The reality with most products is that customers will more often than not take an initial product concept, and extend and use a product in ways that were never imagined at the outset. So it has been for Virtualization Manager. As Thwack and many other online communities can attest to, the whole really is more than the sum of the parts!
Since Virtualization Manager is based on a data driven search based platform, “content” (such as a dashboard) created within Virtualization Manager can be exported from one instance and imported into another. This has allowed the Virtualization Manager product to iterate very quickly in anticipation to market needs – many of the dashboards you see in the product today such as the “EC2 Cloud Cost Estimator” dashboard that estimate what it would cost to run your VMs on Amazon EC2, evolved out of sharing content this way with customers.
The Cloud Cost Estimator Dashboard
Of course, the great part is that you are not limited to receiving content from SolarWinds – any Virtualization Manager customer can export the great content they’ve created and share it with other customers.
So what do we mean by “content” – what kind of things can be exported and imported? - some of the most important are:
Queries – or Searches – the building block for a lot of the Virtualization Manager content
Alert – Pretty much what you’d expect, really a search that is run on a schedule that meets certain conditions.
Trends – A search whose results are plotted over time, a powerful way to trend the performance and configuration of the environment.
Templates – A set of properties that can be used to generate a report
Dashboards – Export or import a complete dashboard with all the widgets!
Exporting or importing a dashboard in particular can be very effective since it will export all of the widgets on that dashboard. So how do you export and import content in Virtualization Manager?
To Export Content
Firstly, navigate to the “content” part of the product that lists all of the different content known to Virtualization Manager – you can get there by clicking on the “content” link at the top of the screen:
Select the item you want to export (in this case, we’ll export the EC2 dashboard), select it and select export from the top right.
From here, you can save the file as an XML file to your computer (giving the file an .xml extension is helpful)
To Import Content
Importing content is just as easy – at the bottom right of the content screen, you’ll find an “Import Content” button – select it and you can choose the .xml content file to import.
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