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We are excited share new features and functionality now available within VMware Skyline. This update includes new features and functionality within Skyline Advisor, as well as a new version of the Skyline Collector. The new features include some of the most requested feature requests that our customers have shared with us since releasing Skyline. These new features include the ability to mute findings and objects, proactive finding support for additional VMware products and solutions, solution identification, and improved search capabilities within Skyline Advisor.

Mute Findings and Objects

One of the features most requested by customers is the ability to hide, or mute findings and objects within Skyline Advisor. This feature is now available within Skyline Advisor. You will notice new tabs under the Proactive Findings tab. You will see a Findings tab, and a Muted Findings tab. The Findings tab is exactly that of the previous Proactive Findings tab. All of your proactive findings and recommendations will be displayed here. The ability to filter, or search, for particular finding is still available on the left-side of the Findings tab.

Muting a finding will move the finding to the Muted Findings tab. This allows you to focus more on those findings that need remediation, while silencing findings that you either want to delay remediation for, cannot be remediated, or do not directly impact your environment. You can UnMute to move that finding back to the primary findings view.

To Mute a finding, select the check box on the particular finding, or findings, that you want to Mute. Next, click the Mute Findings button. That’s it, the finding is now muted. You can view the finding on the Muted Findings tab.

 

Additionally, you can also mute particular objects. Muting objects removes those particular objects from appearing within the affected objects list of a particular finding. Keeping to the theme of improving remediation, this allows you to focus on those objects that need remediated, while hiding objects that don’t need immediate remediation. Note you can only mute ESXi hosts today.

To mute an ESXi host, find the host using the inventory tree on the left-side of the Findings tab. Once you have located the ESXi host you want to Mute, hover your mouse pointer over the ESXi host name. An eye icon will appear next to the ESXi host name. Click on the eye icon to mute the ESXi host. The ESXi host that was just muted will no-longer appear in the affected objects list of findings that apply to that host.

To unmute ESXi hosts, once again, hover your mouse pointer over the ESXi host name in the inventory tree. Notice that when an object is muted, the display text is a lighter shade than other objects in the inventory. Click on the eye icon to unmute the object. Each time you mute, or unmute a finding or object, a message will be displayed confirming your choice.

New Proactive Product Support

We are now providing proactive support for VMware Horizon and VMware vRealize Operations Manager within Skyline Advisor. For customers who are using either of these two solutions, you will now receive proactive support within Skyline Advisor. Proactive findings will be displayed for the following versions of Horizon and vRealize Operations Manager (vROps).

  • Horizon 7 versions: 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 7.7
  • vRealize Operations Manager versions: 6.6, 6.7, 7.0

In order to receive proactive support for Horizon 7 and vROps, you must deploy Skyline Collector 2.1, which was also available today. If you are a current Skyline customer, use the Skyline Collector VAMI to upgrade to the latest release. Or, enable Auto-Update to allow your Skyline Collector to automatically update to the latest when available. After you have completed upgrading your Skyline Collector, add your Horizon 7 Connection Server and/or vROps virtual appliance to the Skyline Collector. This enables data collection of these solutions to be analyzed by Skyline. Once analyzed, any potential issues for Horizon 7 and vROps will be displayed within Skyline Advisor.

Inventory View

A new Inventory tab is now available within Skyline Advisor. The Inventory tab provides you a view of some of the most critical information needed when troubleshooting a Support Request with a VMware Technical Support Engineer (TSE). Furthermore, since our TSEs have the same information available to them, they are better equipped to assist you while troubleshooting an issue.

