Shape the future of software operations and make your voice heard by taking the 2021 State of DevOps survey.

Managing dashboards through the console

Dashboards are one way for you to view and analyze metric data. Cloud Monitoring supports two types of dashboards:

  • Predefined dashboards for the Google Cloud services that you use. These dashboards are automatically installed and aren't configurable.
  • Custom dashboards that you create or install:

    • You can start with an empty dashboard and add just those widgets of interest to you.
    • You install a dashboard definition and then customize the result. For example, you can start by installing a dashboard definition that is stored on a GitHub repository managed by Cloud Monitoring. There are definitions available for a variety of Google Cloud services.

With custom dashboards, you have control over the dashboard content. You can also download and copy that dashboard's definition. These capabilities let you share a dashboard definition with multiple projects.

This page describes how to view predefined dashboards and how to create and manage custom dashboards.

Listing all dashboards

To list all of your dashboards, do the following:

  1. In the Cloud Console, select Monitoring or click the following button:

    Go to Monitoring

  2. In the Monitoring navigation panel, click Dashboards.

Predefined dashboards

Predefined dashboards are automatically populated by Cloud Monitoring. The dashboards available to you are determined by the resources used by your Google Cloud project. For example, if your project contains Compute Engine resources, then your predefined dashboards include those for virtual machine (VM) instances and for disks. The VM instances dashboard shows details such as memory and disk usage, identify IP addresses, and which VMs are dropping network packets.

Predefined dashboards have one of the following types:

  • Google Cloud Platform: These are for Google Cloud services.
  • Applications: These are for third-party applications such as Cassandra and nginx.
  • Amazon Web Services: These are for AWS services.

You can modify the chart configuration and the display period for predefined dashboards. For more information, see Configuring dashboards.

You can't delete or modify a predefined dashboard.

Listing predefined dashboards

To list only your predefined dashboards, you add filters to the filter bar.

For example, to list all dashboards for Google Cloud services and all dashboards for applications, do the following:

  1. In the Dashboards Overview page, click Filter Dashboards and then select Type.
  2. Click Filter Dashboards and select OR.

    By default, when you add multiple filters they are joined with a logical-AND. In this case, the goal is to list all dashboards that belong to one of two categories, so the filters need to be joined with a logical-OR.

  3. Add the filter Type: Applications. The following screenshot illustrates the complete filter:

    Display the application or Google Cloud dashboards.

Viewing a G​C​E instance dashboard

To view the dashboard for a specific G​C​E instance, do the following:

  1. In the Monitoring navigation panel, click Dashboards.
  2. In the filter bar , click the text Filter Dashboards, select Type and then select Google Cloud Platform. The following screenshot illustrates the complete filter:

    Display the dashboards filtered by type.

  3. In the resulting list, click VM Instances.

    The VM Instances page list your VM instances. From this list, you can view details about each instance, such as the instance name, and access a detailed dashboard for an instance.

  4. To view the dashboard for a specific G​C​E instance, click on the instance name.

Viewing a G​K​E dashboard

To view the dashboards for your G​K​E instances that have the Cloud Operations for GKE enabled, do the following:

  1. In the Monitoring navigation panel, click Dashboards.
  2. In the filter bar , click the text Filter Dashboards, select Type and then select Google Cloud Platform.
  3. In the resulting list, click GKE.

Custom dashboards

Custom dashboards let you display information that is of interest to you, organized in a way that's useful to you. You can use the Google Cloud Console or the Cloud Monitoring API to create custom dashboards.

This section describes how to create and manage your custom dashboards by using the Google Cloud Console. The steps provided assume that you start with an empty dashboard. For information about how install a dashboard definition into your project and then customize the result, see Installing sample dashboards.

For information about how to manage custom dashboards by using the API, see Managing dashboards by API.

For details on the dashboard controls, see Configuring dashboards.

Creating a custom dashboard

To create a dashboard, follow these steps:

  1. In the Dashboards Overview page, click Create dashboard.

    The following screenshot shows a newly created dashboard with the Dashboard editor enabled:

    Example of a new dashboard.

    By default, the dashboard is configured to automatically save your changes, and to let you control the size and position of widgets that you add to the dashboard.

  2. (Optional) Replace the default dashboard title, which starts with New Dashboard, with a descriptive name. You can edit the title after the dashboard is created.

  3. Add a widget to the dashboard by clicking it or by dragging it from the Chart library to the graph area. A preconfigured widget of the selected type is displayed.

