Heartbeat messages in an ESX /var/log/vmksummary log file
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Heartbeat messages in an ESX /var/log/vmksummary log file


Article ID: 340494


Updated On:


VMware vSphere ESXi


Each hour, VMware ESX logs host heartbeat information to the /var/log/vmksummary log. The heartbeat lines are logged one minute after the hour by /etc/cron.hourly/vmkheartbeat. In addition, startup, shutdown, and reboot events are logged.
This article provides information about these messages.


VMware ESX 4.1.x
VMware ESX Server 3.5.x
VMware ESX Server 3.0.x
VMware ESX 4.0.x


Here is an example of the heartbeat message:
Feb 25 15:01:01 myhost logger: (1235592061) hb: vmk loaded, 5166530.82, 5166517.348, 20, 110268, 110268, 265330688, vmware-h-61456, vpxa-16504, webAcces-14548

This table provides information about each message component:
Message componentDescription
Feb 25 15:01:01This is the date and time of the entry.
myhostThis is the hostname.
loggerThis is standard text that appears in every message.
(1235592061)This is the date and time of the entry in Unix Time.
hb: vmk loadedThis indicates that it is a heartbeat entry and that the VMkernel is loaded.
5166530.82This is the uptime of the Console OS as per /proc/uptime.
5166517.348This is the uptime of the VMkernel as per /proc/vmware/uptime.
20This is the number of currently running virtual machines as per the number of running console OS Processes (ps -auxw | grep -c [v]mware-vmx).
110268This is the build of the currently running VMkernel.
110268This is the build of the currently running VMM.
This is the amount of Console OS swap used, as per /proc/meminfo. This is measured in bytes.
These three fields are the top three processes in the Console OS for memory
consumed. The numeric value is measured in kilobytes.
These processes are identified with the command:

memHogs=`ps -A --no-headers --format fname,rss --sort=-rss | head -3 | sed -r 's/\s+/-/g' | column | sed -r 's/\s+/, /g'`

The message may also contain these parts:
Message componentDescription
Starting system...
Halting system...
Rebooting system...
These messages occurs upon system startup, shutdown, and reboot,
respectively. Logged from /etc/init.d/vmkhalt.
loaded VMKernel
unloaded VMkernel
This message component occurs on VMkernel load/unload. Logged from
VMKernel Error
This is logged when there is a core file found during bootup. Logged from