My ramblings about all things technical

Understanding and using ESXTOP/RESXTOP


Lately I’ve noticed more and more people referring to stats and figures they have collected on their environments via ESXTOP/RESXTOP. I learnt about esxtop for my vcp exams but I have to be honest I haven’t really used it in my environment and recently I felt that I was surely denying myself and thereby the possible performance advantages for my environments by not using this tool to try find and fix any performance problems my vm’s/hosts may be experiencing.

I thought I would try write up a blog posting detailing everything  I had learnt but as is normally the case  some of the top bloggers out there have already beaten me to it and done such amazing jobs of it there’s no real reason for me to to do it. So instead I have collated all the information I have used to strengthen my knowledge on this tool and how it can help every virtual infrastructure administrator and or user to get the most out of their virtual machines and servers, especially with the imminent removal of the COS.

First is the ultimate resource for reference and learning what is possible with esxtop(I’m still amazed how much this tool can do and with update 2 there’s even more functionality). This VMware communities document has everything you could ever want to learn and know for esxtop and is staggeringly detailed whilst still being updated to include new functionalities and options. I’ve only managed to absorb some of the information off this document so far as it’s so much to learn and take in.

Next is a brilliant posting by Duncan Epping of Yellow Bricks fame all about the usage of ESXTOP and how he has utilised it with perfmon to retrieve all the desired data he needs for troubleshooting problems.

Jason Boche has also done a posting all about the capabilities of drilling down through the performance metrics to get very specific results.

Forbes Guthrie has done a brilliant vReference card for all the performance metrics you will see in your performance troubleshooting and monitoring. A very helpful “print out” capable card for quick reference as the same implies 🙂

Simon Long of The SLOG fame has done a very interesting posting all about using ESXTOP with VMware ESXi and is a very interesting look and example of how to do this monitoring once the COS is gone and ESXi is the only dominant host type. This kind of example is one of the main reasons I knew I needed to brush up my ESXTOP skills.

Kedrick Coleman pointed me to a very nice tool by VMware labs called ESXPlot which “is a GUI based tool that lets you explore the data collected by esxtop in batch mode”. I am yet to test this out but it looks like a very helpful tool in getting your performance data into once easy to monitor and even better to show to the boss/upper management the performance statistics of your environments/specific machines

Lastly if you were fortunate enough to attend or have a subsciption to the VMworld 2010 sessions then I would HIGHLY recommend the Troubleshooting using ESXTOP for Advanced Users session

Hopefully some of the resources help people strengthen their knowledge of ESXTOP/RESXTOP.

Gregg Robertson

3 thoughts on “Understanding and using ESXTOP/RESXTOP

  1. Pingback: All things virtual 13 « TheSaffaGeek

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