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Updated on: 26 NOV 2019

VMware Skyline Advisor | 26 November 2019 

NOTE: These Release Notes do not provide the terms applicable to your license. Consult the VMware Product Guide and VMware End User License Agreement for the license metrics and other license terms applicable to your use of VMware Skyline Collector.

Check for additions and updates to these release notes.

About VMware Skyline Advisor

VMware Skyline Advisor is a self-service, web application available to customers who have adopted proactive support with VMware Skyline. Skyline Advisor enables customers to view their proactive findings and recommendations on-demand within a web browser.   

With the release of Skyline Advisor, Production Support customers will no longer be able to download Operational Summary Reports (OSR) from the OSR download portal. Production Support customers can access their proactive findings and recommendations within Skyline Advisor only, and will no longer receive Operational Summary Reports (OSRs).

Premier Support customers will have access to Skyline Advisor and continue to receive Operational Summary Reports. Premier Support customers will be able to download Operational Summary Reports from the OSR Library available within Skyline Advisor.

For more information, see the VMware Skyline Documentation Center.

What's New November 26th, 2019

Enhanced Security Policy

Explicit Skyline Advisor service role grant access is now required. Customer Cloud Services Organization Owners must grant users specific access to the Skyline Advisor service role. To do this, customers must log in to their Cloud Services Organization, and use the Identity & Access Management feature of Cloud Services to grant users specific access to the Skyline Advisor service role. See the Identity & Access Management documentation for how to control user access to your organization, resources and services.

See KB Article 76319 for more details regarding the Skyline Advisor Enhanced Security Policy.

Integrate VMware Skyline with Dell EMC SupportAssist for Enterprise Systems

Customers can now integrate Dell EMC SupportAssist for Enterprise with VMware Skyline, to enable a best-in-class proactive support experience for customers utilizing Dell Hardware for their VMware products and solutions. Customers can Opt-In using the new Integrations tab within Skyline Advisor.

Important: The Integrations tab in Skyline Advisor will ONLY appear if you are utilizing Dell EMC hardware as the platform for your VMware vSphere environment. If you are not utilizing Dell EMC hardware, the Integrations tab will NOT appear.

Note: The Dell EMC SupportAssist for Enterprise Systems Integration with Skyline is only available to Dell EMC PowerEdge server hardware 12G and above. This integration is not available to older versions of Dell EMC PowerEdge server hardware.

Note: Dell EMC SupportAssist for Enterprise Systems v4.0.5 is required to enable this integration.

Transfer Support Log Bundles for Horizon Connection Servers

Customers can now upload Horizon Connection Server support log bundles to VMware Global Support Services (GSS) using Skyline Log Assist. Horizon Connection Servers added to a Skyline Collector can now be chosen within the Select Inventory step of Initiate Log Transfer.

Note: Skyline Collector v2.3, and Horizon 7 v7.10, is required to enable the transferring of Horizon Connection Server support log bundles using Skyline Log Assist. See KB Article 59661 for the required permissions to enable remote support log bundle collection for Horizon Connection Server.

Collector Health

Now available is a new Collector Health page. This page replaces the previous Collector Details page within Skyline Advisor. Clicking on Show Collector Details now displays the health of all Skyline Collectors registered with your Cloud Services Organization. Furthermore, each configured product health is also displayed.

Note that Data Collection state and Product Configuration state are separate, even though Product Configuration state is a sub-component of each Skyline Collector. For example, a Skyline Collector Product Configuration state, located to the right of the Skyline Collector name and version within the Collector Health page may state Healthy, while a Product Configuration state is Communication Issues, or Insufficient Privileges.

Federated Identity Management

Skyline Advisor now supports federated identity management. You can now use your corporate domain account to access Skyline Advisor, within VMware Cloud Services. To setup federated identity management, please see the Setting Up Federated Identity Management documentation. After completing the setup of federated identity management, ensure to add applicable Skyline service roles to each corporate domain user. These roles include Skyline Advisor, and Skyline Collector.

What's New October 16th, 2019

Upgrade Recommendations

Easily navigate through upgrade recommendations based on your current product versions, and view the Findings and Objects that will be remediated with each upgrade.

Note: The current version and build displayed within Upgrade Recommendations is only available for ESXi today. The current version and build of other products and solutions will not be displayed.

