Since I started working with Operations Manager 2007 and Distributed Applications (DA) I’ve run across situations where when I was creating a diagram view (usually for a DA) if I had more than eight objects at a layer it would group them as healthy, warning and critical. Unfortunately, this isn’t a very intuitive view to actually browse the health state of an application so I ended up making changes to the DA layout so that there would not be eight or more objects on a layer of the diagram view. During an MVP discussion a little while back Baelson Duque pointed out that virtual grouping can be used to control this behavior. It wasn’t until I spent some time digging into the Operations Manager 2012 console that I realized what he was referring to, and it wasn’t until I dug back into earlier versions of the console that I realized that this functionality had been added in OpsMgr 2007 R2!
For background, the behavior I was used to was with virtual grouping in place. The screenshot below shows where this is configured when creating a diagram view in OpsMgr 2012. In this example, virtual grouping is in place with the defaults that I was used to.
The result of too many objects on the second level of this entity is shown below where the objects have rolled up into a Healthy object with several sub-objects bundled under them.
Now, if I take the same diagram view and I change it from the configuration above to not use virtual grouping (shown below).
The result is a more preferable solution for most distributed applications which shows all of the objects directly below the top level object. There is no intervening healthy, warning, critical status, or child objects bundled together.
Summary: The historical limit of eight objects per level of a Distributed Application before they are grouped differently is a configurable setting. This can be configured by creating the DA, and then creating a diagram view for the DA and using the now-default option to “Do not virtually group”. These same concepts apply both in OpsMgr 2007 R2 and OpsMgr 2012 as of the RC version.