How to setup VMware Skyline Collector 2.3

So what is VMware Skyline you ask?

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

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.

For more information, see the VMware Skyline Documentation Center.

What VMware products are supported?

The following versions of VMware products and solutions can be added to the Skyline Collector, for identification of potential issues related to each solution, and delivery of proactive recommendations for issue avoidance within Skyline Advisor.

  • VMware vCenter Server: 5.5 and higher.
  • VMware ESXi: 5.5 and higher.
  • VMware NSX for vSphere: 6.2 and higher.
  • VMware vSAN: 6.0 and higher.
  • Horizon View 7: 7.0 and higher.
  • vRealize Operations Manager: 6.6 and higher.

Note: Horizon 7 v7.10 is required to enable the transferring of Horizon Connection Server support log bundles using Skyline Log Assist. See KB Article 59661 for the required permissions to enable remote support log bundle collection for Horizon Connection Server.

So SkyLine is Free?

The proactive support capabilities provided by Skyline are available to customers who have an active Production Support or Premier Services contract, at no additional cost. Premier Services includes Business Critical Support (BCS), Mission Critical Support (MCS), Healthcare Critical Support (HCS) and Carrier Grade Support (CGS).
One exception to the support rule is that if you have Basic Support, Skyline is not included with Basic Support.

Why use Skyline?

Well, why not? This tool helps you and the GSS teams to get faster resolves on your issues! No more manual collecting of logs for support. This will save you and your local support team a lot of time! More products will be added in the future like vRealize suite or NSX-T.

Networking requirements

MachineConnection ToConnection TypeProtocolPort
VMware Skyline Collectorvcsa.vmware.comHTTPSTCP/IP443
VMware Skyline Collectorvapp-updates.vmware.comHTTPSTCP/IP443
VMware Skyline CollectorvCenter ServerHTTPSTCP/IP443
VMware Skyline CollectorPSC/SSO Service provider 5.5HTTPSTCP/IP443
VMware Skyline CollectorPSC/SSO Service provider 6.0 / 6.5HTTPSTCP/IP7443
VMware Skyline CollectorNSX ManagerHTTPSTCP/IP443
Web browserSkyline Collector user interfaceHTTPSTCP/IP443
Web browserSkyline Collector (VAMI)HTTPSTCP/IP5480

The Appliance setup

Start off with logging into My VMware and download VMware Skyline Collector 2.3.0.2 Appliance OVA. At the time of writing this blog, version 2.3.0.2 is the latest. Filename: Skyline-Appliance-2.3.0.2-15347811_OVF10.ova with a size of a hefty 599MB.
Login into vCenter and deploy the Skyline-Appliance-2.3.0.2-15347811_OVF10.ova.Select the ovf file Skyline-Appliance-2.3.0.2-15347811_OVF10.ova. Then click next.Select a name for the appliance and a location, click Next.Select a resource and click next.review and click next.Accept the license agreements and click Next.
Select a datastore and vSAN policy if needed. Select the network where your skyline appliance will live in and click next. Enter a root password and the network information. Click next. Check the overview screen and click Finish to deploy Skyline! After deployment power on and we will go through the configuration.

Now set the correct time zone first. Nobody wants logging in incorrect time 🙂

Open a web browser and enter the URL for the Skyline Collector.
https://skyline_collector_ip_address_or_fqdn
Log in to the user interface using the default values below. Click Log In.
Username: admin
Password: default
You will be forced to change this password at first login. The new password must meet the following
character requirements:

  • Minimum of 8 characters
  • One lowercase letter
  • One uppercase letter
  • One special character (!@#$&)
  • One number

Click Change after entering a new password. You must re-login to the Skyline Collector user interface after changing the password.
Select Login Again to return to the login screen. Login again and go through the setup of Skyline.

Configuring Skyline

Let’s walk through the 11 steps needed to setup Skyline.
Network Connectivity: Click the test button and check if you have internet access.

CEIP Terms and Conditions

Collector Registration: Create a new token on the https://skyline.vmware.com/get-started page. Then register the collector.

Continue Configuration:
Collector Name: Enter a common name for this.
Auto-Upgrade: Define if you want to auto-upgrade the appliance or not.
Configure vCenter Server: Define your vCenter servers.
Configure NSX Manager (optional): Add your NSX managers.
Configure Horizon View (optional): Add your Horizon 7.10 pods.
Configure vRealize Operations (optional): Add your vRops servers.
And now you are done! Everything we just went through is mostly shown in the video below.

Getting started video

Upgrade Instructions

Follow these steps to upgrade to this version of VMware Skyline Collector:

  • Open a web browser and enter the URL for the Skyline Collector VAMI: https://Skyline_Collector_IP_address_or_FQDN:5480.
  • Log in using the root username and password.
  • Click Login.
  • Click Update.
  • Click Check Updates.
  • If an update is available, click Install Updates.

And now?

Now you can log in to https://skyline.vmware.com/advisor/ and see all the information that is being collected. The initial collection takes up to 72 hours so be patient.

All services are collecting and now we wait 🙂

Stuff I ran into during deployment

  • Had internet access but vcsa.vmware.com was blocked somewhere.
  • While adding vCenters and added the load-balanced psc VIP I got an error. Only one of the PSC addresses itself worked but not the load-balanced address.
  • Added Horizon 7.8 but only 7.10 is supported for automated log collection.
  • When a connection server is federated with VMware Identity Manager it will fail to add to Skyline.
  • The timeout of the appliance logon is low, so after getting coffee during setup, you must log in again…

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