You can use VMware Skyline™ Health Diagnostics™ to collect diagnostic data about the management components of VMware Cloud Foundation.

Supported Skyline Health Diagnostics Version

VMware Cloud Foundation 5.0 is compatible with Skyline Health Diagnostics 4.0.1. See the Skyline Health Diagnostics Release Notes.

Overview of Skyline Health Diagnostics

Data center health management helps you identify potential issues before they become major problems, enabling you to take proactive measures to ensure uptime and prevent downtime.

Skyline Health Diagnostics is a self-service diagnostic and health platform that helps you with the following operations:

  • Diagnose and detect any failures and known issues, and suggest relevant Knowledge Base articles or remediation steps.
  • Run health checks.
  • Understand applicability of VMware Security Advisories and related resolutions.
  • Identify issues which might impact the service availability, update and upgrade of the products.

For information on the benefits of Skyline Health Diagnostics and a comparison with VMware Skyline™ Advisor, see VMware Knowledge Base article 819313.

Using Skyline Health Diagnostics with VMware Cloud Foundation

You deploy VMware Skyline Health Diagnostics as a virtual appliance in the management domain of your VMware Cloud Foundation environment, and you connect the appliance to the management network.

Figure 1. Logical Design of Skyline Health Diagnostics for VMware Cloud Foundation

Skyline Health Diagnostics pulls telemetry data from the management components of VMware Cloud Foundation. Skyline Health Diagnostics is pulls signatures and patch information from VMware Cloud. Access by using the UI or the API is supported.

You use the Connect and Analyze, and Upload Log Bundle modes of Skyline Health Diagnostics to run health check reports for your VMware Cloud Foundation environment. See Summary of Supported Products, Analysis Mode, and Checks.

With Skyline Health Diagnostics, you can perform the following operations in a VMware Cloud Foundation environment:

  • Run diagnostics, upgrade-precheck assessment, and health checks for the management and VI workload domains VMware Cloud Foundation by directly connecting to SDDC Manager to collect logs.
  • Manually upload and analyze log bundles.
    If an issue with the ESXi hosts or the management components in VMware Cloud Foundation occurs, you can download a log bundle and analyze it by using the diagnostics platform. The platform includes many signatures for detecting problems, and when a signature matches the information in the log files, you receive a notification. VMware publishes signatures every two weeks and you can download these signatures in your environment.
  • View results of the analysis in the form of reports.

Installing, Configuring, and Operating Skyline Health Diagnostics in VMware Cloud Foundation

You deploy and configure Skyline Health Diagnostics in VMware Cloud Foundation according to the requirements and best practices of your organization, use Skyline Health Diagnostics for proactive issue detection, automatic log collection, and intelligent analysis of your infrastructure.

Deploying Skyline Health Diagnostics

Your environment must fulfill certain requirements so that you can deploy Skyline Health Diagnostics. Place the Skyline Health Diagnostics virtual machine in the management domain of VMware Cloud Foundation, connecting it to the management VLAN so that it is on the same network as SDDC Manager for direct communication.

Table 1. Skyline Health Diagnostics Deployment Workflow for VMware Cloud Foundation

Task Order

Task Description


Installation Requirements

  • Provide sufficient compute resources for the appliance in the management domain.

  • On the management network, allocate a statically assigned IP address and a host name for the Skyline Health Diagnostics appliance to ensure stability of the deployment and simplifies maintenance and tracking.


Download VMware Skyline Health Diagnostics Virtual Appliance OVA

Before installing the Skyline Health Diagnostics, you must download the appliance OVA image from the VMware Customer Connect Portal site for online and offline customers.


Deploy VMware Skyline Health Diagnostics Using the OVA Image

Deploy the Skyline Health Diagnostics appliance in the default vSphere cluster of the management domain. In the deployment wizard, select the management vSAN datastore and the port group for the management network. Provide a statically assigned IP address and a host name for the Skyline Health Diagnostics appliance. Optionally, you can place the appliance in the VM folder that contains the virtual machines of the SDDC management components.


Ports and Protocols

The Skyline Health Diagnostics appliance establishes inbound and outbound connections to the cloud over certain protocols and ports. Make sure your firewall is configured to allow this communication.


Scale Limits

Consider the scale and maximum configurable limits of Skyline Health Diagnostics for efficient operation.

Configuring Skyline Health Diagnostics

Perform administrative tasks on Skyline Health Diagnostics to ensure it works in your production setup and meets the needs of the organization or users, such as creating and managing user accounts and access levels, managing SSL certificates, scheduling VMware Cloud Foundation health checks, and others.

