Due to increasing IT operational complexity and stagnant budgets, organizations depend on their vendors to provide timely, innovative support. As part of VMware’s commitment to world class support, VMware recently introduced vSAN ReadyCare, which is an overall description of the significant vSAN support investments VMware has made across three key areas: innovative technology, efficient services and best-in-class support teams. vSAN ReadyCare highlights VMware’s commitment to ensuring customers are given the best HCI support experience possible.
vSAN Support Insight Reduces Time to Resolution for Support Requests
vSAN Support Insight, a feature first delivered in vSAN 6.6, is a next-generation platform for analytics of health, configuration, and performance telemetry. Its purpose is to help vSAN users maintain a reliable and consistent computing, storage and network environment.
vSAN Support Insight leverages the VMware’s Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) to provide anonymous phone home health, performance, and configuration information directly to VMware support and engineering 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 obfuscated. For more information about the privacy and how to inspect the phone home data see the following StorageHub article.
With the new capability, customers enjoy reduced time to resolution on support tickets due to immediate awareness of the state, configuration, and history of an environment. vSAN Support Insight will in many cases eliminate the need for initial log collection, and customers should also experience reduced operational requirements for their vSAN environment. In the future, engineering is looking to identify and fix bottlenecks and issues before they impact customers. Problematic software and hardware issues can be identified at scale through machine learning.
Cloud-Based Health Checks Provide Proactive Alerts
Health checks are proactive configuration and state checks, which are built into vSAN workflows. The vSAN Health Service now includes over fifty health checks after over a dozen new health checks debuted with vSAN 6.7. By shifting to cloud-based health checks, additional checks can be added regularly and are not dependent on a new version of vSAN being deployed.
Health checks are backed by knowledge base articles so a customer can simply click on the “Ask VMware” button for a link to the corresponding article for additional information and guidance on remediating any issue. It should be noted that this functionality requires the CEIP be enabled on a cluster, and that a vCenter have connectivity to the internet. If direct connectivity is not available it can leverage the vCenter proxy configuration.
Detailed performance can be exported and uploaded or phoned home through CEIP, allowing for troubleshooting without the need for a local instance of vSAN observer. In addition, a verbose mode can be enabled that retains addition data if needed.
Efficient Services and Best-in-Class Support Teams
Professional Services Rapidly Deploy HCI and Optimize Existing Deployments
For some customers, day zero, one and two operations can be daunting when switching from a known technology, such as an external SAN array, to hyper-converged infrastructure. VMware has multiple professional services offerings to help organizations rapidly and confidently deploy new software-defined infrastructure, like vSAN and the complete HCI stack from VMware (vSphere, vSAN and vCenter). The services can help reduce time-to-value for core deployments and remote office/branch office (ROBO) deployments.
Customers can choose their level of engagement, from an efficient three-day, remote service for a few nodes to a comprehensive multi-week, in-person engagement for an entire data center. In addition to deployment services, professional services also can assist customers in optimizing their vSAN and HCI environments or deploying additional services, like workload migration and disaster recovery to name a few.
Growth in Support Staff Exceeds Customer Growth for Fast, Efficient Service
Even with technology and services innovation mitigating many common deployment problems, at some point many customers may need to contact VMware directly for support. As the vSAN customer base has rapidly expanded, VMware has responded by growing the vSAN support teams. In fact, in 2017, the support staff doubled, growing faster than the customer adoption rate to ensure a world-class support experience.
Want to learn more about the latest release? Check out the vSAN 6.7 release blog.
Want a technical deep dive on vSAN 6.7? View the What’s New blog.
Learn more about VMware professional services here.