World War Widget: The performance view vs the performance widget

Welcome to the first of my "World War Widget" blog series. One of the questions that I’ve been meaning to answer for a long time now is this: When should you use the performance view in Operations Manager and when should you use the performance widget? At first glance, they look pretty similar so what’s the benefits of each?

The first big difference between these approaches is where they get their data. The performance view draws its data from the OperationsManager database, the performance widget draws its data from the OperationsManagerDW database.

The duration that performance data is retained in the Operations Manager database is configurable in the administration pane/settings as shown below. However, in general it’s recommended to keep this at 7 days or lower both to keep the size of the database smaller and to help with the performance of the OperationsManager database.


In general you can count on having data in the database for 7 days if you have the default retention periods for performance data. The screenshot below shows a performance view with data going back approximately 9 days. If you look closely you can see a hint about another upcoming blog series that I’m working on. J


OpsMgr Trivial Pursuit: As a side note, you can use the performance view to "See into the future…" as the graphic below shows from my blog post at: (ok, not really see in the future but at least get an idea of what to expect based on past history)


So what about the performance widget? The graphic below shows the same performance counters in a performance widget. If you look closely you will see several a couple of important differences:


  1. The data retention period shown in this widget is longer than what we see in the performance view. This makes sense since we are drawing the data from the data warehouse.
  2. Note the fields which are available below: Last Value, Minimum, Maximum and Average value.


Benefits of the performance view:

  • Easy to change the duration of the view, top right corner and choose select time range. You can change the time range as well for the performance widget but it requires re-configuration of the widget using the gadget which takes a few more clicks.
  • One of the negatives of the performance widget is in ability to resize the bottom of the data window. In the performance view you can show as many or as few performance counters in the legend section at the bottom. This is extremely helpful when you have a large number of values to display in a smaller window size.
  • When you leave a performance view and return to it the same performance counters that you had selected are still selected. In a performance widget if you leave that widget and return all performance counters are automatically re-selected.


Benefits of the performance widget:

  • Longer data retention periods – up to the duration of how long the data has been stored in the data warehouse!
  • The addition of Last Value, Minimum, Maximum and Average values makes it much easier to find the high or low value in a data set especially when you have a large number of performance metrics in one dashboard.


So when to use which?

  • Performance view:
    • If you have Operations Manager 2007 you can’t use widgets so use the performance view.
    • If you want to select values and have them be retained in the OpsMgr console use the performance view.
    • If you want to be able to quickly shift between date ranges (or to pick a specific period of time such as two days ago until one day ago) use the performance view.
  • Performance widget:
    • If you need to quickly identify high or low values in a performance chart use the performance widget.
    • If you want to display more than 7 days of data use the performance widget.


What are your thoughts? Where have you seen the performance view work better than the widget or vice versa?

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