Many people do not know what is VMware CEIP program and they're missing out. I'll go into details in today's post, show you what is VMware Customer Experience Program (CEIP) and what's the main benefit for the IT admin or the end user. The post will further have a video from VMworld 2017 in Barcelona where I was chatting with VMware's vSAN specialist Jase McCarty which also talks about CEIP and shows a quick example too.
VMware CEIP is not new. It was introduced in vSphere 5.5 U2 and for vSAN it was since vSAN 6.1, but there are also other products on the list. For example vROPS, vRA, vRO, vRB for Cloud, vSphere Data Protection (VDP) or vSphere Power CLI. Consult the full list here on page called CEIP Product Table.
Customers using VMware product not activating CEIP are missing out. That's my view I have too, and after quick talk with Jase showing an example for vSAN customer, it is even more evident. VMware CEIP is good thing. Not evil. There is no reason to be worried about some personal information being exposed, there is no such a collection.
What is VMware CEIP?
VMware is allowed to collect some technical information about the infrastructure. Which firmware/driver combination you have present (important for vSAN for example as wrong combination can impact the performance and even lead to the purple screen of death – PSOD). The config data such as settings of the cluster environment,
What is not VMware CEIP?
They do not know the name of vCenter, the name of VMs, hostnames…. so any of those more “personal” information are NOT going to VMware.
Where to Enable?
It varies by product. For example, you can enable it for vCenter server via vSphere web client.
- In the vSphere Web Client, go to Home > Administration > Customer Experience Improvement Program > Join
When you enable the Program, the vCenter Server attempts to establish a connection to https://vmware.com and to automatically discover any proxy server that you might have configured for your vCenter Server.
When your vCenter server does not have an Internet connection, you're only left to a traditional way of support, which is a support bundle collection support which you'll have to generate and send to VMware via a secure channel from another machine.
Which technical data are collected?
Quote from the VMware site below.
- Configuration Data – Technical data about how your organization has configured VMware products and services and related environment information. Examples of configuration data include version information for VMware products, product environment information, product configuration settings and technical data relating to the devices accessing those products and services.
- Feature Usage Data – Data about how your organization uses VMware products and services. Examples of feature usage data include details about which product features your organization uses and metrics of user interface activity.
- Performance Data – Data about the performance of VMware products and services. Examples include metrics of the performance and scale of VMware products and services, response times for user interfaces and details about API calls.
- Product Log Data – Product Logs that are generated by VMware products during the active deployment of the product. Typically, logs record system events and state during product operations. These logs do not contain customer workload content.
Video with Jase McCarty. The CEIP is evoked at about 7:30′ if you don't want to watch the full video. Best watched with HD and Full Screen. More news from VMworld Barcelona 2017 on a dedicated page.
Check all the details, PDFs and FAQs about VMware CEIP on this detailed page.
If you're VMware admin and looking for best experience, then keep the CEIP turned ON. When filling a support request, it makes things easier for VMware tech guys which, at the end of the day, will ask you to turn it on anyway. For me or any other average VMware administrator is a no-brainer. However, you might have some strict government security program or even a military restriction preventing you to turn on CEIP or have a system connected to the Internet, which is, of course, understandable.
For a “usual” admin this is a feature having great benefit. Imagin you have a vSAN cluster performing poorly and you don't know what's wrong. Having VMware quick look at the cluster's config, history or firmware/driver combination on your storage controller cards gives them some information to review and provide help.
By letting VMware having a quick look at the cluster's config, history or firmware/driver combination on your storage controller cards, gives them some important technical information to review and provide help. Technical, not personal…
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