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VMware Skyline Collector 3.0 Deployment

There are a lots of tools in the shed when it comes to overseeing the health of your VMware software-defined datacenter. One of those tools, Skyline, is a free SaaS offering on console.cloud.com when you have an active ELA or a Success 360 customer (Premier Support).

From VMware http://www.customerconnect.vmware.com you can go out to Downloads and obtain the VMware Skyline Collector 3.0. This will download an OVA file to deploy in your virtual environment.

I will be fast-forwarding through most assuming the audience is familiar with deploying Virtual Machines.

Some recommendations I would give is prior to deploying in any environment, come up with a hostname for the VM, reserve an IP address, create a DNS entry.

Another recommendation is to review the Skyline Collector User Guide which contains how to configure the endpoint user accounts with a strict permission model (Read Only). https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Skyline-Collector/3.0/user-guide.pdf

Choose to leave default name or create a custom vSphere object name (prefer making the name the same as your reserved hostname), everyone’s standard will be different. Click Next.

The next step, select cluster/compute resource the virtual machine will be deployed on.

Review the details of the appliance, the next screen will be EULA (End User License Agreement). Click Next

Select the storage for the appliance, click Next.

Select the desired network, click Next.

For the next step, create a custom ‘root’ account password, assign the networking, domain and DNS related entries to complete customizing the template. Once that is completed, click Finish

In the event you lose or forget the root password for the appliance or the ‘admin’ account, visit the following KB: https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/52652

Initially I got thrown the following error, all i did was refresh my session and run through the installation setup a little quicker, there were some delays while creating the post.

Once the VM is created, you will need to power it on. Once it’s full booted up and network services are on. You should be able to reach the appliance by its hostname.

The default password for the ‘admin’ account is ‘default’. Once you log in, you will be prompted to change the password immediately and then to log back in.

Once you log in with the newly changed password a setup wizard will begin the registration of the collector to Skyline Advisor and option to configure endpoints. There are some additional prerequisites that are recommended to perform prior to complete next steps, such as creating the suggested Read-Only accounts to be used for configuring the endpoints.

From the beginning 1. Test & Save the hostname configuration and configuring a proxy (optional), click ‘Continue’.

Next is the CEIP, click ‘Continue’,

As we are going through the wizard, step 3. Collector Registration, will require signing onto the console.cloud.vmware.com and from the Cloud Console home select ‘Skyline Advisor’

In our example, there is an existing Skyline under a cloud org and we will be adding an additional collector. Click ‘Add Collector’

You will now be presented with an option to Copy/Paste a generated token

Go back to the Collector configuration wizard, paste the token and click ‘Register Collector’

Create a ‘Friendly Name’ the collector will be identified as in Skyline Advisor, it’s recommended if you are deploying collectors are several sites to create names easily identified.

Enable Auto-Upgrade is off by default, I’m turning it on, this is a service that will not disrupt anything in the environment.

Starting with adding credentials, the following example is an Active Directory account that is configured with a Read Only role set in Global Permissions on the vCenter.

You may proceed with configuring additional products into Skyline. Fast forward through all the solutions, once completed, the Endpoints may come up red for a moment or show green immediatly.

If you go back to the VMware Cloud Console, the final step would be to click ‘Complete Setup’ This should then take you back to the Skyline Advisor and the number of collectors should increase by one.

I hope this document was helpful and there is plenty more of information and details pertaining to Skyline.

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Home Lab Refresh – Supermicro E300-9D-8CN8TP

If you know me personally you would know I take a chance on something I really want, it was like that when i first ordered my DELL R610 servers 5 years ago. While they have served me well, I’ve purchased additional memory, updated processors to help support 6.7, DRAC controller, 10GB adaptors, etc. Fast forward today, I wanted to dive into something new, it was a toss up between going with Intel NUCs, SuperMicro towers or the usual older HPE and Dell servers that have been refurbished.

I decided on taking the leap on the Supermicro E300-9D-8CN8TP. My decision was start off with one and eventually build up slowly, my goal would be to get a 3 host setup to do various types of testing (complete overkill, I know).

Reviewed the VMWare hardware compatibility list and the server is listed to support 7.0 u1, this helps assure me with some future proof.

VMWare HCL

I recommend spending the extra $27 dollars and obtain the Out-Of-Band (OOB) license key, this will allow you to Update BIOS in addition to some extra.

Although this is not a deep dive technical review, It’s on my mind to get one written up. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.

Credit goes out to William Lam’s blog post on this server.

Here is a breakdown of the build

Supermicro E300-9D-8CN8TP Barebonehttps://tinyurl.com/y5fj84cp

Supermicro 32GB DDR4-2666 DIMMhttps://tinyurl.com/y6avan35

Supermicro SSD-DM016-SMCMVN1 16GB SATA DOMhttps://tinyurl.com/yynz9zyz

M.2 NVMe SSD PCIE 3.0 M Key Adapterhttps://tinyurl.com/yyucglqe

Supermicro Out Of Band License Keyhttps://store.supermicro.com/out-of-band-sft-oob-lic.html