Table 2. Skyline Health Diagnostics Configuration Workflow for VMware Cloud Foundation
Task Description
Participating in the Customer Experience Improvement Program

(Optional) You can choose Skyline Health Diagnostics to participate in the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP). For more information about CEIP and the purposes for which it is used by VMware, go to the Trust and Assurance Center at

Add User Accounts

(Optional) Skyline Health Diagnostics has one built-in administrative account shd-admin. Only users with Administrator Role has the rights to perform user administration tasks.

You can add the users from an identity source added to a vCenter Single Sign-On domain of VMware Cloud Foundation, or add an operator account with restricted privileges.
Managing SSL Certificates

(Optional) Replace the default self-signed SSL certificate of the Skyline Health Diagnostics appliance with a trusted one if required by the security policy of your organization.

  1. Custom Certificate Requirements

  2. Generate Certificate Signing Request

  3. Replace the Self-Signed Certificate with the Custom Certificate

Configuring Password Rotation and Account Lockout Policies

(Optional) Configure password rotation and account policies for Skyline Health Diagnostics manually because Skyline Health Diagnostics is not part of the VMware Cloud Foundation automation. As a result, you cannot use SDDC Manager to schedule password rotation for Skyline Health Diagnostics. You must rotate the Skyline Health Diagnostics password before it expires. In addition, as a best practice, configure password complexity according to the requirements of your organization.

Managing Proxy Settings

(Optional) Configure the proxy settings to download the latest software updates for Skyline Health Diagnostics.

Scheduling Health Checks

Schedule periodic scans of your VMware Cloud Foundation environment health to ensure it is healthy by using the Scheduler feature. You can schedule daily, weekly, and monthly health checks.

If you add a VI workload domain to your VMware Cloud Foundation environment, update the designated scheduled job.

Operating Skyline Health Diagnostics

Regularly check the generated reports and alerts in Skyline Health Diagnostics to identify any potential issues or areas of improvement in your VMware Cloud Foundation environment. Apply the diagnostic recommendations to resolve identified issues and optimize the performance of your deployment.

Keep the Skyline Health Diagnostics software up to date by applying the available updates or patches provided by VMware.

Table 3. Skyline Health Diagnostics Operations for VMware Cloud Foundation



Check and Download VMware Compatibility Guide (VCG) Updates

Online Mode. Keep Skyline Health Diagnostics up to date with the latest updates from the VMware Compatibility Guide (VCG) on vSAN HCL database up-to-date check, and with updates released for ESXi hosts, hardware, and I/O device.

Check, Download and Install Software Updates

Online Mode. You can update or upgrade Skyline Health Diagnostics to the latest version from the Internet.

Offline Mode. If the Skyline Health Diagnostics appliance does not have Internet connectivity, use the Offline Patch Bundle for VMware Skyline Health Diagnostics to complete the update process.


Updating Skyline Health Diagnostics by using the Offline Patch Bundle updates the VCG database as well.

Create and run the VMware Cloud Foundation analysis

Mode of Analysis: Connect and Analyze. Create and run various VMware Cloud Foundation Health Checks for a detailed list of issues.

Offline Log Bundle Based Analysis

Mode of Analysis: Upload Log Bundle. If you have an existing diagnostic log bundle from SDDC Manager, you can upload it to Skyline Health Diagnostics for issue analysis.

To generate a log bundle for VMware Cloud Foundation, use the SoS utility in the SDDC Manager appliance console. Use the options of the utility to generate a ZIP file with the collected log information. See Collect Logs for Your VMware Cloud Foundation System.

View Analysis Reports in VMware Skyline Health Diagnostics

After Skyline Health Diagnostics analyzes an uploaded or collected log bundle, it generates a detailed diagnostics report with all the findings. You can view the report immediately or save it for future reference.

Interpret the Diagnostics Report of the VMware Skyline Health Diagnostics

A diagnostics report contains multiple sections that provide a hierarchical summary of the analysis and findings.

Interpret VMware Cloud Foundation Health Checks Report

In addition to the common details of every diagnostic report in Skyline Health Diagnostics, a VMware Cloud Foundation diagnostics report contains the results from the health checks performed on the management and VI workload domains.

Managing notification settings

You can use notification settings to send the report of a scheduled analysis task over email.

Shut down and start Skyline Health Diagnostics in VMware Cloud Foundation

You can shut down and then start the Skyline Health Diagnostics virtual machine independently by using the vSphere Client for the management domain vCenter Server. See Shut Down the Skyline Health Diagnostics Virtual Machine and Start the Skyline Health Diagnostics Virtual Machine.

If you are shutting down and then starting up the entire management domain, follow the full-stack shutdown and startup orders for VMware Cloud Foundation. See Shut Down the Management Domain and Start the Management Domain.