    Select the widget to resize it or to change the pre-selected values. For details on configuring a widget, see Creating and managing charts.

    The following example illustrates a Line chart:

    Example of a newly line chart.

    You must add at least 1 widget to the dashboard.

  4. (Optional) In the dashboard toolbar, click Add chart to activate the Chart library and then repeat the previous steps for each widget that you want to add to the dashboard.

Viewing custom dashboards

To view a specific dashboard, do the following:

  1. In the Cloud Console, select Monitoring, or use the following button:

    Go to Monitoring

  2. In the Monitoring navigation panel, click Dashboards.

  3. Select the dashboard name. You can restrict the list to only custom dashboards by adding the filter Type: Custom.

For information on changing the content of a dashboard, see Creating and managing dashboard widgets.

Editing a custom dashboard

To modify the content of the dashboard, do the following:

  1. In the Cloud Console, select Monitoring, or click the following button:

    Go to Monitoring

  2. In the Dashboards Overview page, open the dashboard whose definition you want to edit.

  3. Click View only and change the dashboard to edit mode.

  4. Modify the dashboard:

    • To add a widget, click Add chart, select the widget of interest and complete the dialog. For complete information about these steps, see Creating and managing dashboard widgets.

    • To edit the JSON representation of the dashboard, click JSON editor to open the JSON editor. After your changes are complete, in the editor's toolbar, click Apply changes.

    • To modify a widget, select that widget. You can use the widget configuration pane or the JSON editor to make your changes. By default, the JSON editor expands only the chart representation. To view the entire dashboard definition, in the JSON editor click Show more:

      Illustrate the expand button on the JSON editor.

Deleting a custom dashboard

To delete a custom dashboard, do the following:

  1. In the Cloud Console, select Monitoring, or use the following button:

    Go to Monitoring

  2. In the Monitoring navigation panel, click Dashboards.

  3. To begin the delete action, do one of the following:

    • Find the dashboard you want to delete and click Delete .
    • Open the dashboard you want to delete, click Settings and then select Delete dashboard.
  4. Click Delete in the confirmation dialog.

Copying a custom dashboard

To make a copy of a dashboard in the same Google Cloud project, do the following:

  1. In the Cloud Console, select Monitoring, or use the following button:

    Go to Monitoring

  2. In the Monitoring navigation panel, click Dashboards.

  3. In the Dashboards Overview page, identify the dashboard to copy, and then click Copy.

  4. Click Copy in the confirmation dialog.

To copy a dashboard definition to another Google Cloud project, do the following:

  1. Copy the dashboard definition to your clipboard:

    1. In the Dashboards Overview page, open the dashboard whose definition you want to copy.
    2. Click View only and change the dashboard to edit-mode.
    3. In the dashboard toolbar, click JSON editor to open the JSON editor.
    4. In the editor's toolbar, click Copy.

      You now have a copy of the dashboard definition in your clipboard.

  2. Paste the definition into a new dashboard created in a different project:

    1. Use the Cloud Console project picker to select the project where you want to save the dashboard definition.
    2. Click Create dashboard.
    3. Click JSON editor to open the JSON editor, and then paste the content of your clipboard into the editor.
    4. Click Apply changes.

Downloading a dashboard definition

To save the definition of a custom dashboard to a JSON-formatted file that is stored on your local system, do the following:

  1. In the Cloud Console, select Monitoring, or click the following button:

    Go to Monitoring

  2. In the Dashboards Overview page, open the dashboard whose definition you want to save.

  3. Click View only and change the dashboard to edit mode.

  4. In the dashboard toolbar, click JSON editor to open the JSON editor.

  5. To save the dashboard definition to a local system, click File download:

    The created file, named for the dashboard, contains a JSON representation of the dashboard.

Installing a sample dashboard

To upload a dashboard definition to an existing dashboard, do the following:

  1. In the Cloud Console, select Monitoring, or click the following button:

    Go to Monitoring

  2. In the Dashboards Overview page, click Create dashboard, or select an existing dashboard.

  3. In the dashboard toolbar, click JSON editor to open the JSON editor.

    For a new dashboard, the displayed code is similar to the following:

    {
       "category": "CUSTOM",
       "displayName": "New Dashboard - Apr 27, 2021 3:03 PM",
       "mosaicLayout": {
         "columns": 12
       },
    }
    
  4. In the editor's toolbar, click File Upload.

  5. Select the file that contains the dashboard definition and then click Open.

    After the file is uploaded, the dashboard's JSON is updated.

