Reporting is important to management. To be a IT Pro, you may need to run regular reports for management. Some reports may be generated time consume. vRealize Operations Manager is an alternative to create customized reports. It’s a powerful product to organize data and create PDF or CSV files on scheduled intervals. I recommend have a look if you have planned to implement performance, capacity and alarm system for virtual environment.
What if budget is constrained? Is there a way to create such kind of reports? The answer is “Yes”. I worked out an automatic workflow to create the reports. I will not provide step-by-step guide in this post since it’s advanced integration of multiple products, everyone may have different way to do that. You can even create everything by script if you have strong programming skill. I’m not, I only look for the easiest way to achieve the goal.
Here is a scenario for example: I want to run a monthly report for vSphere CPU and memory count and present to management by PowerPoint. I want to show management the historical trend of CPU and memory data. The traditional way is collect data in vCenter, organize and create charts in PowerPoint slides. So the whole workflow is: vCenter -> PowerPoint
If you want to automate the whole process you need to introduce few things more: PowerCLI, CSV and Excel. You need to develop a PowerCLI script to grab CPU and memory data on vCenter Server, then export the data to a CSV table by PowerShell command export-csv. Then import the table to an Excel file by Office feature Query Data. It loads the CSV table dynamically, you can even specific what data can be queried by filter.
Once the table is present in Excel, you need to create a chart accordingly. It’s trick when you paste the chart to PowerPoint Slide. You need to use Paste Special to paste the chart as Microsoft Excel Chart Object. The pasted chart can be updated automatically when you open the PowerPoint file.
The last step is created a scheduled task to run the PowerCLI script. Make sure you read my blog Extremely slow when run PowerShell script by scheduled tasks before create the task.
You can also configure the Excel file to automatically update table by CSV file.