Scott Drummonds on Virtualization

vscsiStats for ESXi


You will occasionally need vscsiStats to deepen your understanding of an application’s storage profile.  This tool is provided with ESX classic but requires configuration and installation for ESXi environments.  VMware is planning to add vscsiStats counters to the vSphere Client UI in a future version but until then you will have to perform the following to enable vscsiStats on ESXi.

  1. Boot ESXi in tech support mode.  See KB article 1003677 for instructions.
  2. Download the right version of vscsiStats using the table below.
  3. Install the right vscsiStats binary using a secure copy tool such as WinSCP or scp.

I will provide vscsiStats binaries as requested.  If you do not see the version of vscsiStats that matches your ESXi build, please provide in this article’s comments your build number (not release number!) and I will add it version of vscsiStats to the repository.

Currently Posted vscsiStats Binaries

Again, comment if yours is not listed!

Update, 15 May 2010: Change of SLA

Everyone may notice that I used to be able to be able to respond to requests for vscsiStats versions in 24 hours. Now that I no longer work for VMware and am living half a world away, I have to request the binaries myself from my contacts at VMware. So, it will take me a few days to honor requests.

Update, July 2010: ESXi in vSphere 4.1 Comes with vscsiStats

vscsiStats is now distributed with ESXi. There will be no vscsiStats for ESXi 4.1 and newer placed on this page. This page will remain up for older versions of ESXi, however.

27 Responses

Hi Scott, A bit off the topic. Just a quick note to say that your talk at the VMware conference downunder was by FAR the most engaging and informative. If only you could have had a whole day. I have a couple of questions regarding vSphere performance. I am in the airport ATT so I will leave them to another day.

Well Done.

  • Any thoughts on whether having sshd running and vscsiStats installed
    but not running is acceptable in a production ESXi environment? Any stability issue there we should watch out for?

    More interesting question is when actually running vscsiStats (in either ESX or ESXi). The CPU impact does not look too bad and we have not observed any stability issues so far. What is your experience? Is it something that we can use in a production network to troubleshoot occasional NFS bottlenecks in a live network? The problem is that bottlenecks only arise during peak usage hours, and then its interesting to collect which VM is generating how much of the traffic at that time. Collecting the traffic shares at non peak time safer but not as useful.


    • The SSH console (which we call BusyBox) was initially thought to be anathema to the spirit of ESXi. So, when it was added we put in those terrifying warnings to keep people away from it.

      As time has progressed, we developed more comfort with the BusyBox and there is talk (nothing on the roadmap yet) of making it official in ESXi.

      In short, avoid the BusyBox when possible. Only use it when absolutely necessary. And when you are using it, do not fear it.

      As for vscsiStats, we know its overhead is low (estimated at 2.5% of a CPU) and that it self-terminates after 30 minutes. It should not interfere with VM execution during collection.

      • Thanks. We are trying this out in a limited way and it seems to work well. In the meantime, we heard that vmware is going to put NFS statistics into the SOAP API in the 4.1 beta. Do you know if this is true and if so when that is coming out? Also would that be a superset of the vscsiStat functionality or would some things (histograms) still be best done through vscsiStats?

        • Well, I should tell you that publicly held companies are not allowed to provide specific details on features of unreleased products. As a result, you are going to find my answer unfulfilling. That being said…

          We have demonstrated improved NFS performance diagnostic capabilities in our development versions of vSphere. But I cannot say the specific version that will include those features or when it will be available.

          • I appreciate your providing as much information as you can. Any input on how I can get on the beta program for this unspecified version that will come out at an unspecified tim :).

          • The beta program is invitation only. Talk to your account team and they can ask for an invite for you.

  • [request deleted by Scott]

    • This is an inappropriate place to discuss a VMware beta. Please engage your account team if you have questions about the invitation-only vSphere beta program.

  • Thank you very much. Of course right after I ask update 2 (261974) is released. :-/

    Do you know if there is a plan in place to include this as part of ESXi in the near future? I posed this question to the VMware alliance team and never heard back. I used to pester Irfan with my questions but I think he might have moved on from this tool.

    Thank you again. If you can get update 2 that would be great.


  • […] troubleshooting tool, is not available in ESXi.  Scott Drummonds over at Pivot Point (blog) has providedvscsiStats binaries out-of-band that can be installed within an ESXi server.  The problem is that […]

  • Another client, another request… 3.5 build 238493

    • Done. Again, apologies for this taking longer than it used to.

      • It’s much appreciated and given that you now live 8 or 9 thousand miles away and don’t work there any more – completely unexpected – if I was making it to VMworld this year I’d buy you a few, but alas I’m not and you’ll probably be drunk from jet lag anyway 😉

  • Need vscsiStats for ESXi 4.1

  • […] These details originate from the post on this topic by Scott Drummond here […]

  • […] Attention, cet outil n’est présent que sur la version 4.1 de VMware vSphere. Pour les autres versions, il faudra le télécharger et l’intégrer via WinSCP par exemple. (On pourra le télécharger à cette adresse : http://vpivot.com/2009/10/21/vscsistats-for-esxi/) […]

  • What about ESX5? Will vscsistat be included or will a new download for it be offered?

  • Can you provide the binaries for VMware ESXi 4.0.0 build-398348? Thanks a lot.

  • Does vscscistats support monitoring NFS currently? I am using ESXi5.1 and i see only local drives are being monitored by vscscistats..

  • […] vscsiStats can be installed on ESXi hosts after putting the host into tech support mode. More information on this process is availalble on Scott’s blog on the subject on vPivot. […]