  6. Optional. Customize the dashboard. For example, update the title, add a text box that indicates the dashboard source, or add additional charts.

Configuring dashboards

To set the default configuration for every chart on a dashboard, use the dashboard toolbar. To override the dashboard settings for a specific chart, use that chart's toolbar. For more detail, see Using the chart toolbar.

The dashboard toolbar displays the dashboard name and a series of controls. This section describes those controls.

  • Settings

    Defines the default configuration for all charts. The settings include the following options:

    • Show all legends.
    • Hide chart legends.
    • X-Ray Mode: Show each graph line in white on a black background.
    • Color Mode: Show each graph line with a unique color on a white background.
    • Statistics Mode: Display statistical information.
    • Delete Dashboard: Delete the current dashboard.
  • Fullscreen

    Displays the dashboard full screen.

  • Reset Zoom

    Removes the time interval and range of value selections you made by using your pointer. For information on how to expand a specific time interval, see Changing the graph resolution.

  • Auto Refresh

    Disables or enables the redrawing of all the widgets on a dashboard when new data is available. Auto refresh is automatically disabled by certain analysis features. For example, if you modify the graph resolution, auto refresh is disabled.

  • Time-range selectors

    Sets the display period for all charts on the dashboard. When you select a display period, all charts are redrawn. However, the auto refresh state is not changed. For more information, see Setting the display period.

    You can also change the resolution of a chart by using your pointer. For more information about this process, see Changing the graph resolution.

  • View only and Edit

    To make changes to a dashboard, Edit must be displayed. When View only is displayed, the dashboard can be viewed but not modified.

    To change the mode, use the menu.

  • Undo and Redo

    These buttons are displayed when the Edit is displayed:

    • To undo your previous change, click Undo.

    • To reapply your previous change, click Redo.

  • Mosaic and Grid buttons

    These buttons are displayed when the Edit is displayed. By default, dashboards are configured with the Mosaic layout. With this configuration, you can resize and reposition widgets:

    • To convert a mosaic style dashboard to a grid style, where all widgets have the same dimension, click Grid.

    • To convert a grid style dashboard to mosaic style, click Mosaic.

  • Add chart

    To modify a dashboard, ensure that your Identity and Access Management role for the scoping project of a metrics scope includes editing permission. For more information about roles, see Access control.

    To add a widget, such as a chart or gauge, to a dashboard, do the following:

    1. Ensure the Edit button is displayed. If it isn't shown, click the View only menu and select Switch to Edit mode.
    2. If the Chart library is visible, then click or drag a widget from the Chart library to the graph area. A preconfigured widget of the selected type is displayed.
    3. If the Chart library isn't visible, then click Add chart and select a dashboard widget.
    4. Configure the widget by using its configuration pane.
  • Clone chart

    To copy a custom-dashboard widget and save the copy to a custom dashboard, do the following:

    1. Ensure the Edit button is displayed. If it isn't shown, click the View only menu and select Switch to Edit mode.
    2. Select the widget you want to copy.
    3. Click Clone chart, complete the dialog, and then click Clone.

    To copy a predefined-dashboard widget and save the copy to a custom dashboard, do the following:

    1. In the widget toolbar, select More and then select Copy or Add to custom dashboard.
    2. Complete the dialog and then click Copy.

    Not all widgets support the copy operation.

  • JSON Editor

    To open the JSON editor, or to close the editor, click the toggle button JSON Editor.

    When enabled, the JSON editor displays the dashboard definition in JSON format. With the editor, you can do all of the following:

    • Edit the current dashboard definition.
    • Download the definition to a local system.
    • Upload a JSON-formatted dashboard definition. This action overwrites the current definition.
    • Copy the dashboard definition into a clipboard.

    The upload and download actions let you share and install custom dashboard definitions. For more information on these steps, see Install sample dashboards.

  • Autosave

    To enable autosave, ensure the Autosave toggle is in the on position. When Cloud done is displayed, your changes have been saved.

    When autosave is disabled, you must click Save in the dashboard toolbar to keep your changes.

  • Filter

    Each dashboard page contains a Filter bar that can be used to temporarily change the displayed data. For example, to only show data for a specific instance, you can add one or more filters. Filters apply only to your current view. If you navigate to a different window, the filter configuration is discarded. Filters added to a dashboard are joined by a logical AND.

What's next