vSphere Diagnostic Tool is a new VMware Fling that helps bring together useful troubleshooting information and diagnostics in a single place. It comprises a set of Python and Bash scripts that runs diagnostic commands and queries data from vCenter Server. It can also speed up the process for VMware Support to perform a root cause analysis.

When troubleshooting a VMware vSphere environment, specifically vCenter Server, it can be a challenge to gather all diagnostic data. You may need to collect the output from several different commands found across various VMware KB articles.

The vSphere Diagnostic Tool page mentions that the tool is in the very early stages of development (Alpha stage). At this time, it provides a simple Pass/Warning/Fail status for each check, listing the relevant KBs with the results. In its current form, it checks for the following when run on a vCenter Server appliance (vCSA):

  • vCenter basic info
  • Lookup service check
  • AD check
  • vCenter certificate check
  • Core file check
  • Disk check
  • vCenter DNS check
  • vCenter NTP check
  • vCenter port check
  • Root account check
  • vCenter services check
  • VCHA check

Using vSphere Diagnostic Tool ^

To get vSphere Diagnostic Tool, navigate to the VMware Flings site. vSphere Diagnostic Tool will be downloaded as a ZIP file. Extract the ZIP file.

Use SCP or a graphical SCP tool like WinSCP to upload the extracted folder to the root directory of your vCSA.

Upload vSphere Diagnostic Tool to your vCenter Server VCSA appliance

Upload vSphere Diagnostic Tool to your vCenter Server VCSA appliance

You will need to change the file permissions of vdt.py. To do so, use the command chmod +x vdt.py. Now, the file is ready to execute.

Changing the execution mode for the vSphere Diagnostic Python script

Changing the execution mode for the vSphere Diagnostic Python script

When you execute the script, it will first ask you for your vSphere SSO Administrator credentials before it begins the diagnostic checks.

Run the script and provide your SSO administrator credentials

Run the script and provide your SSO administrator credentials

While you can visually scroll up in the console and review the output of the vSphere Diagnostic Tool, it also creates a log file. This is a great way to check the output and send it to VMware Support if requested.

vSphere Diagnostic Tool runs successfully and creates a report

vSphere Diagnostic Tool runs successfully and creates a report

In just the first few lines of the log file, you get a tremendous amount of detail for your vSphere environment. They include uptime, number of CPUs, memory, hostname, IP address, NTP servers, version, SSO domain, AD domain (if configured), ESXi hosts, clusters, disabled plugins, etc.

vSphere Diagnostic Tool report generated after the run

vSphere Diagnostic Tool report generated after the run

Requirements ^

The tool does not have complicated or complex requirements. In addition, there is no real installation that takes place on vCenter Server. You don't have to alter your production vCenter Server Appliance with additional binaries or other hooks into vCenter. It also eliminates the need for any upstream dependencies.

Other than the ability to remote into your vCSA and make an SSH connection to SCP vSphere Diagnostic Tool to your vCenter Server, the only other requirement is that you are running a vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 or newer.

Wrapping up ^

The new vSphere Diagnostic Tool Fling is a new troubleshooting tool to add to the VI admin toolbelt for troubleshooting issues with vCenter Server. It queries and displays diagnostic and troubleshooting information in a single location without the need to run multiple tools and combine various log files.

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It will be great to see how the tool continues to develop and even possibly be included in future builds and releases of vCenter Server and other Photon OS-based VMware appliances for easy troubleshooting and diagnostics.

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