Collecting performance snapshots using vm-support in ESX and ESXi
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Collecting performance snapshots using vm-support in ESX and ESXi


Article ID: 326320


Updated On:


VMware vSphere ESXi


This article provides information on collecting performance snapshots in ESX and ESXi.


VMware ESX 4.1.x
VMware ESXi 4.1.x Embedded
VMware vSphere ESXi 6.0
VMware ESX Server 2.0.x
VMware ESXi 3.5.x Embedded
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.1
VMware ESX Server 3.5.x
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Embedded
VMware ESX Server 2.5.x
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.0
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Installable
VMware ESXi 3.5.x Installable
VMware ESX 4.0.x
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.5
VMware ESX Server 2.1.x
VMware ESXi 4.1.x Installable
VMware vSphere ESXi 6.5


Performance snapshots are continuous snapshots of proc nodes, collected at defined intervals for a specified period. Technical support may ask you to send performance snapshots to help troubleshoot a performance issue in response to a service request that you opened.

HTTP-based download of vm-support output from an ESXi 5.x or greater host

Using any HTTP client:


After the log bundle is collected and downloaded to a client, upload the logs to the SFTP/FTP site. For more information, see Uploading diagnostic information for VMware (1008525).

Command line based

To collect the performance snapshots, run this command:

  • ESX/ESXi 4.1 and earlier – vm-support -s
  • ESXi 5.x and later – vm-support -p

You may specify the collection duration and interval in seconds using these command-line options:

  • ESX/ESXi 4.1 and earlier – vm-support -s -d duration_in_seconds -i interval_in_seconds
  • ESXi 5.x and later – vm-support -p -d duration_in_seconds -i interval_in_seconds

To collect only performance snapshots from an ESXi 5.x host, run this command:

vm-support -p -a PerformanceSnapshot:vsi -d duration_in_seconds -i interval_in_seconds

If an interval is not specified, vm-support automatically sets the interval period to two times the amount of time taken to collect a single snapshot. For most cases, VMware recommends that you set the interval period to 10 seconds.

Note: To run the vm-support command, log in to your ESXi/ESX host with root privileges using the console or an SSH session.

The collected snapshots are bundled with regular data collected by vm-support and a tar archive is created in /var/tmp/esx-2010-01-26--20.46.3236587.tgz. To avoid space issues, the log files can be redirected to datastore by specifying the path.

  • To redirect to a specified location include this parameter in the vm-support command: -w /vmfs/volumes/storage

If you want to collect only performance snapshots without the regular data, substitute the -s with an uppercase -S.

It is important that you use the vm-support script to capture performance snapshots when your system is experiencing a performance problem. The script cannot collect useful data otherwise. If the snapshot collection interval overlaps with a time when the virtual machine is not experiencing a performance problem, the result may skew the data collected and can make analysis difficult.

The vm-support script shipped with ESX Server 2.1.x and earlier versions does not have the capability to collect performance snapshots. You can upgrade to a version of the script that does have this capability, however.

To download the vm-support script, see Collecting diagnostic information for VMware ESX/ESXi using the vSphere Client (653). This article also contains related information about collecting debug information for ESXi/ESX systems.

Note: You do not need to run in ESX Server 2.1.x if you download and use this version of vm-support.

For a checklist to help you report performance problems, see Performance Problem Report Check List.

For a technical note about isolating performance problems, see Isolating Performance Problems.

For more information, see Uploading diagnostic information to VMware (1008525).

Additional Information

For translated versions of this article, see: