Managing dashboards through the console

Dashboards are one way for you to view and analyze metric data. The Cloud Console provides predefined dashboards that require no setup or configuration. You can also create or install custom dashboards. You have control over the dashboard content and you can download and copy that dashboard's definition with custom dashboards. You decide what metrics that you want to display and how to display them. You can use line charts, bar charts, heatmap charts, or other widgets such as a gauge. You can also add an alert chart widget, this widget summarizes an alerting policy.

This page describes how to view predefined dashboards and how to create, install, 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 Cloud Monitoring navigation panel, click Dashboards.

Predefined dashboards

Monitoring automatically populates predefined dashboards. Your Google Cloud project resources determine the dashboards available to you. For example, if your project contains Compute Engine resources, then your project includes dashboards 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 dashboards are for Google Cloud services such as Cloud Spanner and Compute Engine.
  • Other: These dashboards are for third-party applications such as Cassandra and nginx, and for Amazon Web Services 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 Google Cloud dashboards, 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.

You can add multiple filters to the filter bar. If you don't include the OR operator between two filters, then a logical-AND joins the filters.

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.

  3. In the resulting list, click VM Instances.

    The VM Instances page lists 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, select 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. To create custom dashboards, you can use the Google Cloud Console or the Cloud Monitoring API.

This section describes how to create and manage your custom dashboards by using the Google Cloud Console. 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

The steps provided in this section assume that you start with an empty dashboard. For information about how install a dashboard into your project and then customize the result, see Installing sample dashboards.

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. (Required) 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.

  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. To make your changes, you can use the widget configuration pane or the JSON editor. 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

Deleting a dashboard that contains alert charts doesn't delete the alerting policies whose data was displayed on those alert charts. Therefore, you might receive notifications from those policies after the dashboard is deleted. To manage your alerting policies, go to the Alerting page in the Google Cloud Console.

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 dashboard

To install a dashboard definition, do the following:

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

    Go to Monitoring

  2. In the Monitoring navigation pane, select Dashboards.

    From the Dashboards page, you have two different ways that you can install a dashboard:

    • You can select the dashboards that you want to install from the Sample library tab.

    • You can upload a JSON file from your local system to your project.

      For dashboards stored in the GitHub repository, you can save specific dashboards, or you can download the entire repository:

      git clone https://github.com/GoogleCloudPlatform/monitoring-dashboard-samples.git
      

To use the sample library, click Sample library on the Dashboards page:

  • To view details about a dashboard or to preview the dashboard, click Preview.
  • To view the JSON representation of the dashboard, click Preview and then click JSON.
  • To install a dashboard from the Preview page, click Import sample dashboard.
  • To install multiple dashboards, from the Sample library tab, select the dashboards that you want to install and then click Import.

To configure a dashboard by uploading a JSON file, do the following:

  1. On the Dashboards page, click Create dashboard.

  2. 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
      },
    }
    
  3. In the editor's toolbar, click File Upload.

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

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

  5. 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. Certain analysis features disables auto refresh. 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.

  • Viewing and Editing

    To modify a dashboard, Editing must be displayed. When Viewing 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 dashboard is in editing mode:

    • To undo your previous change, click Undo.

    • To reapply your previous change, click Redo.

  • Mosaic and Grid buttons

    These buttons are displayed when the dashboard is in editing mode. By default, dashboards are configured with the Mosaic layout. You can resize and reposition widgets, with this configuration:

    • 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 that the Editing button is displayed. If it isn't shown, click the Viewing menu and select Switch to Editing 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 that the Editing button is displayed. If it isn't shown, click the Viewing menu and select Switch to Editing 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 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. A logical AND joins filters added to a dashboard.

What's next