Christoph Pfister Audience during the keynote

 

Hey folks!

The February 2018 EMEA Partner summit finished a couple of weeks ago, and it was so good we wanted to just take a little bit of time to savour it before this post. This was our sixth running of the event, and has definitely been our biggest and best to date. We were delighted to see a mix of partners who had previously attended other sessions as well as a number of new faces, with partners attending from all across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

 

Kevin Bury speaking during the executive panel

 

The event actually consisted of two tracks: one for our commercial staff and another for technical staff at our partners. For our commercial colleagues, there were two days of assorted content, including keynotes from cpfister (our EVP for product), kevin.bury (our SVP for customer experience), and Ludo Neveu (sales GVP). All of our sessions received great feedback, but two that stood out in particular included a customer success session (featuring THWACK® MVP robertcbrowning), and the commercial wrap-up session, where our sales team was able to share part of our internal workflows.

 

Our technical partners also had a chance to attend the keynotes. There was a focus on technical training, with the technical aspect spread over four days and exams running on the final day. Given the variety of experience and specialties of those attending, two different training sessions were run during the days, focused primarily on providing training for the NPM and SAM SCP certifications, as well as a new beta exam for NTA and a more advanced Orion® Architecture beta exam. 

 

Entertainment

 

Of course, it’s not all just work. There’s some downtime in the evenings, and it’s great to be able to share some Irish hospitality with our visitors. The main social event took place on Tuesday night, where we enjoyed some good barbecue within walking distance of our event hotel. But as an added bonus, once we finished the meal (and it took a while; there was some GOOD eating!), we moved on to some post-meal entertainment, including bowling, pool, and, if the stories are true, a very competitive table-tennis game between some keynote speakers.

 

Mardyke

 

Summary

For those of us within SolarWinds, our partner events are some of the biggest highlights of the year. It’s an excellent opportunity for our sales and marketing staff to have some face-to-face time with many partners with whom they may have worked remotely over the years. And while one of the overall goals of the week is partner enablement, it’s also an excellent opportunity for partners to provide feedback directly to SolarWinds. Work is already under way for future Summits, taking into account feedback from our partners, but also looking to incorporate some new ideas as well.

 

 

 

And as a bonus, here’s a video highlighting our great week.

 

Tach Zusammen!

 

Vor gefühlten hundert Jahren habe ich unseren Virtualization Manager (VMan) vorgestellt. Seitdem hat sich einiges geändert.

Nein, ich rede nicht von der Erfindung des Mobiltelefons was schon ungefähr 250 Jahre her sein muss, wenn ich auf den Stapel Rechnungen schaue.

Tatsächlich gab es bei unserem VMan eine Metamorphose im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes.

Kurz zur Erinnerung:
VMan war ursprünglich eine virtuelle Appliance und sah so aus:

Nach und nach wurden Features von der Appliance in die Orion® Plattform geschoben und das ganze Ding wurde im Laufe von Jahren mehr und mehr integriert.

- Im September 2017 haben wir Version 8.0 veröffentlicht mit der Option auswählen zu können, ob das Polling von der Appliance oder vom Orion Server durchgeführt werden soll.

- Im Dezember mit Version 8.1 wurde mit Capacity Planning das letzte exklusive Feature von der Appliance zu Orion migriert, was die Appliance dadurch nicht nur optional, sondern obsolet gemacht hat.

- Im März 2018 schliesslich Version 8.2 mit einem verbesserten Wizard um virtuelle Infrastruktur zu Orion hinzuzufügen.

 

Die Installation des VMans ist jetzt wie bei jedem anderen Orion Produkt und demnach etwa so simpel wie eine Tasse Kaffee herzustellen:

 

Okay nach der Installation bzw dem Trinken dieses Kaffeepuddings müssen wir Zeug in Orion hineinbekommen. Dazu gibt es verschiedene Methoden, z.B. in den Settings um direkt einmal den neuen Wizard auszuprobieren:

Ich bin so aufgeregt, weil der auch für mich neu ist!