Last Analysis Timestamp

Time of last analysis displayed for the following:

  • Environment
  • Collector
  • Findings

Data Analysis Message Upon First Login

When customers log into Advisor after installing their first Skyline Collector, they will see an alert message informing them that data analysis is in-progress and they will begin seeing proactive Findings & Recommendations within 48-52 hours.

What's New September 30th, 2019

Initial Analysis Period

After installing, configuring, and registering your Skyline Collector, customers are now notified that an initial analysis period of 48 hours is required before environment details, proactive findings and recommendations, and Log Assist will be available within Skyline Advisor.

Last Analysis

The time when an analysis was completed for the following features is now displayed as Last Analysis, with the date and time when the analysis was completed. An analysis is usually completed every 48 to 52 hours.

  • Environment Details
  • Collectors
  • Inventory
  • Proactive Findings

What's New September 18th, 2019

Email Notification

Customers can now receive email notifications based upon the following events within Skyline Advisor:

  • Notify when a Skyline Log Assist transfer request has been initiated by VMware Global Support Services (GSS) Technical Support Engineer (TSE).
  • Notify when new features and functionality are made available within Skyline.
  • Notify when a new critical finding has been discovered within the customers environment.
  • Notify when the Skyline Collector root password is about to expire.

The Skyline Advisor user can specify their email notification preferences within the Skyline Advisor Settings page.

ESXi Hosts Managed Directly by vCenter Server

ESXi hosts that are being managed by a vCenter Server, but not within a Cluster, are now visible within Skyline Advisor. Proactive findings and recommendations will now be generated for these ESXi hosts, if applicable. Furthermore, support log bundles for ESXi hosts not within a Cluster can now be transferred to VMware GSS using Skyline Log Assist.

Findings Tooltip

A tooltip for each Finding Severity defining the impact the finding could have on your environment is now available.

What's New August 20th, 2019

Products Linked in Inventory View

The Products Linked column within Inventory view displays all products integrated with a product. For example, a vCenter Server is integrated with a NSX Manager, Horizon Connection Server, and vRealize Operations Manager. All 3 of these object names are displayed within the Products Linked column, for the vCenter Server, within Inventory view.

Improved Filter Capabilities

  • A filter applied to Findings is also applied to the affected objects for a Finding. Now, only affected objects for the filter applied will be shown for the Finding. Previously, all affected objects were shown for a Finding, including those not filtered-on.
  • A filter applied is maintained when returning to the Findings page after viewing a Finding. Previously, a filter would be cleared when returning to the Findings page after viewing a Finding. Now, a user must explicitly clear a filter that has been applied.

Note: Selecting a top-level inventory object, such as a vCenter Server, also selects all sub-level inventory objects, such as Data centers, Clusters and ESXi hosts. If you only want to see Findings for the chosen vCenter Server, you must de-select the objects beneath the vCenter Server. For vCenter Server, de-selecting the Datacenter also de-selects the Cluster(s), and ESXi hosts within that Datacenter.

NSX-V Environment Details

  • NSX-V Object count now displayed within the Environment section of the Dashboard. The NSX-V object count includes the total number of NSX-V Manager(s), NSX-V Edge(s), and NSX-V Controllers.

What's New July 17th, 2019

Dashboard View

Dashboard View provides an overview of your Skyline deployment. Details provided in Dashboard view include account details, environment details, Collector details, summary of findings by severity and category, Log Assist history, open Support Requests and updates/resources. The Dashboard view replaces the previous Home view within Skyline Advisor.

Environment details within the new Dashboard view now include Horizon and vRealize Operations Manager details.

Display all Open Support Requests

Customers can see all their open Support Requests in the Skyline Advisor Dashboard view.

New Solution Tags

VCF and VCF-VxRail solution tags now displayed within Inventory view. These Solution Tags will appear if a customer has deployed a VCF, VCF-VxRail and/or VVD-VxRail integrated solution within their environment. The version of VxRail deployed will now also appear within Inventory view for ESXi hypervisor hosts that are part of a VxRail integrated solution.

New vSphere Proactive Findings

10 new Proactive Findings for vSphere have been added.

  • 7 of the new Proactive Findings identify potential issues within your environment.
  • 2 of the new Proactive Findings identify the Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS) vulernabilities (CVE-2018-12126, CVE-2018-12127, CVE-2018-2130, and CVE-2019-1091).
  • 1 of the new Proactive Findings identify out of bounds read and use-after-free vulnerabilities, as documented in VMSA-2019-09.

