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VMware Skyline Brings Proactive Intelligence to Cloud Management

As more applications and workloads take to the cloud, the burden on IT to keep everything running smoothly grows exponentially. See how VMware Skyline combines with vRealize Operations and vRealize AI to monitor your environment and avoid issues.


In the age of digital transformation, companies are investing huge amounts of time, money and manpower to deliver the services and applications that help them stay relevant and grow. IT organizations are grappling with the enormous task of building and operating foundational platforms on which these applications run. With businesses relying on digital transformation to compete, it becomes more critical that the platforms are highly available and resilient, with minimal disruptions.


Most companies leverage monitoring and observability tools to help keep things running smoothly. When a disruption happens, it gets resolved as quickly as possible. This is par for the course.


In comes Pat Gelsinger’s “Innovate Everything” mantra. VMware is developing advanced technologies that prevent problems from happening at all by leveraging the best in data analytics, AI and ML. And if a problem cannot be prevented, customers can self-service troubleshoot or quickly connect and root cause with VMware Support.


VMware Skyline’s mission: Avoiding issues with proactive intelligence


VMware understands that while demand for new services is rising, IT budgets are falling. In the wake of COVID-19, the resounding message to CIOS and IT is, “Do more with less.”


To help address this challenge, VMware has added VMware Skyline as a key component to its Cloud Management portfolio. With Skyline, IT transitions teams can move from a reactive, firefighting mode to a proactive, self-driving model – freeing time to focus on more strategic business initiatives and innovation. Skyline was recently included as a component of the vRealize Cloud Universal subscription, and is still included at no additional cost to customers with Production and Premier Support as well as VMware Success 360.


Designed and built by VMware to keep customers out of harm’s way, Skyline helps you avoid issues and reduce risk, while increasing infrastructure health, security and resiliency. Self-service management is easy, with actionable insights, diagnostics and vRealize integrations. If support is needed, issue time to resolution is reduced with better visibility and Log Assist.


Emulating the Earth’s self-driving system




The Earth is one of the most successful self-driving systems of all time. For 4.5 billion years it has avoided cosmic destruction while whirling around the sun at 67,000 mph. Its self-drive mechanism has three main components:


  1. Ozone – A sky-high issue-avoidance layer that detects and absorbs 97% of the sun’s radiation.
  2. Surface – Where humans realize how to build, run and manage their lives. All while trying to avoid painful sunburns.
  3. Core – Liquid magma automates and tunes powerful magnetic fields which protects the earth from epic calamity. In fact, the core and the ozone layer are intertwined. The ozone would not exist without the Earth’s core.


Skyline is the ozone layer

Now, to grasp how fundamentally important Skyline is to successful IT operations, imagine it as the Earth’s ozone layer. It works 24/7 to proactively identify software issues, security vulnerabilities and configuration items for VMware’s core portfolio of products, including vSphere, vSAN, NSX-V, NSX-T, VMware Cloud Foundation, vRealize Operations and Horizon. To date, Skyline has proactively surfaced 52 million VMware objects with potential issues, of which 60% have been remediated by thousands of customers.


While Skyline has not reached nature’s amazing 97% ozone absorption rate, customers tell us that they see a clear correlation between proactive remediation and a reduction in reactive support requests. And Skyline’s proactive intelligence grows by virtue of the thousands of customers consuming the service and its ability to learn from customer issues. Currently, Skyline releases 15 to 30 new proactive findings a month based on the most impactful issues customers face. When customers need VMware support, the time to resolve is greatly reduced, with automated log uploads that are 17 times faster than traditional methods and deeper insights into the environment.


vRealize Operations is the surface layer

When you think about how protective the ozone layer is on Earth, you can understand why we integrated Skyline and vRealize Operations. But the number one reason? Customers asked us to. They were using both technologies side-by-side and having to navigate two disconnected workflows. To address this head-on, we developed new Skyline and vRealize Operations integrations to provide users with a unified management and support experience, deeper self-service troubleshooting, expanded issue avoidance capabilities and closed-loop automation to remediate issues.


vRealize AI is the core

Finally, just as the Earth’s core continually spins beneath our feet, vRealize AI uses reinforcement learning techniques to continuously optimize your configured KPIs while factoring in the dynamic nature of traditional and modern applications. Using ML, vRealize AI Cloud collects data and metrics from vCenter and vSAN, stores the target data in the SaaS data lake, monitors the data sampling of vSAN I/O and resource utilization, analyzes performance to determine what actions to make based on continuous learning results, and then dynamically self-tunes vSAN and vSphere parameters to give you the best performance results.


By leveraging vRealize AI, customers can expect a 60% improvement in infrastructure performance, hours per week saved in monitoring time and reduction in monthly support calls.


Channeling productivity gains into growth


When customers use all three components together, they can expect a dramatic increase in productivity. There are fewer reactive issues to deal with. Systems perform better. There are fewer risks, and if issues do arise, they are resolved faster. This productivity boost frees up precious time to focus on launching that new service or improving the status quo. Ultimately, we want IT teams to leverage these technologies like additional team members, helping scale your organization as a force multiplier.



The future of Skyline


Of course, this is just the beginning of a long journey for Skyline. The service has evolved and grown since its launch at VMworld 2017 and will continue to do so by integrating with more VMware products and services over time. Yet its goal will stay the same:  to transition IT teams from a reactive, firefighting mode to a proactive, self-driving model, freeing time to focus on strategic business initiatives and innovation.



Want to know more?


Try the new Skyline and vRealize Operations integration today. All Skyline customers can sign up for a free trial of vRealize Operations Cloud at


Plus, watch Rackspace’s interview of Skyline, and follow this blog’s authors on Twitter: Joshua Lory, Senior Director Product Marketing and Martijn Baecke, Cloud Technologist.