Ich kann auswählen:

 

Ich bin vor ein paar Monaten umgestiegen auf Hyper-V™ und gehe einen Schritt weiter:

 

 

Ich bekomme eine ganze Menge Zeugs angezeigt:

 

 

Und füge einfach alles hinzu:

 

Im Prinzip muss man jetzt warten bis genug Daten gesammelt haben.
Aber ich habe hier etwas geschummelt und die Daten sind alle da.

 

Also legen wir los. Ein guter Startpunkt ist immer die Zusammenfassung:

 

Die Daten links habt ihr vielleicht auch schon einmal vom NPM oder SAM allein gesehen:

 

Andere Dinge kommen jetzt neu dazu wie zum Beispiel diese wirklich hervorragende Nachricht:

 

Wer meine Posts verfolgt weiss, dass das jetzt üblicherweise ein Grund wäre um entweder eine Tasse Kaffee zu trinken, einen Wein zu öffnen oder ein Schnitzel zu essen.

Auf der Suche nach irgendwas bin ich hier im Büro in die Küche gegangen und sehe das hier:

 

Ich werde euch nicht mitteilen, für was ich mich entschieden habe.

 

Also weiter.
Ich klicke auf einen Host und sehe wieder bekannte Datensätze:

 

Aber guckt mal links dort sind jetzt zwei neue Reiter dazu gekommen, Storage und Virtualization Summary:

 

 

Storage gibt mir Latenz und IOPS für sowohl die Datastores als auch die VMs:

 

Aufgepasst: Bei Hyper-V gibt es leider keine VM Latenz:
https://support.solarwinds.com/Success_Center/Virtualization_Manager_(VMAN)/Hyper-V_virtual_machine_latency_shows_as_zero

 

Ich klicke auf eine VM, diesmal wähle ich den Reiter Virtualization Summary und plötzlich wird es richtig interessant.

Links stehen mir Aktionen zur Verfügung:

 

Ihr könnt ruhig ein bisschen Herumklicken – es kommt immer noch eine Sicherheitsabfrage bevor tatsächlich was passiert.

Rechts, unter den Tachos, ist ein Element das ihr lieben lernen werdet:

 

Es werden vergleichende Werte für die VM und den Host angezeigt. Prima, um einmal über den Tellerrand hinaus schauen zu können.

Übrigens ist das eine gute Stelle um einmal in unseren Performance Analyser zu schauen falls ihr den noch nicht kennt. Klickt einfach mal oben auf den Link.

 

Aber ich mag euch noch ein paar richtig nette Dinge beim VMan zeigen.

Wählt bitte einmal „sprawl“ aus.

 

Hier nutzen wir die gesammelten Daten und vergleichen Auslastung mit zugewiesenen Ressourcen.

Bei mir liegt gerade eine frische VM herum – der Plan ist, meine Orion DB bald von 2014 auf 2016 zu migrieren – die hat natürlich Memory zugewiesen der gerade nicht in Benutzung ist:

 

Auf der gleichen Seite werden weitere VMs angezeigt die nichts tun außer zu existieren.
Was macht man mit solchen?

 

Ich nenne das Holzhammeradministration.

 

Ein weiteres Feature ist das Planen von zukünftigen Änderungen in der Virtualisierung. Klickt auf Capacity Planning.

Ich kann hier verschiedene Spiele betreiben:

 

Hier werden ebenfalls die gesammelten Daten genutzt um diese exakt berechnen zu können, wie viele VMs ich noch platzieren kann und welche Resources als erstes knapp wird.
Da unter Umständen mehrere Wochen von Daten benötigt werden hier ein Auszug aus einem fertigen Bericht:

 

 

Das dritte besondere Feature sind die Empfehlungen/Recommendations.

Zuerst etwas Offensichtliches:

 

Schauen wir uns die einmal genauer an:

 

Vertrauen wir dem System? Eigentlich schon, aber lasst uns das einmal überprüfen.
Ein Mausklick gibt etwas mehr Details:

 

Ich schaue mir die Orion VM genauer an. Ich habe verschiedene Möglichkeiten.

