How to: Installing VMware Skyline

What’s Skyline?

I’ve had a few people ask me about VMware Skyline, so I thought it would be a good bit to blog on. So, with that said, what is VMware Skyline? Accordingly to VMware Skyline Documentation, VMware Skyline is a proactive support service that provides recommendations for not only vSphere, but NSX, vSAN, vRealize Operations and Horizon.

“VMware Skyline™ is a proactive support service aligned with VMware Global Support Services. VMware Skyline automatically and securely collects, aggregates, and analyzes product usage data which proactively identifies potential problems and helps VMware Technical Support Engineers improve the resolution time.

This enables richer, more informed interactions between customers and VMware without extensive time investments by Technical Support Engineers. These capabilities transform support operations from reactive, break/fix to a proactive, predictive, and prescriptive experience that produces an even greater return on your VMware support investment.”

Features: One of the best features of Skyline is “Skyline Log Assist”.

This feature allows for support log bundles to be automatically uploaded to VMware Support. Example: Say you are having an issue with your production environment. First, you would open a case with VMware. Second, (if determined), VMware support engineers will request that you upload a support bundle.

Once you approve of the request, VMware support engineers can automatically obtain access to the logs without your intervention. This is a huge step with productivity, since any VMware Administrator can tell you just how time consuming it is to upload files!

I would recommend VMware Skyline to anyone who is running a VMware environment. The challenges of managing a large environment is time consuming, and VMware administrators are having to do more with less time. The more you can automate, the more time one can free up for more pressing issues.

Requirements: VMware Skyline is free download, but it does require a valid production support contract.

The first step to deploying VMware Skyline is to login to your my VMware account and download it. During this time, the latest version is 2.3.02.

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Accept the End User Agreement

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The download takes little to no time with the total download time around 500MB.

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Once downloaded, the Skyline Appliance can be deployed as an OVF.

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Name the VM and place it within your cluster.

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Once compatibility checks succeed, click next.

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Review Deployment Details and click next.

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Accept all license agreements, and click next.

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Select an appropriate Datastore to deploy the VM to.

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Next, select your appropriate networks and enter the correct IP information.

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Enter a root password to be used to manage the appliance.

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Confirm all Networking Properties are correct.

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Once everything looks good, select Finish.

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The Skyline Appliance will now deploy.

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Once deployed, the Provisioning Agents will start.

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Once you have successfully deployed you have access to the console screen, which gives you directions on how to access and manage the appliance. Make sure to put port 5480 at the end of your address <ip>:5480 to access the appliance interface through a browser.

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Once you have successfully deployed, you can login. The default login and password for the Skyline collector is as follows.

Default login: admin
Default Password: default

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Finally, once you have successfully logged in for the first time, you need to reset the password. Ensure the character requirements are met and reset the password. Deploying VMware Skyline is just that simple! I will write a followup blog post describing the steps needed to complete the collection process.

 

VMware HomeLab: SuperMicro E300-8D

Well the day is finally here, the day that I can share that I’ve successfully purchased my very own HomeLab! This has been a source of struggle for me, since I’ve always wanted a HomeLab. I entertained and researched various setups, including the Intel NUC. During my search I came across the SuperMicro E300-8D, which supports up to 128GB of RAM. For more information on the E300-8D, check out SuperMicro’s Website.   It was the perfect price point and it allowed me to get the most out of my investment. It fit what I was looking for, which was a small footprint server that didn’t require much power. Additionally I wanted something quiet. While some have complained about the noise, I don’t believe it’s an issue with the stock fans, so long that it isn’t located within a sleeping area. The Server is setup in my Home Office.  I also wanted to ensure I had plenty of memory so that I wouldn’t have any issues when provisioning a nested ESXi vSAN Lab.

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Blog Anniversary: Two Year Blog Update

TheVirtualBoi Turns Two!

It’s hard to believe this blog is now two years old. It seems like just yesterday I was trying to determine the best blogging platform to utilize. Time has flown by, and during that time I’ve written approximately 40 blog post, including this one.  I’ve learned so much during that time, and I can honestly say this blog has challenged me to continue to learn and grow. My biggest accomplishment was obtaining my AWS Solutions Architect Associate Certification.

When I review the statistics, I see that very few people read it. We life in a age of instant tidbits of information, and people aren’t going to take the time to read this unless they are trying to resolve an issue. If anything it helps hold me accountable, although I hope people can learn and find inspiration from this blog. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. I plan to continue to focus on VMware, Data Protection, and AWS.

Monday Motivation: Beast Mode

Monday’s: Its often considered the worst day of the week. People HATE Monday and love Friday. Why is that? In order to find out, I think you have to dive deep into human nature.

In order to get where you want to get in life, you have to work for it. Nothing beats hard work. Often times you will have to outwork others (competition) for it. There won’t be anyone to give you all the answers or tell you how to get there. You will have to forge your own path. You have to invest in yourself, and it’s up to you to take responsibility for own life/career, no one else can do it for you. Just because you work hard doesn’t mean you get a gold star. There are just as many people you don’t know who are working just as hard, if not harder! It’s very disappointing because I’ve know several individuals who have had such potential, but let complacency set in. This results in them staying exactly where they are.

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done”- Thomas Jefferson

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Comparison: vSphere Essentials vs Essentials Plus

In this short blog post, I want to discuss the differences in VMware’s entry level offerings. The other day I had to reference the VMware datasheet that compared the differences between vSphere Essentials vs vSphere Essentials Plus. Sadly I didn’t know the differences until now since I’ve always been fortunate to be spoiled with the full feature set of Enterprise and/or Enterprise Plus!

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My journey into Presales Engineering

This is a story about my journey into Presales. It’s a rather long story describing how I’ve gotten to this point in my career. The intent isn’t to gloat, but rather paint a picture for those who are also looking to get into Presales. In my opinion, Presales is the pinnacle of IT Careers. This is a rather long read, but a story I believe is worth telling. Throughout my career in IT, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing individuals, as well as great organizations who really cared for their employees. This process has been a journey to say the least.

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AWS Solutions Architect Associate 2018

AWS Solutions Architect Associate 2018

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“There are two kinds of individuals: Those who find a way, and those who find an excuse”

This was the motto that got me to this point when I saw the word “Congratulations” flash on the screen. I had just hit the “End Exam” button. I couldn’t believe it, I had finally passed the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Exam. While I sat in the 80 degree testing room (why put ten people in one room with 10 computers, then shut the door with no AC?) staring at the screen, I couldn’t help but be thankful. I had finally passed the test that, up until that point, struck fear in my mind.  The culmination of over a years worth of preparation, many up and downs, two failed attempts and continued effort finally paid off.

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