Datazen – Dashboard Initial Configuration

Now that we have the product installed, the next step is to determine what data needs to be displayed.  Since I am going to be consuming SCOM data, I am going to create a simple dashboard that contains information that is pertinent to the health of the SCOM environment itself.  In order to accomplish this, the next steps are to grant access to the appropriate users, create a hub, create a data source and then use that data source to create views into the data.  It sounds like a lot, but it is really not bad at all.

For my DZ install, I created a new user named DZAuthor.  This is the account I am going to use to do the bulk of the authoring work.  I already had a SCOMUser account in my lab, so I am going to grant that user access to the dashboard I am creating in order to simulate my end user experience.

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The DZ install has a couple of URLs you need to access.

http://<servername> and http://<servername>/cp.  The first is the end user page (where the dashboards and KPIs will be displayed) and the second one is the control panel (cp for short).  The control panel is where we need to go to get started.  I open the CP URL and then enter the admin account and password (specified during install) in order to get logged in the first time.

Once I get logged in, the first step is to grant access to my DZAuthor account.  This is the account that I am going to use for creating the dashboards and all of the supporting components.  On the home tab in the CP portal I hit create user.  As you can see here, there is also a batch import process here that allows you to create users in bulk as well.

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After I hit Create User, I fill in the details for the DZAuthor account.  Since I specified Active Directory settings during the install, the necessary information is pretty minimal.

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Now that I have created my authoring user, I now need to create a hub.  A hub is basically a container for dashboards.  Users are assigned permissions at the hub level.  Once I have my dashboard created, I should be able to grant access to the hub SCOMUser account and that user should be able to then view the contents of the hub.

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I hit Create BI Hub and then create a hub named SCOM Health Hub.  This is where the dashboards pertaining to the health of the SCOM infrastructure itself are going to be stored.

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I give it a max of 10 users.  For lab, this should be fine.  For prod, you would need to make sure and check scaling for the IIS servers you have hosting these sites.  Once the hub is created, I logoff the Admin account and login with my DZAuthor account.

Once I am logged back in as DZAuthor, I need to make sure the SCOM Health Hub is selected in my navigation pane.  Since this is the first and only hub in the environment, this is the case:

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The next step is to create a User Group for this hub.  I hit User Groups in the navigation pane and then hit the “Create New User Group” button at the top

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and then:

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I create a new group for the SCOM Health Hub

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By default, DZAuthor is automatically dropped into this group since DZAuthor is the hub owner.  We will come back later and add in the SCOMUser account in order to grant permissions to the published dashboards.

Speaking of dashboards (the reason we are here), the next step is to create a group for the dashboards.

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I navigate to Dashboards and then hit “Create a New Group” at the top.

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I’m going to create a group for the core infrastructure.  Later on, I will circle back and create a group that specifically pertains to agent health.  In step 2, I select “Allow Access” for the recently created hub user group:

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That’s more or less the framework.  Now comes the work that pertains directly to what we want to display on the screen.  In order to get at any data, we need to create a Data Source.  I navigate to Data Sources:

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and then hit “New Folder” at the top:

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I give it a generic name for holding all of my SCOM information.  I click on the folder that gets created in order to drop in a level, and then I hit “New Data Connection” button at the top:

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At this time, there are 13 different types of data providers available.  These range all the way from Azure SQL Databases to Excel spreadsheets.  For connecting to SCOM, we’re going to be querying the SQL databases.  For what I want to accomplish, I am going to be querying the OperationsManager database directly and going around the SDK.  Is this supported?  Nope.  Do I care?  Nope.  Should you care?  Great question.  The database layout for the bulk of the data we would want to dashboard from the OpsDB hasn’t really changed that much (or at all) from the first days of SCOM 2007 through the most recent UR for SCOM 2012 R2.  Is this supported?  Nope.  Does it work?  Yep.

