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We are excited to announce the general availability of Upgrade Recommendations within VMware Skyline. Announced at VMworld US, a Upgrade Recommendation consolidates multiple findings into a single recommendation. That recommendation will be to upgrade, or patch, a specific product within your environment. Furthermore, Skyline automatically performs a product interoperability check for the proposed upgrade. This way you know whether you need to upgrade NSX-v first, before upgrading ESXi to 6.5 U3.

Let’s take a closer look at Upgrade Recommendations within Skyline Advisor.

 

Upgrade Recommendations

Upgrade Recommendations are available as a new tab under Findings & Recommendations. Clicking on Upgrade Recommendations displays all the upgrade recommendations for your environment. They are sorted by vCenter Server. If there are multiple upgrade recommendations, they are displayed in the order of upgrade sequence.

In the example below, the 3 ESXi hosts managed by vCenter Server ‘vcenter01.core.hypervizor.com’ have 3 upgrade recommendations.  The upgrade recommendations are as follows:

  • Upgrade to 6.0.0 U2, Build 4600944 or higher
  • Upgrade to 6.0 U3, Build 13635687 or higher
  • Upgrade to 6.5.0 GA, Build 5146848 or higher

If you upgraded to ESXi 6.0 U3, you would resolve 37 potential issues discovered by Skyline within your environment. Furthermore, Skyline states or higher, as the upgrade recommendation displays the minimum version/build to resolve the displayed number of findings. You can always choose to upgrade to a higher version of a product.

If you do decide to upgrade to a higher version than what is displayed, then the automatic product interoperability check will be invalidated.

 

Product Interoperability Check

No, you did not read that wrong. Skyline now automatically checks product interoperability for the upgrade recommendation. Clicking on Show Details next to the upgrade recommendation displays additional information, which includes the product interoperability results.

The Product Interoperability check will alert you if another product is not interoperable with the upgrade recommendation. This way, you are made aware if another product needs to be upgraded first, before performing the recommended upgrade.

Skyline does not check hardware compatibility, or partner/3rd-party compatibility for the upgrade recommendation. Therefore, please do your due diligence to ensure your server platform, storage platform, backup and recovery tool, 3rd-party applications and other components are interoperable with the upgrade recommendation. I have included some helpful links below that will allow you to check the interoperability & compatibility of some of these components.

As always, you must follow the order sequence for upgrading VMware products and solutions within your environment. A hyperlink to the update sequence for each major version of vSphere is available under Helpful Links.

The Findings and objects addressed are listed at the bottom of the upgrade recommendation. Click on a particular Finding to view more details about the potential issue.

 

Last Analysis Timestamp

We are also introducing a new last analysis timestamp within Skyline Advisor. You can view the date & time for when the last analysis was completed for the following:

  • Environment
  • Collectors
  • Inventory
  • Findings & Recommendations

 

Summary

If you are already utilizing Skyline, these new features are available to you today within Skyline Advisor. Additionally, we are excited to share that the Skyline Hands-On Lab (HOL) is now available. Now, anyone with a internet connection and a web-browser can interact with Skyline Advisor in a lab environment. This allows customers to learn more about how VMware is delivering proactive support, and how it could benefit them. You can access the Skyline HOL via this direct-link: http://www.vmware.com/go/skyline/hol.

We encourage current Skyline users to leave feedback about these new features, by using the Feedback button within Skyline Advisor. We want to hear how we can continue to improve the delivery of proactive recommendations, and continue to transform your support experience.