Skyline, … Veni, Vidi, Vici!

Credits for this article goes to Jean-Yves Dumont (Bio Below)

What is Skyline?

VMware Skyline Advisor is a free proactive support self-service

VMware Skyline Advisor is web application tool available to customers with an active support contract. It will collect information such as configuration, software versions, performance data, etc. and from this data it will be able to identify known issues and, then, proactively provides recommendations.

What does Skyline?

The Skyline Collector will collect and aggregates infrastructure information (configuration data, feature usage data, performance data,product log data) while listening for changes and events within your environment. This information is encrypted and then sent to VMware for analysis. When the analysis is complete, you will be able to see findings and recommendations in The Skyline Advisor. Skyline Advisor is the web-based application accessed within My VMware. From there, VMware Technical Support will have a view of your information. This way it can enhance troubleshooting and discussion with VMWare Support.

VMware Skyline Collector instances can collect data from the following components (Endpoint).

  • vSphere
  • vSAN by using vSAN Support Insight
  • NSX for vSphere
  • vRealize Operations Manager

Notes: one single collector can register up to 10 Endpoint.

If my data are sent to VMWare, how secure is it ?

VMware will ensure the privacy and security of your data and Skyline has a robust privacy program. The data is transferred to VMware over an encrypted channel and is stored in secure VMware facilities based in the US (VMware maintained data centers or within AWS hosted services managed by VMware employees).

Notes: Also your data will be only accessible to VMware support and engagement. VMware employees accessing your data are required to complete Product Usage Data Training and receive management approval before being able to access the data.

For more information on data collection, please see the CEIP FAQ

So, Who can use Skyline?

Any customers with an active Production Support or Premier Services contract with no additional cost.

Notes:

  • Skyline is not available to Basic Support customers.
  • Premier Services customers will receive all of Skyline’s features and benefits, including expert, consultative recommendations and interactive discussions.  
  • Production Support customers will access alerts and recommendations through a self-service portal.
  • Participation in the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) Enhanced participation level is required as part of VMware Skyline.

Now, How to get started with Skyline?

The way to get Skyline up and running is pretty much easy.

First step is to go to:
https://cloud.vmware.com/skyline then Click the Get Started link.
You then access a wizard that will walk you through creating a Cloud Services Organization for Skyline (if-needed), downloading and installing the Skyline Collector, registering your Skyline Collector with your Cloud Services Organization, and accessing Skyline Advisor.

What are the Skyline pre-requisites?

For the Skyline collector virtual Appliance, refer to the table below:

Remark: For isolation and co-location with endpoint sources, it is better that you place your Skyline Collector appliance in the region-specific management VLAN.

Also, your skyline networking design should also supports administrative access to the Skyline Collector instances and outbound access for each Skyline Collector instance to VMware for diagnostic data analysis. It means that your Skyline Collector instances require outbound network connectivity to the external VMware Skyline systems to upload diagnostic data. You must provide the Skyline Collector instances with direct or proxied HTTPS access to the external VMware Skyline systems. Then, you will need to provide direct or proxied HTTPS access to the external endpoints for the Skyline Collector instances listed below.

Which Account and Service Account are required?

Local application user accounts will be required to enable you to perform system and application administration:

Also you will need some service account to be created. It is recommended for security and manageability reasons to create service account that are used in a one- or bi-directional fashion to enable secure application communication. You use custom roles to ensure that these accounts have only the least permissions that are required for authentication and data exchange:

Do you want to know more?

https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Skyline/index.html

https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/55928

For Hands-on-Lab, Videos On-Demand, WhitePapers and GetStarted:

https://www.vmware.com/learn/480361_SKYLINE_TY.html

Jean-Yves Dumont is Senior TAM and formerly PSO Architect for VMware.

Motivated, flexible and experienced Senior IT consultant and Architect with a 22 years IT experience. 

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