VMware Skyline™ is radically transforming customer support

VMware Skyline is an innovative proactive support technology that brings high-performing technology and tools to the workbench to radically transform customer support.

The VMware Skyline Collector uses automation to securely collect data and perform environment-specific analytics on configuration, feature, and performance data. The resulting information may radically improve visibility into a customer’s environment, enabling richer, more informed interactions between customers and VMware without extensive time and investment by support administrators.

For customers, this means that proactive, predictive, and prescriptive recommendations may improve overall stability and reliability and reactive support issues can be resolved more quickly.

Key Benefits
Prescriptive and predictive guidance based upon best practices
Reduced time-to-resolution for service requests
Identification of potential product bugs and guided resolution before problems occur
Overall improved stability of environment

How It Works
Customers with active support subscriptions install the VMware Skyline Collector, a standalone appliance that automatically and securely collects product usage data such as configuration, feature, and performance data. It then listens for changes, events and patterns and analyzes the information using a robust rules and machine learning engine. Then the VMware Technical Support Engineer takes the analyzed, environment-specific data to provide prescriptive recommendations back to you to improve your environment’s reliability and stability.

And you can rest assured knowing that we take privacy and security seriously – VMware Skyline has a robust privacy program. Customer data is transferred to VMware over an encrypted channel and is stored in a secure VMware repository in the US, operated by VMware.

Additional Information
Aligned to Global Services offerings, VMware Skyline is initially available for Premier Support customers in North America. Today VMware Skyline provides increased visibility for VMware vSphere and VMware NSX environments. Additional products will be added over time.

Source: https://www.vmware.com/support/services/skyline.html

VMware Blog post: https://blogs.vmware.com/kb/2017/08/breakthrough-visibility.html

VMware AppDefense – new security solution

VMware AppDefense is a new security solution that allows organizations to create least privilege environments around their applications running in virtualized or cloud systems, a key feature according to VMware’s senior vice president for security products, Tom Corn. Watch VMware’s Tom Corn illustrate how VMware AppDefense significantly enhances application security when working across clouds in this light board presentation.

Show ESXi build details on command line

If you are logged into an ESXi per SSH you can display details about the build version using 2 simple commands.

* vmware -vl
* cat /etc/vmware/.buildInfo

Example output:

Using username "root".
The time and date of this login have been sent to the system logs.

VMware offers supported, powerful system administration tools.  Please
see www.vmware.com/go/sysadmintools for details.

The ESXi Shell can be disabled by an administrative user. See the
vSphere Security documentation for more information.
[root@ESXi:~] vmware -vl
VMware ESXi 6.5.0 build-5310538
VMware ESXi 6.5.0 GA
[root@ESXi:~] cat /etc/vmware/.buildInfo
GITHASH:0
CHANGE:5045323
BRANCH:vsphere65ep2
UID:201
VMTREE:/build/mts/release/bora-5310538/bora
VMBLD:release
BUILDTAG:gobuild
BUILDNUMBER:5310538
[root@ESXi:~]

ESXi show details about ramdisk usage

The command below will let you check the space that is free on the host for each of the ramdisk mount points. It also shows you the usage of inodes per ramdisk.

system visorfs ramdisk list	List the RAM disks used by the host.
~ # esxcli system visorfs ramdisk list
Ramdisk Name  System  Include in Coredumps   Reserved      Maximum       Used  Peak Used  Free  Reserved Free  Maximum Inodes  Allocated Inodes  Used Inodes  Mount Point
------------  ------  --------------------  ---------  -----------  ---------  ---------  ----  -------------  --------------  ----------------  -----------  ---------------------------
root            true                  true  32768 KiB    32768 KiB   3916 KiB   4076 KiB  88 %           88 %            8192              8192         5257  /
etc             true                  true  28672 KiB    28672 KiB    504 KiB    712 KiB  98 %           98 %            4096              1024          527  /etc
tmp            false                 false   2048 KiB   196608 KiB  29620 KiB  65016 KiB  84 %            0 %            8192              8192         3770  /tmp
hostdstats     false                 false      0 KiB  1078272 KiB  94324 KiB  99624 KiB  91 %            0 %            8192                32            5  /var/lib/vmware/hostd/stats

The comand below will give more details about a single ramdisk.

vsish -e get /system/visorfs/ramdisks/[RAMDISK-NAME]/stats

Example for root ramdisk

~ # vsish -e get /system/visorfs/ramdisks/root/stats
VisorFS ramdisk {
   Min:32 MB
   Max:32 MB
   Number of pages used:979
   Max number of pages used:1019
   Mem group ID:157
   Root inode:0
   Dump on coredump:1
   System:1
   Mount point inode:-6
   Root path:/
   First inode of ramdisk:0
   Max number of inodes:8192
   Number of allocated/initialized inodes:8192
   Number of used inodes:5263
   Max number of used inodes:8192
}

Example for tmp ramdisk

~ # vsish -e get /system/visorfs/ramdisks/tmp/stats
VisorFS ramdisk {
   Min:2 MB
   Max:192 MB
   Number of pages used:7405
   Max number of pages used:16254
   Mem group ID:1014
   Root inode:12288
   Dump on coredump:0
   System:0
   Mount point inode:8
   Root path:/tmp
   First inode of ramdisk:12288
   Max number of inodes:8192
   Number of allocated/initialized inodes:8192
   Number of used inodes:3770
   Max number of used inodes:8192
}

This will help you to troubleshoot out of disk space or out of inodes issues on a ESXi.

In one of my next posts I will go into details how to troubleshoot inode issues on a ESXi.