Data Centre Racks in #Visio in #PowerBI

I have often diagrammed rack and cabinet layouts and elevations using Visio linked to a database or Excel tables. There is a Rack Diagram template in Visio which is great for manually creating cabinet elevations manually, but there is nothing currently out of the box to automate this process, so it can be a laborious task unless you have some custom code. It is quite simple to draw a computer room layout of the racks and cabinets and to link each one to a row of data. In this article, I have a table of rack equipment in Excel, and used PowerQuery in PowerBI to summarize these rows for each data center, rack and U height position, since there are sometimes more than one item of equipment per U height. In this example, I have color coded the criticality of each equipment such that the most important display as red, and the least important as green. This means that a PowerBI user can quickly see where the critical racks, U heights and equipment are. Of course, I could have used any metric, such as power consumption, heat output or humidity, for the colour-coding. It all depends on the data available, and the audience for the report.

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Using #JSON text in #Visio shapes

I often create Visio masters with a fixed number of Shape Data rows, and sometimes I get requests to modify them because of changes in business needs. Well, my previous posts about Graph Databases got me thinking if it would be possible to embed JSON text in Visio shapes in some sort of meaningful way. Then the user could enter just attribute-value pairs at will, without the need for me to modify their master shape. Alternatively, the data could be inserted into the shape from a database, such as SQL server. So, in this article I discuss the suitability of JSON text in Visio shapes.

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Updating data sources from #Visio using #MSFlow … easily!

Most of my posts have been about using Visio as a data consumer by linking Visio shapes to data, but Visio can be the best place to create some data from. For example, an office layout can have personnel or equipment shapes within a workstation area, or space shapes are used to define areas which are used for calculating the space usage chargeback reports. There are non-facilities management related examples too, as the only consideration is what is the best way to create relationships, measure lengths, or calculate areas. These are all tasks that are best done by just moving, resizing, connecting or containing shapes interactively in the Visio interface. In this article I will explain how Microsoft Flow can be used update a data source simply from a Visio document.

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A Blackstar alphabet in Visio

I wrote an article last year for Microsoft, using Visio to explain some bits of messaging and encryption (see https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/uktechnet/2016/05/27/a-history-of-messaging-and-encryption/ ). I finished the article with an unexplained image of a word, well the solution was obviously “BOWIE”, as written on the cover of his final album, Blackstar, released exactly one year ago today.

2017-01-08_17-58-14

Last night, my wife and I went to see Lazarus, which was Bowie’s musical, and a big tick on his bucket list. He died two days after the release of Blackstar, and the soundtrack of my life began to fade….

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Updates to #MSIgnite #Visio Session Documents

I will be leaving soon for Atlanta to the MS Ignite Conference, but first I checked the latest schedule and found some additions and some slight title changes, so I have updated the documents provided in my last two posts:

MS Ignite Conference 2016 Sessions in Visio

Visio Sessions at MS Ignite Conference 2016

Also, I have produced a short, silent video of the process to import your own Ignite Trip Report.docx from the MS Ignite website to Visio.

See you in Atlanta!

 

Visio Sessions at MS Ignite Conference 2016

I will be a co-presenter at the Microsoft Ignite Conference on 28th Sept. 2016 ( see Dive deep into advanced Data Visualization with Visio ) along with my fellow MVPs Scott Helmers and Ed Richard, and led by Sandeep Srivastava, from Microsoft. I am really looking forward to it because it will be a great opportunity to learn more about all of the exciting developments happening at Microsoft nowadays. Of course, I will also be showing off what we can do in Visio too, and to that end I have created a session location finder in Visio.

The MS Ignite Conference is an enormous 5 day event, with over 1300 sessions spread over three buildings and 5 floors. The conference website provides the opportunity to build your personal schedule, and to download a Word trip report. Unfortunately, this report does not include the rooms and the zone or building that they are in. Therefore, I used some of my facilities management experience and Visio to provide a multipage Visio document with building section and plans provide the location context for each session in my, or attendees, schedule.

Section TImer.gif

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MS TechNet UK blog : A history of messaging and encryption

This is just a quick note to say that I have just had a blog post published on a Microsoft web-site. It is a very selective history of messaging and encryption, using Visio SmartShapes to demonstrate some aspects of this :

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/uktechnet/2016/05/27/a-history-of-messaging-and-encryption/

You too an visit The National Museum of Computing at http://www.tnmoc.org/

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