A standard tool of the *nix world is the top utility. The vmware world as esxtop.

This utility can offer insight as to how your system is running. My first introduction was when I thought a performance problem was related to disk issues.

The utility runs from the host. You will need to ssh to host to run it.

If you are using a windows, putty has the ability to be an ssh client. After you ssh into the host, simple enter :

esxtop

The display is similar to *nix top. it’s a good idea to run it and explore to see what it can do. It’s also good to get an idea of what your host is doing.

~ # esxtop
4:41:40am up 35 days 12:21, 224 worlds; CPU load average: 0.04, 0.04, 0.04
PCPU USED(%): 4.6 4.0 3.6 3.7 6.6 6.2 2.4 2.8 5.6 8.4 4.3 8.3 AVG: 5.0
PCPU UTIL(%): 4.9 4.4 4.0 4.1 7.0 6.5 2.8 3.2 5.9 8.7 4.6 8.5 AVG: 5.4

ID    GID NAME             NWLD   %USED    %RUN    %SYS   %WAIT    %RDY
1      1 idle               12 1151.31 1200.00    0.01    0.00 1200.00
1065893 1065893 win7-vm4        5   12.86   13.16    0.00  491.88    0.23
1107501 1107501 win7-vm8        5   16.42   16.37    0.03  483.32    0.23
1065893 1065893 win7-vm4        5    4.10    4.04    0.05  495.65    0.23
1188816 1188816  win7-vm10       5    3.61    3.57    0.03  496.07    0.28
288571 288571 win7-vm3        5    3.59    3.54    0.02  496.19    0.19
1107487 1107487 win7-vm7        5    3.53    3.49    0.01  496.20    0.23
877747 877747 win7-vm2        5    3.47    3.46    0.00  496.19    0.27
1218138 1218138 win7-vm11       5    3.41    3.38    0.00  496.28    0.26
1636794 1636794 esxtop.5132848      1    0.62    0.62    0.00   99.36    0.00
887    887 hostd.5077         17    0.21    0.21    0.00 1699.43    0.10
2      2 system              8    0.11    0.11    0.00  799.77    0.01
17     17 vmkapimod           9    0.05    0.05    0.00  899.81    0.00
1177   1177 vmware-usbarbit     2    0.03    0.03    0.00  199.92    0.01
1636790 1636790 dropbearmulti.5     1    0.01    0.01    0.00   99.97    0.00
7      7 helper             58    0.01    0.01    0.00 5799.12    0.01
1585   1585 sfcb-ProviderMa     4    0.01    0.01    0.00  399.92    0.00
610    610 vmkiscsid.4794      2    0.01    0.01    0.00  199.95    0.00
8      8 drivers            10    0.01    0.01    0.00  999.84    0.00

I wanted to see what storage was doing so I simply pressed “d” to see.

ADAPTR PATH                 NPTH   CMDS/s  READS/s WRITES/s MBREAD/s MBWRTN/s
vmhba0 –                       1     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00
vmhba1 –                       2     0.40     0.00     0.40     0.00     0.00
vmhba32 –                       0     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00
vmhba33 –                       0     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00
vmhba34 –                       0     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00
vmhba35 –                       0     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00
vmhba36 –                       0     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00
vmhba37 –                       0     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00
vmhba38 –                       0     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00

Not much what I expected so I moved on to other areas.

The vmware knowledge base has an article which goes into greater detail.

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