VMworld 2010 – TA 6720 – Troubleshooting Using ESXTOP for Advanced Users

Alright everyone. About 1 billion people have been taking sessions (or 17,000 depending on who you ask). And, many of those people are bloggers. So, I am not going to bore you with a minute by minute run down of what the class content was. Instead, I think that my time is better spent discussing the quality of the class.

The session was led by Krishna Raj Raja, a Staff Engineer with VMware. Right off of the bat, he said that any one of the specific topics he was going to discuss could be a breakout session in and of it self. He, literally, was not kidding. Not only was the information broad, it was definitely deep as well.

ESXTOP and (resxtop, for those rCLI folks) is one of the most important tools a VMware Admin could ever have in their pocket. The amount of information gleaned from such a tool is immense. However, as the detail of the lab shows, there is a learning curve to understanding what the values mean (composition and interpretation). But, once you overcome that curve, your environment profile has just become a million times more clear (your mileage may vary).

Krishna immediately established himself as an expert of the subject matter, which was great. It was evident that he was not just reading from a slide deck… but, instead, knowing intimate detail about what he was presenting.

Some of the new features of the 4.1 ESXTOP release include:

  • The ability to kill a specific world (not suggested… only used in conjunction with VMware technical support.
  • Power Management counters
    • These are not enabled automagically as the power management functionality needs to be enabled in ESX first.
  • Power management per VM (experimental)
  • VAAI specific statistics (storage operation offload to SANs)
  • NFS specific statistics
  • Disk information now reported using vScsiStats output (minor change, but important to know)
  • Memory cache/swapping statistics

This session content was spectacular. I have an immediate use for this in my environment to help establish a baseline in our existing storage environment before moving to a new SAN environment.

I would definitely suggest adding this to the essential, must attend list for every VMworld. Keeping up to date and polished up on this subject will prove to be invaluable in your future endeavors.


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