There are multiple inventory options available within Skyline Advisor. They include the following:

  • Host and Clusters Inventory – View the version and build number of every ESXi host within your environment. This information is key when troubleshooting a Support Request with a VMware TSE. Furthermore, this allows customers to quickly identify any anomalies within their environment, where an ESXi host is not running the same version and build number as other hosts within a cluster. Furthermore, if the ESXi host is part of a vSAN cluster, or is utilizing NSX for networking, that information is also displayed. If the vCenter Server was implemented as part of a VMware Validated Design deployment, that information will be displayed under the Solution Tag column. Furthermore, Skyline can now identify if an ESXi host is a VxRail hyper-converged infrastructure appliance.
  • Networking Inventory – View the name, unique identifier and type of every networking object within your vSphere environment. Again, this information is valuable to both the customer, and VMware GSS, when troubleshooting a Support Request. The types of networking objects identified by Skyline includes Virtual Port Groups, Virtual Network and the type of virtual switch, either Standard or Distributed.
  • Storage Inventory – View the name, filesystem type and storage object type within your vSphere environment. Furthermore, the Storage Inventory view will show you both vSphere storage objects, and vSAN storage objects, such as vSAN datastores. Furthermore, VMFS, NFS and Virtual Volume datastores will be displayed.
  • NSX for vSphere Inventory – View the version and build number of every NSX for vSphere component within your environment. This includes NSX Managers, NSX Controllers, and NSX Edges (ESG). Like the version and build of your ESXi hosts, this information is critical to both the customer and VMware GSS when troubleshooting a Support Request. Furthermore, you can quickly identify version and build mismatches within your NSX for vSphere environment.

Finally, with all this information now available to you in Skyline Advisor, you can use the search and filter capabilities within the Inventory tab to find the exact information you are looking for. Additional filter capabilities have been added, depending upon which Inventory you have selected (Hosts and Cluster, Networking, etc.). Furthermore, you can search for any VMware Validated Design (VVD) deployment and VxRail hyper-converged infrastructure appliance deployed within your environment. Or, search by object name within the search text box.

Solution Identification

As previously mentioned, Skyline can now identify VMware Validated Design (VVD) and VxRail hyper-converged infrastructure deployments within your environment. This is important as each of those solutions follow a prescriptive software bill-of-materials. This bill-of-material includes an approved combination of vSphere, vSAN and NSX. When making recommendations within Skyline, this identification will further assist customers with developing a plan to remediate the potential issues within their environment, while ensuring they are following the approved software bill-of-materials for the solution.

Improved Search Capabilities

Along with the search capabilities within the Inventory view, you can now search for objects within Log Assist. This makes it easier for our customers, and VMware GSS, to locate the object that a support log bundle is needed from, and begin the log transfer as quickly as possible. If it is known that a support log bundle is needed from esx-01, instead of having to use the inventory tree to locate the host, you can now simply type “esx-01” in the search text box to display the host within Log Assist.

Additional Features

Wait, there’s more. Here are the additional features and functionality now available within Skyline Advisor.

  • Skyline Collector friendly name is now the first column within the Collectors view on the Account Details page. This allows you to quickly reference the Skyline Collector, by name, when needed.
  • When expanding a Skyline Collector on the Account Details page, the product endpoint object name is now displayed. For example, expanding the Skyline Collector now displays the name of the vCenter Server and NSX Manager attached to that Skyline Collector. This information was previously unavailable within Skyline Advisor.
  • We have refined the inventory details shared under each product endpoint attached to the Skyline Collector. We have removed some fields, as well as made those fields still displayed easier to understand more relevant.
  • For Premier Services customers, additional download options are now available. You can still download your Operational Summary Report (OSR) in Word format. Additionally, you can now download a compressed file (ZIP) that includes the OSR in Word format, and each individual proactive finding in CSV format. This allows you to download all information related to an OSR in just a few clicks.

We are excited to deliver the features that our customers have been asking for within this release of Skyline Advisor. We can’t wait to hear your feedback. If you’re using Horizon 7 or vRealize Operations Manager today, remember to deploy or upgrade your Skyline Collector to version 2.1 (released today) to ensure we’re capturing the information needed to provide you proactive support for those products and solutions.

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