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Author Archives: Nick Fritsch

About Nick Fritsch

Nick Fritsch is a Technical Marketing Manager within VMware Global Services. In this role, Nick is responsible for creating blog articles, whitepapers, videos as well as presenting at various community and industry events. Nick also collects feedback from customers and VMware field employees, providing that feedback to Product Management and R&D to help shape current and future solutions. You can follow Nick on twitter @nfritsch.

Skyline – Proactive Recommendations for Issue Avoidance

VMware Skyline is a proactive support technology that listens for changes, events and patterns within your VMware environment. This information is then analyzed using a robust rules and machine learning engine. Once data analysis has completed, proactive recommendations are provided for each potential issue identified within your environment. These recommendations are based on VMware’s ever-growing library of knowledge that include Knowledge Base articles, Best Practices and Security/Hardening Guidance.

Environment specific information is collected using the Skyline Collector. The Collector is a standalone virtual appliance that connects to product endpoints such as vCenter Server and NSX Manager. You can view an overview for how to download, install and configure the Collector here.

Breakthrough Visibility

Have you ever contacted VMware Global Support Services (GSS) to report that you experienced a purple screen of death (PSOD)? During your conversation with GSS, were you made aware that a patch is already available for the issue? Wouldn’t it have been nice to been made aware of the patch before you experienced the PSOD? Just think about the time and frustration that could’ve been saved if you would’ve been notified of the patch before the PSOD occurred.

With this in mind, Skyline can proactively notify you that your environment displays characteristics that could lead to a PSOD. Additionally, a tailored recommendation for how to prevent the issue from occurring is provided. Ultimately, Skyline well help customers increase the reliability and security of their environments while also reducing time spent resolving break-fix issues.

Sample PSOD Finding within the Operational Summary Report

Sample PSOD Finding within the Operational Summary Report

A complete overview of the Operational Summary Report can be found here.

Save Time and Enhance Security

On the other hand, perhaps security is most important to you. Skyline can proactively identify vCenter Server(s), ESXi hosts and virtual machines that are vulnerable to Spectre/Meltdown. The vulnerable objects (vCenter, ESXi, VMs) are provided to you as Findings within the Operational Summary Report. Each Finding has a corresponding report that details each object identified for the particular issue. The relevant VMware Security Advisory and/or Knowledge Base article are provided within the Recommendations section of the Finding.

Sample Recommendation for Spectre/Meltdown

Sample Recommendation for Spectre/Meltdown

Let’s take a closer look at what is accomplished by utilizing Skyline. First, we’re proactively identifying what objects are impacted. This saves the customer time in manually trying to determine the scope of vulnerable systems. Second, recommendations are tailored and delivered directly to the customer. Customers can quickly begin planning for and remediating vulnerabilities within their environment. Altogether, the scope of vulnerable systems are automatically identified and the information required to secure the environment is provided.

Getting Started with Skyline

If you are interested in Skyline, sign-up via the Managed Access Program. For VMware Premier Support Customers, reach out to your Support Account Manager/Engineer to get started today. Additional information about Skyline can be found here.