Skyline Health Diagnostics

Skyline Health Diagnostics

I’m aware that during any incident with VMware estates one issue that adversely impacts teams particularly those that work in secure environments is the capability to share logs expediently with VMware Global Support Services.  In some circumstances this could be due to the need for logs to have information redacted, data export restrictions or there is no physical connection to upload logs.

I’m pleased to highlight that help is now at hand!  Skyline Health Diagnostics is now available as a fully offline, air gapped, dark site solution for VMware Log bundle analysis and diagnosis!

Skyline Health Diagnostics

 

 

  1. Based on symptoms, VMware Skyline Health Diagnostics provides a Knowledge Base article or remediation steps to resolve the issue.

  2. Self-service improves the time to get the recommendations to resolve the issue.

  3. Quick recommendation/remediation helps to get the infrastructure back from failure and ensures that the business runs with a less disruption.

Architecture and Notes

 

Signatures, Compatibility Guides and Diagnostics can be updated offline via the installation ISO from a MyVMware download, where internet connectivity is not possible within an environment.

 

SHD Tools downloadhttps://my.vmware.com/group/vmware/get-download?downloadGroup=SKYLINE_HD_VSPHERE
Landing Pagehttps://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Skyline-Health-Diagnostics/index.html
Release Noteshttps://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Skyline-Health-Diagnostics/services/rn/VMware-Skyline-Health-Diagnostics-Release-Notes.html
Documentationhttps://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Skyline-Health-Diagnostics/services/Skyline-Health-Diagnostics/GUID-ED9B9FB1-FE2B-498E-BBD0-1AB28E3F873F.html

Installation and Operation

The service itself is deployed in two parts.  First deploy and install PhotonOS to a virtual machine and then run a single install script from an attached ISO.

mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom

sh /mnt/cdrom/install.sh

After the install script finishes you set a password and you are set.  It is a very simple and quick installation, although I must confess in the age of appliances for everything it did feel a little odd to be doing this manually.  I raised this with the product team, when I had a chance to catch up with them earlier this week, and an appliance is defiantly on the cards as the product develops and additional capabilities are added.

Once deployed SHD can ingest log bundles from the environment or connect directly to virtual centre to generate and capture log bundles;

Upload Log and Analyse

Connect to VC

Ingested logs will be analysed the data collated with reports provided that highlight issues, evidence and links to resolutions.

Report Collation

Report Example

Any findings picked up in the report will as you might expect link to resolutions and knowledge-base articles to help with remediation.

Finding Example

Summary

As anyone who has been in the heat of an incident knows, getting timely access to the logs to diagnose issues plays a huge role in both the successful resolution and root cause analysis of incidents. However, timely access to the logs alone doesn’t itself resolve an incident, someone still has to sift through the information, sidestep any red herrings and diagnose faults.  By providing a mechanism to perform this diagnosis on-premises, VMware have introduced tooling that I think will play a huge part in bringing down mean time to resolution in data centres across the globe.

With VMworld in full flight this week and many folk distracted by shiny things, it’ll be too easy to miss Skyline Health Diagnostics, which is a shame because I think it is brilliant.

Thanks

Simon