The next step is to grant access to the data source:

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At this point, the screen should look something like this:

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Now, we click into OperationsManager in order to start mining some data.  Once inside, we hit “New Data View” button:

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Since we are under the OperationsManager data source we created, these views are all going to be query based and will be driven off the OperationsManager database.  Now, we need to figure out how to get at the data we need.  A great place to always start is Kevin Holman’s “Useful Operations Manager 2007 SQL queries” blog post when querying either the OperationsManager of OperationsManagerDW databases.  Another option is to actually find the data you want in the SCOM console and use SQL Profiler to see what query SCOM is executing in order to retrieve the data for the SDK.

View #1:

Number of Alerts per day

SELECT Convert(DateTime,CONVERT(VARCHAR(20), TimeAdded, 102)) AS DayAdded, COUNT(*) AS NumAlertsPerDay
FROM Alert WITH (NOLOCK)
WHERE TimeRaised is not NULL
GROUP BY CONVERT(VARCHAR(20), TimeAdded, 102)
Having Convert(DateTime,CONVERT(VARCHAR(20), TimeAdded, 102)) > DATEADD(d,-7,GetUTCDate())
ORDER BY DayAdded

I stole this one from Kevin’s blog and then tweaked it a bit for the dashboard.  First, note the datetime column returned from the query needs to contain an actual datatime value from SQL or Datazen will not treat it as a datetime.  I got stuck here for a bit since the data looks good.  In Kevin’s query, the datetime had actually been converted to a varchar so DZ was just treating that column as a normal string. In order to deal with this and keep it simple, I just wrapped the varchar field with an additional Convert() function and set it back to a datetime.

Additionally, I removed the row with the total and only returned the previous 7 days.  I am happy with the results from the query in SQL Management Studio, so I move back to the Control Panel and fill in the rest of the data for the Alerts/Day view:

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Notice I set the Refresh Frequency to every 30 minutes.  You may want to set this more or less frequent depending on your environment and business needs.  There are a couple of other interesting things on this screen such as parameterizing filters and personalizing the query by adding in the username to the query.  I don’t need these for this dashboard, but they are options to explore later.

I repeat the steps 3 more times:

View #2 – Events Per Day

SELECT Convert(DateTime,CONVERT(VARCHAR(20), TimeAdded, 102)) AS DayAdded,
COUNT(*) AS EventsPerDay
FROM EventAllView
GROUP BY CONVERT(VARCHAR(20), TimeAdded, 102) WITH ROLLUP
Having Convert(DateTime,CONVERT(VARCHAR(20), TimeAdded, 102)) > DATEADD(d,-7,GetUTCDate())
ORDER BY DayAdded

View #3 – Performance Samples Per Day

SELECT Convert(DateTime,CONVERT(VARCHAR(20), TimeSampled, 102)) AS DaySampled, COUNT(*) AS PerfInsertPerDay
FROM PerformanceDataAllView with (NOLOCK)
GROUP BY CONVERT(VARCHAR(20), TimeSampled, 102) WITH ROLLUP
Having Convert(DateTime,CONVERT(VARCHAR(20), TimeSampled, 102)) > DATEADD(d,-7,GetUTCDate())
ORDER BY DaySampled DESC

View #4 – State Changes Per Day

SELECT Convert(DateTime,CONVERT(VARCHAR(20), TimeGenerated, 102)) AS DayGenerated, COUNT(*) AS StateChangesPerDay
FROM StateChangeEvent WITH (NOLOCK)
GROUP BY CONVERT(VARCHAR(20), TimeGenerated, 102) WITH ROLLUP
Having Convert(DateTime,CONVERT(VARCHAR(20), TimeGenerated, 102)) > DATEADD(d,-7,GetUTCDate())
ORDER BY DayGenerated DESC

After following the same logic for each of the views, my Control Panel now shows the 4 views I created:

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At this point, I am ready to create an actual dashboard and publish it!

The next post will focus on utilizing these views in a simple dashboard using the Datazen Publisher app available from the Windows Store.

Presentation, SC Operations Manager

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