What's the utility of a cluster capacity dashboard?

Q:

What's the utility of a cluster capacity dashboard?

A:

A cluster capacity dashboard brings transparency to the question of how virtualization environments are set up, and reveals details about collaborative computing and shared workloads.

Cluster capacity dashboards can be extremely useful to administrators and IT professionals because of the intelligence that they bring around how cluster environments are working. In the most basic sense, computer clusters simply represent distributed hardware working on common goals. In the network virtualization world, professionals often talk about virtualized computer clusters, or clusters of virtual machines.

Cluster capacity dashboards can report on metrics such as the number of hosts and data stores in the cluster, and the total number of virtual machines. They can report on resource consumption, for example, virtualized CPU use, and ratios of memory consumption. They can report on disk or storage space, VM capacity and other key aspects of a virtualization setup.

Cluster capacity dashboards bring the principle of data visualization to the world of handling VMs and virtualization equipment. The principle of data visualization is that customized dashboard displays can tell a human reader much more about a complex situation quickly than paragraphs of text can. To this end, the best cluster capacity dashboards have a range of visual tools, including charts and graphs that show resource allocation and capacity at a glance. Just like any data visualization system, cluster capacity dashboards can help with change over time, and fill in administrators on a complex situation in a highly digestible and scannable way.

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Written by Justin Stoltzfus
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Justin Stoltzfus is a freelance writer for various Web and print publications. His work has appeared in online magazines including Preservation Online, a project of the National Historic Trust, and many other venues.
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