 

Oder:

 

Oben auf Edit kann ich natürlich den Zeitraum anpassen

 

Dazu sind diese Elemente/Widgets zwar nicht gedacht, aber um einmal kurz etwas anzuschauen:

 

Weil ich grad dabei bin öffne ich noch den „Average CPU Utilization – This week“ Report der mitgeliefert wird:

 

Nach all diesen Informationen beschliesse ich den VMan Empfehlungen zu vertrauen und nie wieder in Frage zu stellen!

 

Ich könnte jetzt also diese Aktionen durchführen lassen:

 

 

Das mache ich nun aber nicht…weil…

 

 

Auf einem anderen System habe ich eine weniger offensichtliche Empfehlung gefunden:

 

Das ist etwas das uns eigentlich gerade nicht stört. Es läuft ja alles wunderbar.
Aber was ist wenn ein Ernstfall eintritt? Dann mag mir das durchaus Kopfschmerzen bereiten.
Daher hier der Vorschlag:


Zusammen gefasst bietet VMan eine schönes Paket zum Überwachen der virtuellen Infrastruktur und geht über normales Monitoring hinaus mit Features wie Capacity Planning.

Die Lizensierung ist einfach anhand aller physischen CPUs in den Hosts.
Das heisst, dass ich auf Performancedaten sämtlicher VMs bekomme ohne diese lizensieren zu müssen.

Wenn ihr auf eine VM klickt wird unter Umständen jedoch so etwas erscheinen:

 

Das besagt einfach, dass VMan die VM im Griff hat, aber ich jetzt gerade noch keine Anwendungen darauf überwachen könnte. Dazu muss ich die VM aktiv überwachen und mir stehen die Daten in SAM und weiteren Modulen zur Verfügung.

Das wiederum wird allerdings Lizenzen bei den jeweiligen Produkten konsumieren.
Für weitere Informationen zu diesem Thema verweise ich auf meinen Lizensierung-Blogpost. Schon alleine wegen der Katzen!

 

Da fällt mir ein…ich war neulich in Edinburgh und dort gibt es tatsächlich ein „Katzen-Cafe“.
Man kann dorthin gehen, Kaffee trinken, Kuchen essen…und überall sind Katzen!! Fantastisch!

 

 

Bis demnächst!

Building your First Advanced Dashboard

 

Creating dashboards with tableau is an interactive process, there isn’t a  “one best method”. Starting with a basic concept, discoveries made along the way lead to design refinements. Feedback from your target audience provides the foundation for additional enhancements. With traditional BI tools, this is a time-consuming process. Tableau’s drop and drag ease of using facilities resulted in the rapid evolution of designs and also started encouraging discovery.

 

Introducing the dashboard worksheet

 

After creating multiple, complementary worksheets, you can combine them into an integrated view if the data is using the dashboard worksheet. Figure 8.8 shows an empty dashboard workspace.

The top-left half of the dashboard shelf displays all of the worksheets contained in the workbook. The bottom half of the same space provides access to another object controls for adding text, images, blank space, or live web pages in the dashboard workspace. The worksheets and other design objects are placed into the “drop sheets here” area. The bottom left dashboard area contains controls for specifying the size of the dashboard and  a check box for adding a dashboard title.          

 

You are going to step through the creation of a dashboard using the access database file that ships with tableau called coffee chain. You will create the dashboard by employing the best practices, recommended earlier in the post.

 

The example dashboard is suitable for a weekly or monthly recurring reports. The specifications have been defined and are demanding. The example utilizes a variety of visualizations, dashboard objects and actions. It will include a main dashboard and a secondary dashboard that will be linked together via filter actions.

 

                                                      Figure 8.8: Tableau’s dashboard worksheet

Read through the rest of the post first to get an overview of the process. Then, step through each section and build the dashboard by yourself. When completed, your dashboard should look like figure 8.9

                                               Figure 8.9: Completed coffee chain dashboard example

The dashboard follows the 4-pane layout recommended earlier in the best practices section of this post, but it is actually a 5-panel design with the small select year cross-tab acting as a filter via a filter action. The main dashboard in figure 8.9 includes a variety of worksheet panes, an image object with a logo, text objects, dynamic title elements, and a text object containing an active web link. The example, employs a cascading design that links the main dashboard to a secondary dashboard via a filter action. The secondary dashboard contains more granular data in a crosstab and an embedded webpage that is filtered by hovering your mouse over the crosstab. This example is designed to use many of tableau’s advanced  dashboard features  included in tableau desktop version 8. The major steps required to complete this example are:

