Aria Operations, Dashboard, vRealize Operations, vROps

Aria Operations Heatmap Widget meets Custom Groups – Grouping by Property

The Aria Operations Heatmap Widget which is very often used in many Dashboards provides the possibility of grouping objects within the Heatmap by other related object types, like in the following screenshot showing Virtual Machines grouped by their respective vSphere Cluster.

Figure 01: Heatmap with VMs grouped by their respective vSphere Cluster.
Problem description

This is a great feature but the grouping works only using object types.

Today I was asked if there is a way to group Virtual Machines by their vCenter Custom Attribute value To my knowledge this is not possible in the widget itself.

Possible solution / workaround

Assuming the possible values of the Custom Attribute are known, the Aria Operations Custom Group object type can be used to implement such requirements.

The use case is:

“I want to group my Kubernetes Virtual Machines by they K8s function (master, worker).”

The steps are:

  • create a custom Group Type
  • create required Custom Groups and associate them with the new Group Type
  • use the Custom Groups for grouping in the Heatmap Widget
Create Custom Group Type

Group Type is an abstract construct to, well, group together Custom Groups belonging together, like the OOTB provided types Environment, Function, etc.

For my use case I created the type tk-kubernetes-functions as shown in the next picture.

Figure 02: New Group Type.

Please note that you have to create the type before you create the groups! Once a group has been assigned to a type you cannot change the assignment, at least not using the UI.

Create Custom Groups

To group K8s masters and workers I created two groups. The configuration of the groups is based on the property value reflecting the vCenter Custom Attributes:

Summary|Custom Tag:kubernetes-role|Value.

Figure 03: Custom Group configuration.

That way I group my three TKGi Virtual Machines in two groups.

Figure 04: New Custom Groups.
Configure Heatmap Widget using Custom Groups for grouping

In the last step I configured the Heatmap widget to use the new Group Type for grouping. Next picture shows the according configuration. You will find the new Group Type in the Container section of available object types.

Figure 05: Heatmap configuration.

Now my Heatmap shows Kubernetes Virtual Machines grouped by their role.

Figure 05: Dashboard containing a Heatmap Widget with “property grouping”.

This approach will not work for all use cases, especially when the attribute values are not know upfront. In such scenarios Aria Automation could automate the creation of the Custom Groups in Aria Operations, but this is stuff for another blog post;-)

Stay safe.

Thomas –

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