VMware Lab 9: Accessing ISCSI Storage

Task 1: Add a VMkernel Port Group to a Standard Switch

First, we need to into Host and Clusters and go into the networking tab of our ESXi host.

From here we need to select vSwitch0 and click ‘Add host networking’

Now to configure the port group.

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Task 2: Configure the iSCSI Software Adapter and Connect It to the Storage

First, we go into the storage tab of the ESXi host and click ‘Add new storage adapter’

This creates a new iSCSi adapter.

Now we need to go into the properties and verify the adapter is enabled.

Now I need to verify the name is equal to what is in the hand out… which we don’t have, so i’ll just assume it’s right.

Now we need to add a new Network port bind.

Now we need to go into Dynamic Discovery to find out storage.

But before we can do this we need to setup the storage in the VSIM.

So first I need to activate the iSCSI and the NFS License in the system manager.

And I will add the NFS one as well to save time in the next lab.

Now that the licenses have been activated I can now create my Storage Virtual Machine to handle my storage for my labs.

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As you can see I skipped the iSCSI setup as well as the NFS as I will do that when the SVM is finished.

So now I need to setup my LUNS, according to the lab it should be able to see six.

I’m going to create six LUNS at 2GB each.

Below are the pictures of me setting this up.

Now here are the LUNs I created, all being 2GB each in size.

Now before I can do anything I need to create a way for this to talk to my host, so I created a new NIC and I am setting it up.

OKAY! soooooooooo…. I got stuck here with how to connect my LUNS to my VCS because I spent about 4 hours trying to figure this out, as I had to find the documentation myself.. and it’s pretty shitty documentation if I do say so myself.

So when you create an SVM you then can create LUNS inside of that, but for this to work to need a link between the ESXi and the VSIM and this is where I got stuck.

To do this you need to create initiator groups, and once they are created you assign the group to a LUN and add that initiator group name to your ESXi network binding to make that solid connection.

So let me show you what it looks like when you create the LUN.

In the LUN menu click create and select your SVM

Give it some juicy information

Now select the aggregate

Choose your initiator group!

BAM it’s not setup, providing you setup your initiator groups right, and I’ll show you what to look out for.
In your igroup make sure you have an initiator selected otherwise it won’t work!!!

Now back to the lab, I should now see 6 LUNs in my paths for my ISCSi path, and I do!

Lab complete.


Did this lab teach me something or what!

So I had massive issues trying to link up my ISCSi storage to my ESXi and I was getting so angry at why it was not working because logically it was right.

I had to take a step back and breath and think to myself “What part of this is really new to me that I don’t understand well” and that was igroups. I did not know what role they played in linking storage to the ESXi. And after thinking about it and reading pages and pages of NetApp guides it clicked… My network binding is looking for a target iqn.1992-08.come.netapp……. but nowhere on my storage was that attached to anything.

I went to my LUN and made sure it was attached to an igroup, which it was but the igroup itself was not attached to an initiator.. as soon as I added one I saw that the iqn was the same as my network binding on my ESXi and it all fell into place from there.

This lab made me think of my issue that I have, which is when I get flustered I don’t step back and look at the bigger picture when I should, this causes me to miss crucial information that is right in front of me.

All in all ISCSi is pretty new to me and this taught me so much about how Data ONTAP works, the NETAPP labs seem to be using an older version of ONTAP which did not really help me in this lab :/









Post Author: Nicholas Wilkinson

I am a 3rd year Networking Major in my IT BIT degree. I have a passion for Cloud Computing and IOT devices.

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