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We are excited to announce new features and functionality within Skyline Advisor. These new features are immediately available to you, and does not require an upgrade to your Skyline Collector. The new features available today within Skyline including the following:

  • Role-Based Access Control for Skyline Advisor
  • New First Observed Date for Findings, and Affected Objects
  • Improvements to Upgrade Recommendations and Product Interoperability Checks
  • New Findings & Recommendations

I mentioned above that these new features are available without requiring an update to your Skyline Collector. With that said, we recommend that you are always running the most recent version of the Skyline Collector. Today, the most recent version of the Skyline Collector is version 2.3.0.2. If you are not running this version of the Skyline Collector, you can update your Skyline Collector using the VAMI, or by enabling Auto-Upgrade within the Skyline Collector. For details how to upgrade your Skyline Collector, see Update Skyline Collector within the Skyline Collector User Guide.

Role-Based Access Control

Available now are two new service access roles for Skyline Advisor, Skyline Administrator and Skyline User. All individuals who currently have access to Skyline Advisor have automatically been the Skyline Administrators role. There are no additional privileges available to Skyline Administrators, that were previously available to Skyline Advisor users under the previous access control model.

A Skyline Administrator can view all information available within Skyline Advisor, as well as perform such actions as adding a Skyline Collector, Deregistering a Skyline Collector, opting-in, or out, to sending data to Dell Solutions, as well as choose to receive email notification when a Skyline Collector root password is about to expire.

On the other hand, a Skyline User will not be able to perform the following actions:

  • Add a Skyline Collector to the Cloud Services Organization
  • Deregister a Skyline Collector from the Cloud Services Organization
  • Opt-in, or Opt-Out, to sharing data with Dell Solutions
  • Enable email notification preference to be notified when a Skyline Collector root password is about to expire

Now that these service roles are available within VMware Cloud Services, you may want to review service access permissions for all users of your Cloud Services Organization, and make any necessary adjustments based upon these access controls now available.

To learn more about the new role-based access controls in Skyline, see the following:

 

First Observed Date

New, for each Finding, is a first observed date field. The first observed date shows you when a Finding was first observed in your Organization. There are a couple of scenarios for determining the first observed date.

  • A new Finding becoming available within Skyline. If applicable to your environment, the first observed date would be the date that the Skyline Finding first became available within the service.
  • When the Finding was first observed, based upon a recent change within your Organization. An example could be updating vSphere from 6.0 to 6.5 displays new Findings first observed after you completed the upgrade to 6.5.

Additionally, the first observed date for each affected object is displayed with the details of a Finding. In the example below, 2 vCenter Servers are affected by this Finding. The first observed date for the Finding is 11/29/2019, however, each vCenter Server has it’s own First Observed date. As you can see, vCenter Server sc-prd-comp-vc075.eng.vmware.com was first observed for this Finding on 02/28/2020.

Now, you might be wondering, why would different objects have different first observed dates? There are a number of reasons why.

  • You just recently added objects to Skyline, such as adding a 2nd, or 3rd, vCenter Server to your Skyline Collector. The first observed date within a Finding for those objects is going to be on, or around, the time you added those objects to the Skyline Collector.
  • The object recently changed, such as a configuration change, or upgrade, that now makes it vulnerable to the Finding.

Finally, if you were to remediate the Finding for vcenter01.core.hypervizor.com, which is also when the Finding was first observed within your environment, the First Observed Date for the Finding will be updated to reflect this change.

Again, using the example above, the First Observed Date for this Finding would change from 11/29/2019, to 02/28/2020. The First Observed Date for the Finding will always be the earliest observed date for a affected object in your environment. This is the only scenario where the First Observed Date for a Finding will change within Skyline.

 

Improvements to Upgrade Recommendations and Product Interoperability Checks

This release also improves how interoperability issues with other VMware Solutions are surfaced when upgrades are recommended. If a interoperability issue is detected, it is now reported on the Upgrade Recommendations page, making it easier to understand the dependencies of the recommendation. Users can find more details on how to resolve the issue by clicking-on Show Details.

New Findings and Recommendations

The following Findings & Recommendations were made available in Skyline on February 27th. These Findings will appear within Skyline Advisor if Skyline determines that your VMware products and solutions are potentially impacted by these new Findings. You can search for these new findings using the Search Box on the Findings page within Skyline Advisor.

 

The following Findings have been updated to reflect Intel Cascade Lake CPUs where speculative execution is remediated within the chip, and therefore alternative schedulers provided within ESXi are not required.

As always, we welcome your feedback. If you’re enjoying these new features, please let us know by using the in-product feedback available within Skyline Advisor. While in Skyline Advisor, on the right-hand side of the window, you’ll see two buttons, Support and Feedback. Click the Feedback button. A window will appear allowing you to rate your experience, as well as provide free text feedback. We also understand that your experience may not always be exactly what you want, or need, and we want that feedback as well. If there is something we can do better, definitely please let us know using that same feedback from available in Skyline Advisor. Additionally, you can direct message us on Twitter (@VMwareSkyline).

Interested in learning more about Skyline? Check out these resources: