esxtop This is why I love the #vExpert community! Thx @Mandivs @esxtopGuru @VMwareCares @VMwFlings

When I first began working with VMware virtualization tools it was not just the technology that got me excited.

What actually gave me the most incredible feeling was the community that surrounds this awesome tech. There are innumerable examples of how time and time again I found myself either wondering about something or actually at a roadblock and the community came through for me.

A few weeks ago I had yet another of these experiences, so I thought I should get it out there as a shining example of exactly what I’m talking about.

I was working on something for my day job that required me to use the tool ‘esxtop’ – an awesome and powerful commandline utility for performance monitoring and diagnostics.  (See DuncanYB‘s posts on esxtop for a good jumping off point )

What I encountered was difficulty using the tool in the way the documentation indicated it should work.

It seemed I either didn’t understand what I was supposed to do (totally possible), or esxtop didn’t work as it claimed to.

In esxtop when monitoring storage, you have the option to expand or roll up device(s) so as to get a more detailed view of information related to the specific device(s) you’re looking at.

Once you change to the esxtop ‘u’ view (storage devices), option ‘e’ prompts you to enter the device ID.

Screenshot expand naa.jpg

It seemed that for devices with an naa.  or mpx. ID it worked fine, but with the  t10.ATA IDs it seemed like either they were being truncated somewhere or possibly had characters that were not being escaped correctly.

Screenshot naa expanded.jpg

Feeling a little frustrated (or stupid) I posted this rather cryptic tweet w/the #vExpert hash tag:

Within hours just I received a response from @VMwareCares with a viable workaround.

Armed with this nugget of knowledge I went about what I needed to do, now able to expand the t10.ATA device(s) I needed to look at.

Screenshot 2013-08-07 at 11.25.38 PM

It didn’t end there though, the next morning  Krishna Raj Raja ‏@esxtopGuru elaborated further, stating:

Raj also indicated that connecting to resxtop via vMA would be another workaround.

The help kept on coming as Manish Patel @Mandivs indicated there was a VMware KB that covered this.

So, not only by sending out a quick tweet had I found a real solution to my problem, I also learned something very useful in other areas of esxtop.  All thanks to the power of the VMware community on Twitter and thanks to @VMwareCares, Raj, and Manish.

As if that hadn’t been enough, to “top it all off, that same afternoon a new Fling was announced:

This visual tool makes esxtop even more accessible and I’ve confirmed the expand/rollup issue is definitely not a problem here.

Have you had an exceptional experience with the virtualization community over Twitter? Drop a note in the comments or point us to your write up on it. I think it’s worth recognizing that none of us go at it alone, and we do depend on each other, so a thank you is definitely in order.

Til next time, see you on the Twitters — @kylemurley

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