Gathering esxtop Statistics and doing cool stuff with it

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Today I’m busy with creating an export from esxtop to gather transfers/sec from a mix of Equalogic and EMC storage.
This clients wants to check if they need to replace the fiber storage or expand the iSCSI storage.

To gather statistics:

Enter command “esxtop”. This starts the logging in interactive mode.
Enter command “d” this enables disk information only.
Enter command “W” this writes your preferences to the default config file.
Specify filename at prompt; ie. “/tmp/mysettings”

Enter command: “esxtop -b -c /tmp/mysettings -d 10 -n 9000 > /tmp/esxtopout.csv”

-b is for batch mode
-c is how often you want a logging to occur in seconds; in this case every 10 seconds
-d is how many occurrences you like to log, in this case 6 times per minute x 60 times per hour x 25 hours = 9000
/tmp/esxtopout.csv is the location where the output of the logging will be written.

The resulting CSV weighed in at 150MB after 2 hours.

after you gather the csv file for a couple of hours to a day (i don’t recommend logging more than 24 hours), you can do all sort of things with this data like perfmon, make cool graphics with excel and many more.

The CSV can be analyzed in Windows Perfmon.  after I deleted the counters i didn’t need in excel, I opened the log in Perfmon to make the basic Min/Average/Max counters visible.  When adding the CSV log to Perfmon, you are prompted to select counters.  I added all instances of Commands/sec, Reads/sec, and Writes/sec from Physical Disk.

Most used Disk Batch Mode Counters

Counter Name Batch Mode Counter Name
CMDS/s Commands/sec
READS/s Reads/sec
WRITES/s Writes/sec
MBREAD/s MBytes Read/sec
MBWRTN/s MBytes Written/sec

My findings

  1. esxtop is a very powerful utility for monitoring your esx farm, but for a short period of time and for troubleshooting
  2. all stats (-a) can result in a huge file – use it wisely in batch mode; else use interactive mode to select your counters and write them to the user-defined configuration file.  Invoke the config file with the -c option when running in batch mode.
  3. esxtop physical disk stats do not include NFS volumes.

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