ESXTOP | Networking edition

  • 9 February 2021
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The network panel in ESXTOP has a few metrics that will enable you to determine issues such as loss of network on a VM or high dropped packet on specific nics. Below is simple overview on how to use esxtop for networking:

 

How to access:

Log into your ESXi host and type esxtop

Press ‘n’ to show only the networking view

 

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Port ID - The port ID used on the virtual switch. This ID is used for example for network traces with pktcap-uw.

Press 'N' to sort by PORT-ID column.

USED-BY - Indicates what is connected to the virtual switch port. Connected devices can be virtual machine NICs, VMkernel ports (vmk#), physical NICs (vmnic#) or ports used for health checks (Shadow of vmnic#).

TEAM-PNIC - The physical NIC that the corresponding device is actively using. This information is helpful for network troubleshooting.

%DRPTX - Dropped packets transmitted,  hardware overworked. Possible cause : very high network utilization.

%DRPRX - Dropped packets received, hardware overworked. Possible cause : very high network utilization.

 

ESXTOP can provide live view of the physical network showing us the MbTX/s and MbRX/s (Amount of data transmitted or Received in Mbps) on each of the virtual switch of the ESXi host.

 

In problem-solving, recognizing the bottleneck or the Root case always becomes critical and hence the parameter of dropped packets becomes important.

Dropped packets can occur for a number of reasons. Possible causes include

  • high guest CPU utilization, 

  • having incorrect network drivers installed in the guest OS.

  • insufficient uplink capacity in the vSwitch to cope with demand.

Some other metrics shown are

  • MbTX/s – Amount of data transmitted in Mbps

  • MbRX/s – Amount of data received in Mbps

  • PKTTX/s – Average number of packets transmitted per second in the sampling interval

  • PKTRX/s – Average number of packets received per second in the sampling interval

Some great resources for learning ESXTOP:

  1. http://www.yellow-bricks.com/esxtop/

  2. Interpreting esxtop Statistics

  3. Gather esxtop using cronjob - https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1033346

 


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