The number of tools available for proactive insight into your vSphere environment continue to expand. When someone nowadays says ‘Skyline’, well which component? I will begin by reviewing some of the various Skyline options and then will follow with the actual plugin-in installation.
Skyline Collector Appliance – On premise Photon appliances which runs in a customers private data center and responsible for the collection of data and logs to send to VMware Cloud. Click here to learn more
Skyline Advisor – VMware’s cloud offering in VMware’s Cloud. This is what ties into the Skyline Collector appliances referenced above.
Skyline Health Diagnostics – This is an appliance ran in your private datacenter to perform healthy checks against your vCenter appliance and vSphere environment. This is a handy tool to check for plugins, interoperability checks and upgrade preparedness.
You may be asking, “I already have Skyline, I deployed the collector and I access Skyline Advisor” You are correct, I like to consider SHD as another toolkit that you can run on-premises and most helpful for those “air gapped” sites and where security is strict about what goes in and out. The SHD appliance is key and helping you get a health check, troubleshooting and pro-active insights.
I’m starting this blog after a clean install of SHD. At the homepage, from Analyze >> ‘+ New Analysis’
Although there are various options such as Health Checks, Upgrade Checks & Log Analysis.
For now we will perform a ‘Direct Connect Diagnostics to the vCenter appliance
Input appliance authentication information for the vCenter and click ‘Next’
For me, I left this default
At the very end click ‘Run’ and it should then appear as a Task on generating and pulling down log bundles from the vCenter. Once completed you will find the results looking like this, next click ‘Refresh’ and the ‘Show Report’ option should become available.
The report is now available to display results, being this is vCenter was just recently deployed there is not much being called here. As you can see there is an ‘Error’ with hosts disconnecting..scroll down
You can see that the appliance parsed through the logs already and pointed out some specifics
Now report does open in another browser window, if you go back to the SHD page, you can go to Show Reports and you have an option to open it again or even download it to share out to peers or support for review.
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 3.4. 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.
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.