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About dashboards

A dashboard is a collection of tiles that display key indicators of a set of entities over a range of time. Indicators include metric graphs, status tables, lists, maps, notes, and more. You create dashboards to provide status information about your environment as a whole, about key components of your infrastructure, and about critical services. To get started quickly, you can copy an existing dashboard or one of our templates.

Scope

You define the set of entities a dashboard includes—its scope—with a query. A scope query combines sources of data with optional filters. Example scopes:

  • Everything monitored through Collection Zone 0 (cz0)
  • The entities monitored by a specific StatsD streaming data agent
  • The devices in the group organizer named Marketing Systems in cz0

The indicators you select for a dashboard do not necessarily display information about all the entities included in a dashboard's scope. However, the indicators you select cannot display information about entities outside the scope.

Scope type

You can use a current or an historical scope for a dashboard:

  • A current scope query examines only the current state of your environment.

    For broadly-defined scope queries of large environments, a current scope returns results more rapidly than an historical scope. Since the scope query only considers the current state, entities or organizers that have been deleted are not found. Current scope is the default scope.

  • An historical scope query examines the state of your environment during the dashboard's current time range.

    All entities and organizers that existed during the time range are uncovered, regardless of whether they exist right now. This makes historical scopes most useful for investigations, rather than for displaying the current state of your environment.

Note

The scope type does not affect the time range. Metric and event data are always selected from the time range you select, regardless of whether the scope is current or historical.

Time range

A time range determines which metric and event data are displayed in a dashboard. For historical scope, a time range also determines which entities are included in a dashboard. You can choose any range of time within your data retention period and you can change the range whenever you wish. You define a dashboard's time range with the time range controls.

Each dashboard's time range is independent of every other dashboard's time range. Helpfully, when you select an entity link in a dashboard tile to open the entity's Smart View page, the Smart View time range matches the dashboard time range.

Dashboard templates

Dashboard templates provide useful starting points for common dashboard scenarios. Rather than build a dashboard from scratch, you can just copy a template and customize it for your environment.

Dashboard templates are created by Zenoss. Only copies of dashboard templates can be edited or deleted. For more information, see the template copy procedure.