Enhanced Search Capabilities

We have made it easy to search by the name of the object in the Inventory, Findings and Log Assist pages by introducing a new Search text box. You can now search for any Inventory object to quickly filter a particular object, or objects. Objects that contain the searched "text" will be returned in your search, highlighted in yellow.

Other Enhancements

  • The Feedback button has been re-located to the right-side of the Skyline Advisor window, next to the In-Product Support button. The previous location of the Feedback button hid information displayed within Skyline Advisor.

What's New June 4th, 2019

Configuration Findings Now Available to Production Support Customers

Production Support customers will now receive findings and recommendations based upon a configuration that could potentially impact stability and reliability. The Configuration Finding recommendation will align with a VMware Validated Design decisions.

InActivity Notifications

If a customer has not logged into Skyline Advisor for 30 days or more, the customer will receive an email notification encouraging them to log in to Skyline Advisor and view their current proactive findings and recommendations.

Inventory Enhancements

Inventory now includes Horizon and vRealize Operations (vROps) inventory details. For Horizon, you can view the version, build, and Pod for deployed Horizon Connection Servers. For vRealize Operations, you can view the version and build of vRealize Operations Manager appliances.

Filter Enhancements

Customers can now filter by Patch / Upgrade, Configuration, and or Troubleshooting finding type.

Log Assist Enhancements

Enhanced Log Assist user interface that now includes the following:

  • Check to ensure the user account used to add the product endpoint to the Skyline Collector as the required privileges required to perform a log transfer using Skyline Log Assist.
  • Ability to validate required user account privileges to perform a log transfer using Skyline Log Assist.
  • Check to ensure the ESXi host from which you are initiating a log transfer request is Connected to the vCenter Server.

Other Enhancements

  • Ability to re-size the left-hand side panel on Findings and Log Assist pages for greater view of complex and nested inventory.
  • Improved message handling when logging into Skyline Advisor.

What's New March 28th, 2019

Proactive Support for Horizon View and vRealize Operations Manager

In addition to vSphere, vSAN and NSX, Skyline will now surface Proactive Findings for Horizon View and vRealize Operations Manager within Skyline Advisor, giving customers the ability to improve stability, reliability and security across their Software Defined Data Centers and Virtual Desktop environments.

Inventory View

Customers can view a consolidated listing of their vSphere, vSAN and NSX infrastructure, as well as deployment identification for Dell VxRail and VMware Validated Designs (VVD). The identification and tagging of VxRail and VVD deployments will help customers and VMware Technical Support to better understand and support multi-product solutions.

Mute Findings and Objects

Customer can mute (hide) specific inventory objects and Proactive Findings that they want to delay remediation of for a period of time. They can unmute Muted Findings and objects at any time.

Consolidated Operational Summary Report (OSR) for Premier Services customers

Based on customer and employee feedback, a consolidated .ZIP file is now available for Premier Services customers from the OSR Library in Skyline Advisor. The .ZIP file contains the Operational Summary Report (OSR) along with a CSV for every Proactive Finding. Included within each CSV are details of the finding, the risk if not remediated, recommendation and a list of all affected objects.

Log Assist Enhancement

Customers and VMware Technical Support Engineers can now search for objects in Log Assist based-on object name. This will assist in speeding up the Log Assist request process in large, complex environments.

Detailed Proactive Finding Information

Customers can now bulk-export proactive finding details to assist with remediation. The details of each proactive finding, in CSV format, can be used by customers to perform automated and orchestrated remediation of potential issues identified by Skyline.

What's New November 8th, 2018

Skyline Advisor Log Assist

Skyline Log Assist is now available within Skyline Advisor. Skyline Log Assist is an additional tab within Skyline Advisor, next to Account Details, Proactive Findings and OSR Library (Premier Services Only). Skyline Log Assist enables the customer to initiate the process of a support log bundle transfer to VMware Global Support Services for the purposes of troubleshooting an open Support Request. Additionally, VMware Technical Support Engineers (TSEs) now have the ability to request logs from objects within your environment. A request from a Technical Support Engineer to the customer requires customer approval before the log upload process begins.

Initiate Log Transfer

The Initiate Log Transfer tab allows for the following:

  1. Select which object, or objects, within the vCenter Server Inventory to initiate log transfer from.
  2. Select an open Support Request to attach the logs to for review by VMware Global Support Services (GSS).
  3. Initiate Log Transfer to VMware.

