Get-EsxTop – Another Look

One of the lesser used PowerCLI cmdlets must be the Get-EsxTop cmdlet.

It’s not that the Get-EsxTop cmdlet is not very useful, on the contrary. In my opinion, the main reason for it’s infrequent use might be the complexity involved to actually use the data it returns. Add to that a somewhat lacking documentation, and the Ugly Duckling of the PowerCLI cmdlets is born.

But just like in the story, this cmdlet has the potential to grow up, and transform into a beautiful swan.

Get-EsxTop post

I already did some Get-EsxTop posts in the past, see Hitchhiker’s Guide to Get-EsxTop – Part 1 and Hitchhiker’s Guide to Get-EsxTop – Part 2 – The wrapper. But a recent thread in the VMTN PowerCLI Community made me rethink how the Get-EsxTop cmdlet could be put to better use. The author of the thread wanted to compare the results returned by Get-EsxTop with the data displayed in esxtop. He also compared the calculated Get-EsxTop metrics with those returned by the Get-Stat cmdlet, and there were some serious discrepancies!

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PowerCLI 5.5 R2, they do listen to you !

About a week ago I was so fortunate to being able to visit the Team behind PowerCLI.

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I did already meet some of the PowerCLI Dev Team members on previous occasions, but this time I was able to see the complete team on their own turf.

Sometimes you immediately feel the chemistry that is present in a Team. And you know, even before you see what they produce, that great products will come out. This Team was for me a typical example of that.

Add on top of that, a dedicated and enthusiastic Product Manager, and voila, magic is in the air.

PowerCLI might be a free product, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that from seeing how this Team, located in Sofia Bulgaria, is dedicated to bringing a new build to you on a tight schedule.

And although PowerCLI might look like a simple products from the surface, you would be amazed at seeing the brainstorming, prototyping and reviewing that hides behind each new PowerCLI build this Team rolls out.

And they did it again with the PowerCLI 5.5 R2 build.

Continue reading PowerCLI 5.5 R2, they do listen to you !

Dutch VMUG: The Statistics Reporting Session

I had the pleasure to present a session on “PowerCLI and vSPhere Performance and Capacity reporting” during the Dutch VMUG meeting of February 8th 2013. Although the meeting took place in the “Karnaval” weekend, there was a great turnout and, as always, a very attentive and interested audience. Thanks for attending the session guys !

karnaval

In the session I tried to show how easy it is to produce decent performance and capacity reports about your vSphere environment with PowerCLI. During the session I did some demos to show some aspects of PowerCLI and statistics. This post contains the code, and some annotations, I used during these demos.

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Game of Nines – VM Uptime Report

The end of the year is near again. Time to plan for the new, but also a time to look back on what was there in the past year.

Your vSphere environment is no different. It is time to produce some of those dreaded year reports that will show you how your environment has been doing. And one of the aspects a lot of people are very keen about, is the number 9 game 😉

Game-of-Nines

What was the uptime of the VMs you had running ?

The question popped up on several occasions in the PowerCLI Community as well. So I guess I was not the only one that was looking for a way to calculate the uptime of Virtual Machines.

Bug alert ?: it seems that the PerformanceManager handles vMotions in a strange way. After a vMotion the sys.uptime.latest is reset to 0 (zero). That is understandable, since the VM is now running on a different ESXi host. But it seems that the aggregated metric do not add up all the sys.uptime.latest metrics from different ESXi hosts. So when you use DRS or do vMotions yourself, the produced report will have some serious flaws !

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Monitor the size of your vDisks

In a recent thread on the VMTN PowerCLI Community someone asked if it is possible to get historical hard disk statistics. I referred the user to my Datastore usage statistics post, where I showed how to use the “disk” metrics to get that information.

But getting the individual vDisk statistics is a bit more tricky compared to getting the datastore statistics, as I showed in that post. The “disk” metrics hold the information, but the Instance that points to the MoRef value of a VM makes it a bit more tricky to retrieve.

Be forewarned, the “disk” metrics hold usage data for all the vDisks that a specific VM has on a specific datastore. You will not be able to get individual vDisk statistics, unless the vDisks are stored on different datastores !

On the positive side, the “disk” metrics will allow you to see how your vDisks increase in size over time. For your Thick vDisks that increase will be by expanding them, and for your Thin vDisks it will also show the natural growth.

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vNIC transmit and receive rates

The VMTN PowerCLI Community is a constant source of inspiration for blog posts. User roswellevent raised, in the thread Any way to get virtual machine Nic card usage?, the question if it was possible to get the transmit and receive rate for each vNIC in virtual machines.

Since I’m interested in all things statistics in vSphere I decided to tackle the question. Finding the metrics to use for this kind of report is not too difficult. Under the PerformanceManager Network section we find the metrics net.received.average and net.transmitted.average. And, provided your Statistics Level is set to 3 for the timeframe you want to report on, the metrics capture statistics on the device level.

Great, exactly what we need! A quick check in the Performance tab in the vSphere Client showed an additional problem to solve. The instance didn’t mention Network Adapter 1 but a number.

Continue reading vNIC transmit and receive rates

Discover Memory Overallocations

With the vSphere 5 licensing buzz from the past days and the incredibel number of hits on my Query vRAM post, I considered that a script to help you discover your memory overallocations might be useful.

The script uses the metric mem.usage.average to find out what amount of it’s allocated memory a guest is actually using. The script produces a report that will help you to determine which guests would be good candidates to lower their memory allocation.

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PowerCLI & vSphere statistics – Part 5 – Rollup Types

In my previous posts in this series, I showed how you can use metrics to produce statistical reports.

One aspect of the metrics that we haven’t touched till now is the roll up types for metrics. If we look in the PerfCounterInfo object under the rollupType property, we discover that there are several of roll up types available. The enumeration lists the following: average, latest, minimum, maximum, none and summation.

What do all these types mean, and more importantly how do we handle these in our scripts ?

That is the subject of this episode in the statistics series.

Continue reading PowerCLI & vSphere statistics – Part 5 – Rollup Types

Datastore usage statistics

An interesting question came up in the PowerCLI Community. Can one extract the datastore statistics, that are used for the space utilization graphs in the vSphere Client, with PowerCLI ? The graph in question, which you find in the Datastores Inventory view under the Performance tab, looks something like this.

Continue reading Datastore usage statistics

Hitchhiker’s Guide to Get-EsxTop – Part 2 – The wrapper

In an earlier post, see Hitchhiker’s Guide to Get-EsxTop – Part 1, I described my first experiences with the new Get-EsxTop cmdlet. While the use of the cmdlet is rather straightforward, the data it returns is not so easy to interprete. Luckily Carter intercepted a secret cable that allows us to actually use the data returned by the cmdlet.

The following is my first attempt to write a wrapper around the Get-EsxTop cmdlet. The idea is to have a script that produces statistical data similar to what resxtop produces.

Continue reading Hitchhiker’s Guide to Get-EsxTop – Part 2 – The wrapper

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