VMWARE LABS aka Flings (and HOL again!)

If you don’t know.. you should know about VMWARE Labs!

I am  referring to VMWARE Hands On Lab 




That is a awesome resource!

I can’t stress the awesomeness of this resource enough! If you haven’t tried it you need to…NOW.


The code name in beta was ProjectNEE —which stands for Next-generation Education Environment, is VMware’s multi-tenant, cloud service that provides an online learning environment. This IS A GREAT example of the cloud in action







What I refer to is short term projects the incredibly talented VMware Engineers work on.

There are a lot of tools to choose from depending on what you want to do.

A few of my favorites:

VMware OS Optimization Tool


I run VMware fusion virtual machines and want to streamline and optimize the GuestOS. I don’t really need the eye candy, and focus more on the functionality of the OS and needed program functionality.


The VMware OS Optimization Tool helps optimize Windows 7 desktops for use with VMware Horizon View. The optimization tool includes customizable templates to enable or disable Windows system services and features, per VMware recommendations and best practices, across multiple systems. Since most Windows system services are enabled by default, the optimization tool can be used to easily disable unnecessary services and features to improve performance.

You can perform the following actions using the VMware OS Optimization Tool:

  • Analyze
  • Optimize
  • Viewing History
  • Managing Template

Also included is the Remote OS Optimization Tool, which uses the same functionality as the Optimization Tool, but connects to a remote VMware View broker so that remote parent and template VMs can be enumerated and optimized.



OS Optimization



VisualEsxtop is an enhanced version of resxtop and esxtop. VisualEsxtop can connect to VMware vCenter Server or ESX hosts, and display ESX server stats with a better user interface and more advanced features.


  1. Live connection to ESX host or vCenter Server
  2. Flexible way of batch output
  3. Load batch output and replay them
  4. Multiple windows to display different data at the same time
  5. Line chart for selected performance counters
  6. Flexible counter selection and filtering
  7. Embedded tooltip for counter description
  8. Color coding for important counters

but but why? I already have esxtop.. If you haven’t read Duncan’s excellent post about esxtop click here

or if you want a deep-dive from vmworld.

“VMworld 2012: Session VSP1423- ESXtop for Advanced Users”



This is a great esxtop log scrubber. You can easily scrub the log backwards and forwards searching for Spikes (anomalies) and find correlation. It can assist you in your troubleshooting efforts. Time range, specific counters — because there are a lot! And you can now demonstrate your findings graphically to put into a report. Collecting data is only the first part of finding the root cause. RCA (Root Cause Analysis) requires you to ask the 7 why’s and demonstrate empirical data – objective data. Data that is observed, evidenced-based, seen and demonstrable. I want my data to stand by itself an be irrefutable. 

Finding the correlation is a difficult task. What other variables in your IT ecosystem is contributing to this observation. What is causing this bottleneck?

esxtop in batch mode plus esxplot – A winning combination.


esxtop -b -d 2 -n 100> captured-host-esxtop-output.csv

Please don't misunderstand that esxtop is great, but over 100 hosts. You might want different tools. The analogy would be you wouldn't use a meter stick to measure your commute to work by car. But if you want granularity that is super detailed down to a specific VM on a specific host.. esxtop is the winner.


Esxplot is a GUI-based tool that lets you explore the data collected by esxtop in batch mode. The program loads files of this data and presents it as a hierarchical tree where the values are selectable in the left panel of the tool, and graphs of the selected metrics are plotted in the right panel.

Esxplot allows you to “browse” the contents of these somewhat unwieldy files. You can plot up to 16 metrics on the same canvas and export the graphs to a gif, jpg, png or bmp file format. Subsets of the data can be worked with by using the regex query box which will produce a subtree that can be browsed or exported as a csv file which can, in turn, be loaded into esxplot, PERFMON or Excel.

The program is written in Python language and uses the platform-independent Window library, wxPython. Python programs written in wxPython can run unchanged on Linux, Windows, and OSX. In order to run esxplot you need to have Python 2.6.x or later installed (this program will not yet run under Python 3.x due to the lack of wxPython support).



What is your favorite troubleshooting and or vmware related tool?




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