Customers will receive an email notification when a VMware Technical Support Engineer (TSE) requests a support log bundle. The VMware TSE will receive a notification when the customer approves, or denies, the support log bundle request. The VMware TSE will receive a final notification once the support log bundle is available for review.

Log Library

The Log Library tab allows you to review current and previous log transfer activity. Details about each log request include:

  • Name
  • Initiated Time/Date
  • Associated Support Request (SR)
  • Initiated By
  • Actioned By
  • Last Updated
  • Status

Additional information about Skyline Log Assist can be found in the Skyline Advisor Getting Started Guide.

Skyline Advisor Proactive Findings

Navigation

A navigation pane is now available on the left-hand side of the Skyline Advisor page when viewing proactive findings, and when using Log Assist. This navigation is very similar to that of vCenter Server and will allow you to focus on all proactive findings for a particular object, or objects. Also, the navigation will be used to select an object, or objects, within Skyline Log Assist for the purpose of uploading logs to VMware for the purposes of technical support.

Filter

The ability to filter proactive findings and recommendations by Object, Severity, Category is now available within the Navigation pane located on the left-hand side of Skyline Advisor.

What's New September 27th, 2018

Account Details

The Skyline Advisor Account Details page provides you the following information: 

  • Account ID 

  • Number of registered Skyline Collectors. 

  • Total number of vCenter Servers added to VMware Skyline.

  • Total number of ESXi Hosts added to VMware Skyline.

  • Total number of Virtual Machines added to VMware Skyline.

  • The amount of time lapsed since product usage data was analysed by VMware Skyline, for the purposes of updating proactive findings and recommendations. 

  • The time when product usage data will be analysed next by VMware Skyline, for the purposes of updating proactive findings and recommendations. 

  • All Skyline Collectors configured within the customer's environment, including Collector ID, Collector Name, Version, Status and Last Activity. 

  • Expanding each Skyline Collector within the Account Details page displays each vCenter Server and/or NSX Manager added to that particular Skyline Collector. Expanding the vCenter Server or NSX Manager displays inventory details. 

Proactive Findings 

The Skyline Advisor Proactive Findings page provides you the following information: 

  • A breakdown of number of proactive findings, based on the level of severity. Severity levels include Critical, Moderate, and Trivial. 

  • A breakdown of number of proactive findings, based on the category. Categories include Compute, Network, Security, and Storage. 

  • Each proactive finding is displayed, either in card view (default) or list view. Clicking a proactive finding displays more detail about the finding, including: ​

    • Finding ID: A unique ID that can be used to ask questions and search for more information related to that particular finding.

    • Date Found: When the finding was discovered within the customer's environment. 

    • Severity: Critical, Moderate, or Trivial. 

    • Description: Provides information on the potential issue discovered within the customer's environment. 

    • Recommendations: Provides information on how to remediate the potential issue within the customer's environment. Recommendations can reference a VMware Knowledge Base article, Best Practice, Security Advisory, or other official VMware article, document, or whitepaper. 

    • Affected Objects: The individual objects that could be impacted by the potential issue. Customer's can view the affected objects either within the same page, or export the affected objects to a CSV file for use in configuration management tools. A Search bar provides the ability to search for a particular object within the proactive finding.   

Search and Filter capabilities are available. This includes the ability to search for a specific proactive finding or description, or filter proactive findings based upon severity level, category or source/object name. 

OSR Library 

The Skyline Advisor OSR Library page is available only to Premier Services customers. Production Support customers will access all of their proactive findings within the Skyline Advisor Proactive Findings page. Operational Summary Reports will continue to be generated for Premier Services customers. These Operational Summary Reports will contain advanced proactive findings only, which may require additional troubleshooting or assistance from a Premier Services Technical Support Engineer.   

The Skyline Advisor OSR Library page provides you the following information: 

  • Operational Summary Report Name. 

  • The Operational Summary Report created date. 

  • The Operational Summary Report type, either standard or custom.

  • Standard Operational Summary Reports are automatically created by VMware Skyline. They are created on a scheduled basis and automatically populated within the OSR Library. 

  • Custom Operational Summary Reports are created by the Premier Services Support Account Manager (SAM), Support Account Engineer (SAE), or other customer-supporting role. An example of a custom Operational Summary Report could include all Critical severity proactive findings, within the Network category. 

  • The ability to Download Operational Summary Reports (OSR).   

Filter capabilities are available. Customers can filter available Operational Summary Reports based upon date created, and report type (standard / custom).