Understanding esxtop

Version 1



    Esxtop allows monitoring and collection of data for all system resources: CPU, memory, disk and network. When used interactively, this data can be viewed on different types of screens; one each for CPU statistics, memory statistics, network statistics and disk adapter statistics. In addition to the disk adapter statistics in earlier versions, starting with ESX3.5, disk statistics at the device and VM level are also available. Starting with ESX 4.0, esxtop has an interrupt statistics screen. In the batch mode, data can be redirected to a file for offline uses.


    Many esxtop statistics are computed as rates, e.g. CPU statistics %USED. A rate is computed based on the refresh interval, the time between successive snapshots. For example, %USED = ( CPU used time at snapshot 2 - CPU used time at snapshot 1 ) / time elapsed between snapshots. The default refresh interval can be changed by the command line option "-d", or the interactive command 's'. The return key can be pressed to force a refresh.


    In each screen, data is presented at different levels of aggregation. It is possible to drill down to expanded views of this data. Each screen provides different expansion options.


    It is possible to select all or some fields for which data collection is done. In the case of interactive use of esxtop, the order in which the selected fields are displayed can be selected.


    In the following sections, this document will describe the esxtop statistics shown by each screen and their usage.


    This document was syndicated from Interpreting esx top statistics.


    Intended Audience


    VMware Certified Professionals (VCPs) and performance/capacity experts.




    Section 1. Introduction

    Section 2. CPU

    Section 2.1 Worlds and Groups

    Section 2.2 Global Statistics

    Section 2.3 World Statistics

    Section 3. Memory

    Section 3.1 Machine Memory and Guest Physical Memory

    Section 3.2 Global Statistics

    Section 3.3 Group Statistics

    Section 4 Disk

    Section 4.1 Adapter, Device, VM screens

    Section 4.2 Disk Statistics

    Section 4.2.1 I/O Throughput Statistics

    Section 4.2.2 Latency Statistics

    Section 4.2.3 Queue Statistics

    Section 4.2.4 Error Statistics

    Section 4.2.5 PAE Statistics

    Section 4.2.6 Split Statistics

    Section 4.3 Batch Mode Output

    Section 5 Network

    Section 5.1 Port

    Section 5.2 Port Statistics

    Section 6. Interrupt

    Section 7. Batch Mode


    Interpreting esxtop statistics



    The source document Interpreting esxtop Statistics was syndicated to VIOPS because it provides very useful data:


    1. It explains the meaning and function of each statistic such as %WAIT.

    2. For each statistic it also provides some Q&A

    3. The last part of the document provides help on how to interpret the batch csv output.

    4. This information is invaluable in managing ESX and should therefore be in the VCP tool bag - which is why VIOPS has highlighted this document via syndication.






    • Scott Drummonds wrote the original doc, which was posted on communities by zpan