Historically most interactions with vendor support begin with a predictable script. If the explanation does not arrive at a quick resolution, logs must be collected, uploaded, and reviewed. This process is a balance between speed (immediate triage based on what can be conveyed in an email or phone call) vs. precision of resolution (a root cause that may be buried in a log file). Adding additional frustration, some issues may require multiple log exports to compare the state between healthy and unhealthy. VMware has made several improvements to vSAN 6.6 to improve the experience in working with VMware support.  Powerful phone home capabilities are being delivered to improve both the customer and VMware support’s visibility into vSAN performance and health.

What is vSAN Support Insight?

vSAN Support Insight is a next-generation platform for analytics of health, configuration, and performance telemetry. It’s purpose is to help vSAN users maintain a reliable and consistent computing, storage and network environment.

How does it work?

It is a phone home system leveraging the existing vCenter Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP). Health, performance, and configuration information for VMware Support and engineering. Once enabled and verified, log information is pushed back to VMware’s Analytics Cloud on a regular cadence. No actual customer data is phoned home and user enterable or identifiable data (Hostnames, VM names, subnets, IP addresses, Mac addresses) are obsfucated. For more information about the privacy and how to inspect the phone home data see the following StorageHub article

How does this benefit the customer?

We expect a number of benefits to this program:

Immediate awareness of the state, configuration, and history of an environment delivers faster time to resolution on support tickets.

Avoiding the need for initial log collection should lower the operational requirements for running a VMware powered HCI environment.

Engineering is looking to identify and fix bottlenecks, and issues before they impact customers. Problematic software, hardware issues can be identified at scale through correlation of faults between multiple customers with similar configurations.

The vSAN team is working with VMware Skyline to use Support Insight for shifting Premier support services to a less reactive support experience.

vSAN online health checks today allow VMware to push out new recommendations that have been identified to be high impact for vSAN customers. The addition of vSAN Support Insight provides the ability for engineering to model the impact of new vSAN Online Health Checks across customer environments, and GSS to test them before they roll out to customers. Testing against the phone home data allows for refining of tighter thresholds to avoid false positives and negatives as well as the ability to measure the scale and impact of an issue. 

How do I configure it?  

Today it uses a combination of the vSAN performance service, the vCenter CEIP, and the vSAN healthUI service. For more specific information on networking and requirements see the following VMware StorageHub article for firewall and proxy configuration.    

Who can use it?

All vSAN customers with an active support contract running vSphere 6.5 U1d

What does it look like?  

Today the customer view of this service will be the existing vSAN HealthUI, and for performance data, the vSAN Performance Service, and the vSAN Performance Diagnostic capabilities. Previews of the interface can be found here.