  1. Download the post “bringing it all together with dashboards” dashboard exercise workbook from the book’s companion website. Refer to Appendix C: inter works book website” for additional details.
  2. Define the dashboard size and position the dashboard objects in the dashboard workspace.
  3. Enhance title elements, refine axis headers, and place image and text objects into the primary dashboard.
  4. Create a secondary dashboard with a detailed crosstab, webpage object and navigation pane.
  5. Add filter, highlight and URL actions to the dashboards.
  6. Finish the dashboard by enhancing the tooltips and testing all filtering and navigation. Add a read me dashboard to explain how the dashboard is intended to be used to data sources and for any calculations created that may not be obvious to the audience.

Defining the dashboard size

One of the first things you should consider when assembling  worksheets in a dashboard is the available space that your audience has to view the dashboard. Will it be viewed on an old overhead projector with limited resolution and brightness? Or, will the audience consumes the dashboard on a personal computer or a tablet computer? For this exercise, assume that the majority of people will be viewing the dashboard on laptop computers. A small number of people will view it on desktop computers.
The easiest way to start a dashboard is to click the new dashboard tab. Figure 8.8 shown earlier in the post highlights the new dashboard tab at the bottom of the workspace.

                                         Figure 8.10: Dashboard design shelves

Position the worksheet objects in the dashboard workspace

Placing worksheets into the dashboard workspace can be done by double-clicking on the worksheet objects at the top of the dashboard shelf. Tableau will automatically  place them into the view. Alternatively, drag the worksheet object into the view  and place it in the exact position you desire. Tableau provides a light gray shading as you drag objects into the workspace indicating the space, that it will occupy when you release your mouse button.
Unless custom titles were added in the worksheets, the titles that are displayed in the dashboard for each worksheet reflect the worksheet tab names. A variety of dashboards objects can be accessed and placed into the dashboard workspace using the dashboard and layout objects displayed in figure 8.10
Dashboard area 1 includes worksheet objects, objects for controlling the orientation of the group of objects horizontally and vertically, objects for adding text, images, live web pages, or blank space. By default, tableau uses tile to place objects in their own panes. Selecting the floating option makes objects float over other  objects which are already in the workspace. As you add worksheet objects to the dashboard, a small blue circle with a check mark will appear next to its icon.

Layout area 2 includes objects that have been added to the dashboard as well as layout options. Dashboard area3 at the bottom allows you to define the sizing of the entire dashboard and the individual objects included in the workspace. Before any worksheets are added into the workspace, define the dashboard size to accommodate the worst-case  scenario in which the dashboard will be viewed-(800×600) pixels. The option laptop in the menu provides this exact size.
To view more options, click on the size shelf as shown in figure 8.11 so that additional ways size can be controlled.

  • Automatic – expands the dashboard to fill the available screen space
  • Exactly – allows you to lock the dashboard’s width and height
  • Range – enables the designer to define minimum and maximum limits.

                                             Figure 8.11:Dashboard layout, size definition

The exact mode allows you to set the worst-case parameters for space. After completing your design, you may want to change the size mode to the range and define specific limits so that the dashboard can expand to fill.

Automatic mode expands or contracts the dashboard to fill the available screen resolution of each computer viewing the dashboard. If any of your audience has a high resolution graphics card, the dashboard might look out of place. The range option allows you to define specific maximum limits so that dashboards designed for compact spaces don’t look too sparse on large monitors. If someone is using a very low resolution monitor to view the dashboard, minimum limits can be set for the dashboard pixel height and width. Once the dashboard size has been defined you are now ready to add individual worksheet  objects to the dashboard. Figure 8.10 displayed earlier shows six different worksheet  objects that are available to add to the dashboard. There are two ways to add objects into the dashboard. Double-clicking on a worksheet object causes tableau to place that object into the workspace automatically. To control the placement of an individual object more precisely, drag the object into the view. As long as your left mouse button is depressed, tableau will preview the area that the object occupies by shading it in gray.

