VMware Skyline Health Diagnostics for vSphere - FAQ
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VMware Skyline Health Diagnostics for vSphere - FAQ


Article ID: 345059


Updated On:


VMware vSphere ESXi


This article provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions about VMware Skyline Health Diagnostics (SHD) for vSphere


VMware vSphere 7.0.x


What is Skyline Health Diagnostics (SHD)?

  • VMware Skyline Health Diagnostics is a self-service tool that analyzes log bundles to detect issues and suggest relevant Knowledge Base articles or Steps to remediate in vSphere, vSAN, VMware Cloud Foundation and EUC products. vSphere Administrators can use this tool for troubleshooting issues, before contacting the VMware Support.
  • For more information, see Introducing VMware Skyline Health Diagnostic Tool

What is difference between Skyline Health Diagnostics and Skyline Advisor?

  • Skyline Advisor is a proactive analysis tool whereas Skyline Health Diagnostics is a log analysis tool that also performs health checks.
  • Skyline Advisor is web service tool hosted by VMware, whereas the Skyline Health Diagnostic tool is on-prem. solution and doesn’t require you to have a cloud account.
VMware Skyline AdvisorVMware Skyline Health Diagnostics (SHD)
Proactive, Preventive: Alerts for Potential proactive issuesReactive & Proactive: analyses the issues and provided remediation steps - KBs, Action plans, also includes Pre-Checks for vCenter and VCF environments 
Typical use cases: Missing patches, best practices recommendationTypical use cases: Debugging PSODs or VMkernel Panic providing analysis, Troubleshooting Server Hang Scenarios, vCenter Services crashes, Proactively updating inputs on Security Advisories, Driver upgrade information, Enabling vCenter and VCF prechecks prior upgrade validating the environment 
Data is stored in VMware CloudData resides in-house; execution stats shared with VMware IF you are signed up for CEIP
Needs online internet connectivity with external portalWorks Offline mode; no connectivity to external sites required useful for dark and isolated environments 

What is Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP)? 

  • Joining the CEIP with Skyline Health Diagnostics, the tool collects data related to feature usage and issues identified, without any personally identifiable items. This  program is purely voluntary and you can opt out anytime, simply by unchecking the box, when prompted during the initial configuration of the SHD appliance.
Note: CEIP is checked by default and can be unchecked during the time of initial config of the SHD appliance.
  • The VI-Admins or the cyber security experts in an organization can always check the Tool Usage Report which would provide detailed insight on what data is being collected by VMware SHD Tool. This report can be found by navigating to the SHD Admin login page > Click Settings > Help and Support > Tool Usage Report
This will download a complete report and will help you validate the data collected by VMware Skyline Heath Diagnostics
  • Skyline Health Diagnostics uses these outbound ports:
Skyline Health Diagnostics uses these ports for outbound interactions
  • If the CEIP is disabled on the SHD appliance, then customers can choose to download the ISO image from VMware website and update the SHD appliance. With every Monthly new release of the SHD versions, this will have latest VCG & vSAN database updates included.
  • For more information, see Customer Experience Improvement Program ("CEIP").

What are the benefits of Skyline Health Diagnostics?

  • SHD can help perform diagnostics on the vCenter Appliance even if the Services are offline.
Note: SHD uses an SSH connection capture logs and perform analysis.
  • SHD can also perform diagnostics on ESXi Hosts that are either disconnect/not responding from vCenter Server Inventory using SSH access.
  • SHD can also gather Offline Health Diagnostics:
    • Environments in Dark site can install the Appliance on a Standalone ESXi Host to manually upload logs to the SHD appliance to perform analysis.
  • SHD performs the below diagnostics checks as of today:
    • VMware Security Advisory alerts based environment status
    • VMware Compatibility Health Checks hardware & vSAN
    • SHD performs log analysis based on 1800+ signatures to root cause issues and provide next steps or knowledge base articles
  • The SHD Report can be used for Audit and Documentation purpose for any reported issue in the environment. 
  • The Security team or administrator can validate if the environment is up to date with the available VMware Security Advisories.
  • SHD also provides vCenter and VCF precheck capabilities, which can be driven prior upgrades, thus enabling smoother upgrades.
  • SHD tool is also used by the VMware Global Support team internally too root cause issues.

What are the different Products supported by SHD?

  • vSphere 6.5, 6.7, 7.0.x and vSphere 8.0.x are supported by Skyline Health Diagnostics
  • VMware Cloud Foundation 4.x & 5.x
  • vSAN 
  • VMware Horizon
  • VMware SD-WAN in Tech Preview mode only 
  • VMware Cloud Gateway

Where can I download the Photon OS from, to deploy Skyline Health Diagnostics ?

Where can I get more information regarding installation?

  • What's New in Skyline Health Diagnostics 4.0
Where can I download Skyline Health Diagnostics ISO image from ?

What are the Minimum Requirements to Deploy Skyline Health Diagnostics?

Software Requirements
  • Esxi installed with either vSphere 6.5, 6.7, 7.0 and vSphere 8.0
Hardware requirements 
  • 4 vCPUs
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 250 GB hard disk
  • A port group with network connectivity, for accessing this virtual machine from your workstation

How do I manually set the IP address to the Photon OS 

  • Use the below link to assign Manual IP address to the Photon OS

How does SHD save time and resources to resolve issues?

  • SHD provides instant resolution for known issues seen by VMware support – currently the success rate of the tool is around 48%
  • This saves lot of time and resources in engaging with support, providing info, uploading log files etc.
  • Helps with stability and availability of the environment due to quicker resolution of known issues
  • When engaging with support, availability of SHD log file will dramatically cut down resolution time as good amount of info required for troubleshooting is already captured in the SHD log file

How often are new releases available?

  • Monthly signatures and recent issues are updated

What are the available support channels for issues with SHD tool?

  • VMware engineering and support teams are committed to fixes and serviceability of SHD.
  • An online community forum is available for you to post their queries that support and engineering teams will moderate and help to resolve SHD issues :- Communities-Skyline Health Diagnostics
  • Our VMware Docs page is also available for more information on Skyline Health Diagnostics :- VMware Skyline Health Diagnostics for vSphere Documentation
  • Additionally you can reach out to: [email protected]
  • Fill the template below and send it to the email above for assistance
  • Under the Settings Tab > Help & Support page has the details below
    • Issue Description
    • Build Details
    • Collect Logs
    • Tool Usage

Is there any cost / licensing associated with SHD?

  • The product is free at this time

Will SHD tool be expanded to other products?

  • VMware Engineering is committed that SHD product is evolving to expand covering other products with additional functionality and coverage. The goal is to have a Single unified Diagnostics solution tool across multiple product portfolios 

How can I provide feedback about this tool?

How can I upgrade SHD if its being used in an Offline mode

The below is applicable for older versions prior to SHD 3.5 only
  • Download the VMware Skyline Health Diagnostics latest version ISO from the Customer Connect portal
  • Attach the ISO image to the SHD Appliance 
  • To mount the attached ISO run mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom 
  • Execute the script "sh /mnt/cdrom/install.sh"
The latest version of SHD 4.0 released does not have a Offline Upgrade option, since the version SHD 4.0 is a major release, So ideal way approach is to deploy a new SHD 4.0 Appliance directly

How can you opt out of CEIP?

  • You can choose the LEAVE PROGRAM option in the Settings Tab to disconnect from CEIP, click on "JOINED" button will show the below option to Leave the CEIP

How can customer rejoin the CEIP?

  • You can choose to join the CEIP and enable this post confirming from your internal Security team approval, the option in the Settings Tab to Join Program in CEIP which is available.