One really neat feature of the vSphere HTML5 Client that was shipped in vSphere 6.7 is the ability to deliver new data applications that can run in the vSphere UI without requiring customers to update or upgrade their underlying vCenter Server. An example of this is the vSphere Health Check plugin that was included in vSphere 6.7, which I am guessing most folks probably did not even notice, including myself. The vSphere Health plugin is located at the vCenter Server level and under Monitor->Health as shown in the screenshot below.
Unlike a traditional vSphere Plugin, where the code and business logic is local to the vCenter Server and must be updated each time for new functionality, these data applications are actually delivered automatically and more importantly, out-of-band to a vCenter Server patch or upgrade. This means as new functionality is added, customers will automatically get the latest updates without having to do anything. So how does this actually work?
This capability is actually part of VMware's Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) and must be enabled on your vCenter Server for this feature to work. In the case of the vSphere Health app, relevant data from your vSphere environment is sent back to VMware's Data Analytics Platform for analysis and is then checked against a number of datasets including known issues and KBs. Only the relevant vSphere Health Checks are then processed and displayed in your vSphere UI which are applicable for your specific environment.
When vSphere 6.7 had initially shipped, there were only 5 vSphere Health Checks that were built not including the CEIP and online health connectivity checks. Last Fall, the team has added an additional 22 new Health Checks and these were instantly made available within a customers vSphere UI without requiring any additional updates or changes to the vCenter Server, which is pretty darn cool if you ask me?!
In the example below, you can see there are now a total of 27 vSphere Health Checks, but only 9 of them are actually applicable for my particular environment.
Customer who enable CEIP will not only help us improve our products, but they will start to see new brand functionality that can deliver unique insights that is customized for their specific environment. This is only the beginning and who knows, maybe things like vSphere HCL and VMware Interoperability checks could show up next which could even include upgrade recommendations for managing vSphere Lifecycle Management ... If you do not have CEIP turned on, definitely consider working with your organization to get it enabled!