ITSI When to Dashboard and when to glass table

ITSI – DO I Dashboard or Glass Table???

Designing Glass Tables and/or Dashboards is a critical element in your ITSI configuration.  The correct implementation will help communication to your visualization audience/consumer. Let’s look at a few points to help steer your decision making.

An ITSI Glass table can show your Operational  status via scores or colors within a 2-D plane.  Backgrounds can be utilized to show process, flow and/or logical order within a pre-determined service.  Your ability to convey information can be accomplished with the background/ image or the health scores equally.  Common quick implementations will typically utilize a technical score card layout or a high-level executive overview that provides top level status through scores and colors.  Many examples exist of Glass Tables and there is also an ITSI Glass Tables examples content pack, Content Pack for Example Glass Tables, that can be loaded on your own ITSI instance.  However, we recommend that the Content Pack only be installed in clean ITSI environment.

A Splunk Dashboard is an excellent method to display data in tables, charts and, with some additional CSS knowledge, represent sections through links and colors.  There are many examples of Splunk dashboards. There is also an application, Splunk Dashboard Examples, available on Splunk Base that not only show what is possible but presents the framework and commands needed to duplicate the option visualized.

You should judge your intended audience which method to use in displaying data and scoring.  Here is a simple table with a modest number of Feature/Options that you can use when making the decision:

Feature/OptionITSI Glass TableITSI Glass Table [beta]Dashboard
    
Composite Scores(Service Based)XX 
Charted Process/FlowXX 
Data Tables X (limited)X
Data visualizations X(limited)X
Contextual Drill-DownsXXX

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Your best option will depend on the audience and data. However, your most powerful communication option may be using drill downs.  The initial view should frame the service and provide a glimpse of the underlaying processing states for the given service components.  The associated drilldowns can then be additional dashboards, Glass Tables, or a url link, can include a 3rd party tool to enhance the communication.   You should always consider how the focus is provided to the intended audience.  What is listed above is only an initial guide that may be used to help in the decision of the best visual tool to select for the service communication to the intended audience.

Links to items mentioned above:

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Cedric Milan
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