servers but only those who are member of the SCOM Management Servers group. If you want to use another SCOM group that I did below, just click the arrow and pick your group. The group may just as well be one that you created yourself. Click “Show matches” to verify that your query works.

After the first rule is done, I picked up another server just as you can see below. In this case OMDB01 is the only server that will show up in my rule.

Once you’ve finished your rules and clicked OK, you will find the results to the right of the design field in the “Unplaced members” pane. Expand this pane and just drag your servers onto the dashboard and place them just as you want to.

To add some performance data to this dashboard I´m using a sparkline. This is created by clicking the diagrams button seen below and choosing “Sparkline…”.

At the first step, pick your object which in this case is OMDB01 and mark the component you want. I choose C: in this case.

Choose which counter you want to visualize and move on.

Here you can make some adjustments to which period of data is shown and the value unit etc.

The last step before finishing the sparkline is to make sure the design matches your needs. In this case I´ve gone with the standards just to show what it looks like default.

For the next counter I´m using another method. Instead of the sparkline I´m using a Radial gauge to show just how nice it can look.

This step is exactly the same as before, I pick my component and move on.

In this case I´m going to visualize the amount of free megabytes of the disk instead of the “% Free Space” I used before.

The design options are almost equal but here you can choose how many decimals you want to show and if you want it to auto scale.

Step through the rest of the wizard and check out your new gauge.

After having created a couple more sparklines and placing the SCOM service on the dashboard as well this is what it looks like.

As you can see, right now this isn’t shown in the Operations Console but in the Live Maps Web Console instead. When in this view you can click the world globe to the right to show the dashboard only in a new tab or window. This is a very useful feature if you want to show the dashboard on a separate screen on the wall for example.

The link seen in the address field is the one you should use to show only the dashboard on a screen. Just make sure that the user running the session have the appropriate read rights inside SCOM, otherwise you won´t see anything.

Interactive map

The last thing I´m going to show is the “Interactive Map” function. This is created also in the Authoring Console but you choose to create an interactive map instead. Just step through the wizard where you will choose where to save the map and move on.

Once you see the map, just drag and drop your services into the right position. To place the services in the right position, just zoom in to street level and you´ll be fine with the placement.

Just to show you that you can place the services anywhere you like, I placed the Active Directory service on the iconic track of Nürburgring in Germany. Note the exact address inserted by Bing maps.

Summary

What you´ve seen here is just another great opportunity Live Maps Unity brings in making it far easier to show just the information you need to show. The things I´ve shown with this post together with the business service map is basically what makes Live Maps Unity the great product that it really is. So are you using SCOM to monitor your business services but aren´t visualizing it to show the relations between the components? Then I definitely think you should take a deeper look at Live Maps to help you both visualize the data but also to cut your costs by minimizing down-time and letting you dig into exactly where the problem lies before it can really grow out to be a major problem.

If you like what you see here, then stay tuned for a really interesting fall with Savision. There are lots of news coming which is going to make it better yet again.

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