VMware

Introduction to VMware Skyline

What is VMware Skyline?

VMware Skyline is a proactive support technology available at no additional cost to customers with an active Production Support or Premier Services level contract. Skyline automatically and securely collects, aggregates and analyzes customer specific product usage data to proactively identify potential issues and improve time-to-resolution.

Key Benefits

  • Identification of potential issues and guided resolution before problems occur.
  • Reduced time-to-resolution for support requests.
  • Optimized upload of log files, enabling time savings and faster case resolution.
  • Overall improved stability of environment.
  • Self-service, any-time access to proactive findings and recommendations.
  • Assisted remediation guidance for Premier Services customers.

How It Works

VMware Skyline Collector & Skyline Advisor are available via VMware Cloud Services.

Customers with an active support subscription install the VMware Skyline Collector, a standalone appliance that automatically and securely collects product usage data, including configuration, feature, and performance data. The Collector then listens for changes, events and patterns, and Skyline analyzes the information using a robust rules engine. Customers access Skyline Advisor to review proactive findings, recommendations and upload logs via Log Assist. Premier Services customers receive additional guidance and review proactive recommendations on a regular cadence with their designated support team members to improve their environment’s reliability and stability.

Skyline Collector

The VMware Skyline Collector installation and configuration is simple and usually takes no more than 30 minutes to complete. Once installed, ongoing administration is minimal.

Data Analysis and Rules Engine

Collected data is then analyzed based on robust Rules and Analysis Engine. The rules engine is where an ever-growing library of support intelligence, product knowledge and logic are stored to analyze inbound streams of product information.

VMware uses the data collected by Skyline to proactively identify potential issues and perform research analysis for service requests to improve the overall stability and reliability of your VMware environment.

Data is transferred to VMware over an encrypted channel and stored in secure VMware facilities, however, customer data is stored within the Collector for a brief period of time.

VMware analyzes and reports on the information collected as part of your VMware support subscription. The output of the analysis is presented in the Skyline OSR (Operational Summary Report).

Skyline Operational Summary Report (OSR)

The OSR provides customers with the findings and recommendations proactively identified by Skyline. This is in addition to the Skyline Advisor, a SaaS application that provides customers with a self-service portal to access the findings and recommendations discovered by Skyline.

The Operational Summary Report provides customers with a high-level overview of potential risks within their environment. It also provides customers with the ability to quickly share VMware proactive support details with management as well as to retain a point-in-time copy of the findings and recommendations discovered by Skyline.

OSR sections:

Deployment Summary

 It details each Skyline Collector, as well as a high-level inventory of all the objects associated with the corresponding vCenter Server or NSX Managers that are connected to the Skyline Collector

Recommendation Summary

It summarizes the Findings with a given a severity level of Critical, Moderate or Trivial, associated the the corresponding source, vCenter Server or NSX Manager.

It helps you understand where your most critical potential issues exist, so that you can proactively begin resolving these potential issues before they become real problems within your environment.

Compute (Findings)

Each potential issue is provided to you as a pair of Finding / Recommendation. Each Finding contains a description of the issue along with recommendation to resolve it. These recommendations could include Knowledge Base articles, best practices, white papers or some other form of official VMware documentation.

Remediation

When you are ready to begin remediating a Finding within your environment, you can use the rules.zip file to find the details for each of the objects that might be impacted by the potential issue. For example, you are reviewing a Finding within the Operational Summary Report and see that 5 objects could be impacted within the vCenter Server or NSX Manager. However, you don’t know which 5 objects. Open the rules.zip file, search for the unique FindingID associated with the Finding you are reviewing, open that file and you can now see which 5 objects (ESXi hosts, virtual machines, distributed switch, datastore, etc.) are impacted by that Finding. We will explore this in the next chapter of this module.

You can also use the unique FindingID if you have a question about the issue and/or recommendation within the Skyline Community. This enables the Technical Support Engineers moderating the Skyline Community to identify the particular Finding you have a question about as well as further helping you remediate the potential issue

Additional Information