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OpsCenter 5.2 Dashboard Import/Export Labs Feature – Labs Preview – Simplified Collaboration

By Phil Bayliss - Sebastian Estevez -  August 21, 2015 | 0 Comments

Introduction

DataStax OpsCenter is a web-based visual management and monitoring solution for Apache Cassandra and DataStax Enterprise. OpsCenter provides architects, DBAs, and operations staff with the capabilities necessary to intelligently and proactively ensure their databases are running well and simplifies administration tasks.

This post introduces you to a new OpsCenter 5.2 Dashboard Import/Export labs feature that allows you to work in a more collaborative fashion with your colleagues and potentially other DevOps professionals outside of your organization.  

Too Many Choices, Too Little Time

When creating your Dashboard, OpsCenter provides you with an extensive list of metrics to choose from, and within each metric multiple options to display the KPIs at cluster-wide or individual nodes. The options are great, and they help monitor and troubleshoot your clusters proactively. However, the downside is that it can take some time to craft the different dashboards you want and subject matter expertise to display the relevant metrics needed to troubleshoot a specific issue. The Dashboard Import/Export Labs feature will allow you to export your finely-tuned, purpose-built Dashboard screen, and import ones that have been shared with you.

Benefits

The Dashboard Import/Export Labs feature saves you time on dashboard creation by providing templates that help you monitor DataStax Enterprise Clusters’ OS system, JVM Garbage Collections, or Cassandra baseline metrics that require deep Cassandra knowledge and subject matter expertise. We’ve also created a beta app that you’ll see below where you can download some commonly used Dashboards created by DataStax experts.

By enabling the OpsCenter Dashboard Templates Labs feature, you can do the following:

  • Export your OpsCenter Dashboard for others to use, without sharing any private/secure data.
  • Import predefined Dashboards templates[1] to monitor your own cluster.

Setup

Here are the easy steps needed to take for you to be able to import and export  Dashboards to your OpsCenter.

1. Open your opscenterd.conf for editing:

image1.1

2. Add in the following text to your opscenterd.conf file and save it:

[labs] enable_dashboard_preset_import_export=True

3. Restart OpsCenter:

  • Package instalations

$ sudo service opscenterd restart

  • Tarball installations

$ ps -ef|grep opscenter

$ sudo kill $pid

4. Now on the OpsCenter Dashboard page you will have two new options (Figure 1).  Select the dashboard’s dropdown button, and click  “EXPORT”  to export the dashboard template.  Alternatively, click  “IMPORT” to import an existing dashboard template.

opscenter image 2

Figure 1: Dashboard template export & import options

  • Menu after selecting “IMPORT” (Figure 2)
    • Enter the name of the Dashboard[2] and the corresponding json template.
    • The dashboard name must be in lower case letters or it will not work as expected!

fig2

Figure 2: Dashboard Import Form

Fig3

Figure 3: Imported Dashboard.

OpsCenter Dashboard Template Generator

In order to setup dashboards, you need to understand the workflows that you are trying to troubleshoot or rely on experts to provide you with dashboard templates to leverage this functionality. At DataStax, we want to simplify this process and would like to create a community on best practice dashboard templates provided by Industry experts. To get you started, you can pull Dashboard templates from our Dashboard Generator application accessible at http://bit.ly/1NlSc2I.

The Dashboard Generator application has a few options:

  1. Choose your graph  option:

OpsCenter graphs are often built to visualize information about particular nodes, these are stored and identified internally by their IP address. In order to allow users to share their dashboards even though they have different cluster topologies, we have developed a simple app that allows you to either alter the charts in a dashboard to 1) All 2) Cluster Wide or 3) Each Node, by providing your cluster topology.

When selecting option 3) Each Node, you will see the blank template. Once you enter your OpsCenter IP address, a “here” link will appear in the second entry field heading that takes you to a new tab containing your cluster configuration that needs to be pasted into the second entry field (see Figure 4). Follow the same procedure for the node topology entry field. Final result will look like Figure 5.

 

Fig5

Figure 4: sample cluster configuration to copy/paste for “Each Node” Graph option

Fig6

Figure 5: “Each Node” option with each entry field completed

  1.  Select Desired Dashboard Templates:

Currently the app has the following templates ( Figure 6), more will be added in the future:

  • OS - Operating System Stats
  • GC - Garbage Collection Stats
  • Active TP's - Active Thread Pools
  • Pending TP's - Pending Thread Pools
  • Blocked TP's - Blocked Thread Pools
  • Dropped TP's - Dropped Thread Pools

Once you have downloaded the desired templates, you can import them as described in the Setup section.

Fig7

Figure 6: Dashboard Templates.

Conclusion

At DataStax, we want to provide you with features that increase your productivity and simplify the monitoring experience of DataStax Enterprise clusters.  If you would like to try it out yourself, download OpsCenter 5.2 for free today.

 

[1] Dashboard templates files are JSON based.

[2] OpsCenter UI will display all dashboard names in full capitals (see Figure 3);  Use lowercase text to assign a name to your dashboard when importing.









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