How I build simple yet very effective Single Pane of Glass and KPIs dashboards for Enterprise Monitoring using SolarWinds

Single Pane of Class (SPOG)

Clean and simple overall health dashboard: green, yellow, red - you can't go wrong with this.

This is the highest top level dashboard which aggregates and wraps every single alert into corresponding icon, giving you overall health status of the areas which are important to you.

Overall Health is for Everyone

In this example you can see how it can be placed on the wall to be seen by everyone.

It is common misconception to only place it in the NOC/SOC for support teams to see. I believe that the whole business should be part of it. Even if some people do not understand terms, abbreviations and what it all means - they can certainly read colors and ask technology teams questions if they have any concerns.

Dashboard can also have some added twists to provide updates and push short team notification messages (or words of inspiration) just by single click or even in an automated way.

Go Big!

It is designed to live on the big screen so it can be seen by everyone.

You should go as big as you can. If you can't read colors from far end of your office - it doesn't really fulfill its purpose. Besides, being able to read those short abbreviations from your desk is also very handy.

The goal here is to be "all green", although in real world things do happen on daily bases, especially with big infrastructure. This is normal and hopefully most of your alerts are of a proactive nature and driving resolution actions well before actual problems happen.

Go Global!

In this example the company is providing global services to their customers. Every icon here correspond to the main hub/location that is being monitored.

Behind each icon there are hundreds of devices and servers with thousands of checks that can be captured. All being seen from just few screens. 

Be on Top of The World!

Worldmap is another great way to oversee health from just one screen, aggregated into your main global datacenters locations.

The beauty about this map is that it is completely automated and does not require any manual work to place and remove nodes. All is handled automatically with smart tagging and custom scripting. Integration with CMDB is also possible.

Engineering Dashboard - Case #1

This is an example of a dashboard that an engineer would have on his/her screen, possibly as a pinned tab. 

It has a mini version of the Single Pane of Glass and every arising issue is then being pushed to corresponding on page mini-reports.

The idea here is to see nothing when all is well and only display alerts an issues as they happen.

Engineering Dashboard - Case #2

Another version of the same engineering dashboard, which is a bit cleaner, but does require 1 extra click to drill down to see what's wrong.

Notice network map here, which is yet another powerful way of communicating network health from the very top level. Each icon represent a datacenter overall health. Connections are dynamic, change colors and have last readings for circuit utilization - all visible straight on the map.

Engineering Dashboard - Case #3

Yet another example, as seen from laptop screen.

Notice Single Pane Of Glass (top left) has a black and white image. This is an image of the engineers themselves. It was fun thing to do and has proven to be extremely effective, as it made them part of it in a very tangible way. They loved it!

Another element here (top middle) is an applications specific high-level view. It shows health of the most critical apps on a single screen.

KPI Dashboard

These are state of the art charts with custom-made SQL driven queries. They are #1 go-to stats for any Technology Manager to see things through.

They track the whole escalation flow, break-fix timing, SLAs, alerts rates, compliance, aging alerts, noise alerts and many other metrics that help you to understand how "busy" your support teams might be and how stable your infrastructure really is, over time.

Can I Help You?

If you happened to run SolarWinds or considering purchasing it - that's a really great choice!

Whether you are a small company or a big enterprise - let me be that launchpad for you to get 80% of value with 20% of effort - fast, cheap, reliable and get it right from the first time. 

It took me years of practice, coding, testing and experimentation to work it all out and I am eager to share all of it with you and your team to fast-track your success.

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