Double-clicking on each worksheet object in the order in which they appear in the dashboard (excluding the market crosstab which will be used in a separate dashboard) will result in the worksheets being  displayed in the dashboard shown in figure 8.12

                                 Figure 8.12: Initial layout of the coffee chain dashboard

Each worksheet has been added into the dashboard and the placement of the each individual views can be improved. Reposition the spark line, object by clicking inside the spark line object pane to activate it; and then use the handle at the top and center of the object, by dragging it into the lower-right area of the workspace. Then, reposition the select year crosstab into the upper-right area above the color legend. When these steps are completed the dashboard pane should look like as one in figure 8.13.

                                          Figure 8.13: Repositioned worksheet objects

Add a title to your dashboard by selecting the show title option in the bottom left of your dashboard shelves. The default title will be the name of the dashboard worksheet that was created by the tableau. Edit the title text by double-clicking on the default name and type in main dashboard-sales analysis. Edit the title font to Arial, 12-point and select a light gray color. Make sure that the title is left-justified. After adding the title it should appear as you see in figure 8.14

                                          Figure 8.14: Dashboard with title object added

Using layout containers to position objects

Layout containers allow you to group objects horizontally or vertically within the dashboard workspace.

Use a horizontal layout container for the dashboard title

In figure 8.15 the “interworks” logo is aligned horizontally to the right of the dashboard title.

                          Figure 8.15: Title and logo in a horizontal layout container

The title and logo alignment in figure 8.15 was achieved using these steps:

  1. Drag a horizontal layout container to the top of the dashboard.
  2. Drag the title object into the horizontal container.
  3. Adjust the height of the horizontal layout container.
  4. Place an image object into the right side of the layout container.
  5. Position the title and image within the layout container.

Add a horizontal layout container to the dashboard by dragging the horizontal object from the dashboard shelf in the area above the title bar as you see in figure 8.16

                                            Figure 8.16: Adding a horizontal layout container

Before you let go of the object be sure that the gray area highlights the full width of the dashboard at the top. This will ensure that the title object occupies the entire width at the top of the dashboard. After releasing the mouse button, don’t worry if the vertical space occupied by the layout container is very large-you can reposition it by dragging up from the bottom edge of the layout container. Then drag the title object into the horizontal layout container.
Now that the title is placed inside the horizontal layout container you can drag an image object into the layout container in the dashboard as you see in figure 8.17.

                         Figure 8.17: Place an image object in the layout container

Now it’s time to assign a specific image to the image object. Use any image file you prefer for the logo. The example shown uses the “interworks” logo.

                                        Figure 8.18: Fit and center the logo

Reposition the title and image objects within the layout container by clicking in the title object space. Then, point the mouse at the right edge of the title object until your pointer changes to a horizontal pointer. Drag the edge to the right to align the logo with the left edge of the vertical space occupied by the year filter cross-tab object. Your logo should now be positioned directly over the right side vertical space over the legends.

Make the title bar narrower by pointing at its bottom edge and  dragging up. The logo probably isn’t centered within the image object. To fit and center the logo on the image object, click on the object to access the drop-down arrow and expose the objects menu as you see in figure 8.18

Select fit the image and center image. Your logo should now be resized to fit in the space.

To complete the title area, add the URL associated with the logo to the image pane. Set the website address by clicking on the image pane to activate the menu, pick the set URL option and type in the website address. Now when the logo is clicked and web access is available, a browser session will open and the website will be displayed.

Now that the dashboard title is complete, turn your attention to the area on the right side of the dashboard containing the year filter crosstab along with the color shape and size legends.

Click For More Details: How to build your first advanced dashboard in tableau

Hello,

 

HPE / Aruba is big and we need Solarwinds to keep up with the market place.

 

In particular, HPE Aruba are on a big integration drive with lots of changes with advance features to the edge so we Solarwinds to support the customer like we support your software.

 

Can we get a comment from a Product Manager on this on plans to fully support this full product line once and for all.

 

Thanks

Ken

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