Did you try to restart the services, if not try that and see if the command goes fine.
check if hostd service status in /etc/init.d/
yea multiple times just hangs, at this point its just dead stick.
I just had this issue. In our case, problem was that the root filesystem was out of inodes and was related to a bug in sfcbd, but I suppose this can happen anytime "stat -f /" shows "Free: 0" for Inodes...
can you provide kernel logs? I hope there might be some reasons. are you able to execute any other esxcli command? if no the only way is need to reboot the esxi. but however we can analyze the root cause
Try below cmds to check/start hostd service
/etc/init.d/hostd status >>>> /etc/init.d/hostd start
Check hostd status , if it's not started then check /var/log/vmkernel.log , /var/log/hostd.log and /var/log/vpxa.log
When esxcli cmd not working you can run localcli cmd instead of esxcli .
# localcli network firewall get
# localcli network firewall set --enable false
# localcli system maintenanceMode set --enable true
# localcli vm process list
# localcli vm process kill -w <World ID> -t soft (Shutdown VMs)