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.