Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Widgets are Coming!

Now for something totally different: Widgets!

What are widgets? Generically speaking, they're small mini-applets that run on your desktop or in a dashboard-type page or view. In the case of the, widgets are small slices of functionality that have been broken-out from the main Analysis Portal site and presented as a stand-alone UI for a specific data type.

For example, we're working on a Systems Health widget that uses the Portal site's Report Card engine to generate daily and weekly summary charts of a system's overall CPU, Memory and I/O health. Here's a screenshot of the widget in action:


Figure 1 - The Systems Health Widget

We've also built a Process Monitoring widget that lets you keep track of collected metrics data for a specific process on a specific system. Here's a quick look at the widget monitoring SQL Server CPU utilization over a one week period:


Figure 2 - The Process Monitor Widget

Our goal is to produce a whole library of similarly styled widgets, each with a specific function that exposes part of the Portal's tools set. We'll likely offer these together as a kind of "roll-your-own-dashboard" kit where you can point and click your way to the ideal combination of charts and gauges.

And as always, we welcome your feedback. Tell us what you'd like to see in an "exo.widget" library and we'll see what we can cook-up together! :-)


New Server (Yippee!)

We're pleased to announce that we've completed our move to the new server. The is now hosted on a state of the art PowerEdge 2950 with 8x 2.66Ghz Xeon CPU Cores (2x E5430), 8GB of RAM and 1.2TB of storage in a six-disk RAID. It's a nice step-up from our previous "Prestonia" Xeon dinosaur and should give us the capacity to reach our goal of 10K users by summer.

Also, we switched co-location facilities. We dumped the poorly managed DigiPort Miami (don't go there!) in favor of a swanky new suite at in Boca. It's closer to our offices in Wellington and a truly high-class operation. We'll sleep better at night. :-)

Note: We're still tweaking and tuning the new config, so pardon any intermittent service disruptions. All of your accounts have been moved over and both portal access and tracker upload should work as before. Regardless, we'll do our best to keep the "dust" to a minimum - and as always, thanks for helping to make the a success!