A number of you have asked how to build custom reports in Profiler and then email or publish them on a schedule.  This week we will cover building a custom report, and will cover scheduling in a future post.

Like Orion, Profiler reports can be customized to meet your needs.  For Profiler, all reports are based on report templates, which describe the fields and query necessary to build a report.  When you build a custom report, you are simply selecting the fields you want to see, in the order you want to see them, and adding filters to narrow the results.   At report execution (either on-demand or scheduled), you will be able to select the set of devices, the time period, and other variables, in order to narrow the results further. 

For example, lets say I wanted to find all the servers in my environment where the C:\ drive was greater than 90% full, and I want to understand how fast they are growing. We have the template "Volume Usage Forecast" we can leverage as a starting point.  Go to Reports > My Reports and press the New Report button, and then we will select the template we want to use.  Note the template list is long, and we are working to make it shorter.

Select Enterprise > Storage > Volume Usage Forecast and press Continue:

Next, we can select the columns we want in the report and the order of those columns.  Note each template has defaults for the columns selected, the column order and the sort order.  In this case, there are 10 columns selected by default, but I am going to remove the Eighty and Ninety percent columns by highlighting them and pressing the left arrow.

Next we will select the sorts and filters for the report, allowing us to narrow the output to exactly what we want.  Since this configuration screen is long, we will tackle it in parts. 

First we will enter the name of the report "C Drives Over 90 Percent" and in this case, we will leave the default sort (server, volume) in place.  If we wanted to change the sort order, we can remove current sorts by highlighting them in the text box and pressing "Delete Sort", and add new sorts by selecting the Sort By field and order and then pressing "Add Sort".  Note the order of the fields in text box is the order the sort will be applied to the report.

Next, we will pick the filters.  In general, you can filter by any column in the report, and the options of the filter will match the data type:

  • Text Fields: like, not like, <, >, =, <=, >=, <>, in, not in
  • Numeric Fields: like, not like, <, >, =, <=, >=, <>, in, not in
  • Date Fields: <, >, =, <=, >=, <>, before, within

The basic query we will build is "Volume Name like C: AND % Used > 90".  So for the first part select "Volume Name" and "like" and enter "%C:%" and then press "Add Filter" - you should see the filter appear in the text box.   For "like" filters, make sure you add the "%" before and after the text.  Note since this is the first filter, we can ignore AND/OR drop down.

For the second filer, choose "AND", "% Used", " > " and enter "90" and press "Add Filter".

Finally, there are few additional items to select:

  • Time Zone:  The default time zone of the report, which can be changed at run time.
  • Row per Page:  The default rows per page.
  • Permissions:  What users can see this report:  Myself, Group (All users in my groups), All (everyone).

You are ready to save the report, your page should look like this:

Available actions:

  • Save Report - saves the report and returns to My Reports.
  • Save and Run - saves the report and takes you to the Run Report page
  • Cancel - abort changes to the report and return to the My Reports list.

For this report, if you select Save and Run, and then run the report, the output look like this (assuming you have some C:\ drives over 90%).

So that is how you build a custom report - it is quite flexible and lets you get to your data exactly how you want it.  

So how do users leverage the reporter functionality? 

  • Identify problem areas before they become "problems" - busiest LUNs, fullest drives, busiest VM or ESX, etc.
  • Chargeback - charge users, departments, customers, etc. for the storage, backups or servers they are using.
  • Backup Compliance - identify full backups that have not been successful for more than 7 days.
  • User Quotas - identify users exceeding their storage quota

How are you using reports in Profiler?  We would really like to hear.

PS: Cool new feature alert! In later versions of Profiler, we added the ability to group filters, so you can do "Find all (C: OR D:) drives that are over 90%".   Lots of people of have asked for this feature, and now you can do it!