The Newest Dashboard Widget: Multi-Value Widget

Today we’re announcing the release of our newest Dashboard widget: The Multi-Value widget. This new widget allows you to visualize up to six different polled data metrics (Nagios plugins, Windows Performance Counters, and JMX metrics) into a single widget.

“Why is this important?” you might ask. “We can already add a Metric widget for polled data metrics,” you might answer with. Here’s why this new widget is so valuable: you can now see the actual performance value of your polled data metrics, rather than a simple, OK, Warning, or Critical. Now it’s easier to stay on top of your Nagios, Windows Performance Counters, and JMX metrics. And because these values can span multiple servers and multiple data points, it provides a much more thorough view of your data points.

Use Cases

We already have some users of ours utilizing this new widget to

  • Configure SLA dashboards
  • View a group of important business metrics like abandoned shopping carts and current users on site

Getting started on the Dashboard

On a Dashboard, click the ‘Add Widget’ button to add a new Multi-Value Widget. Below is an example of what one of these widgets looks like in a Dashboard:

Once the widget has been added to the Dashboard, there are several pieces of information that can be displayed for each polled data value that has been configured. Each section shows the polled data value, a user selectable subtitle, and the last time these values have been actively read.

Configuration

When configuring the widget, users can select to display up to six values at the same time. Each new value is added by clicking the ‘+’ sign. Users start by selecting a server, then the polled data items and values they want to display. Some polled data items will have no values available which is indicated by a ‘No values to show…’ message in the ‘Polled Data Value’ field. Subtitles will be pre-populated with a suggested name based on the selected value but these can be overridden by the user. Users can also enter in ‘Units’ (like ms or MB) that will appear next to the value. ‘Threshold’ and ‘Threshold Direction’ are also available to define an alerting threshold for these values. Note that values that cross the defined threshold will appear as red values in the widget.

Polled Data in AppFirst

As with all AppFirst polled data values, the values available for selection in the multi-value widget are defined in the polled data config file for each collector (Administration – Collectors then click on the green pencil under Edit). The other view that shows what polled data values will be available is Workbench | Polled Data. This view is provided here as a reference for how users can visualize what polled data values are configured for each server:

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