Setup VMware vSphere to Access ISCSI SAN

In this example I am setting up a VMWare ESXi 4.1 server to access a VMware iSCSI SAN using the VMWare iSCSI software initiator. The server is connected as shown below

  1. Enable the software iSCSI initiator

Note the vmhba number of the software iSCSI initiator – in this example vmhba39

  1. Setup vSwitch

Create a Vmkernal vSwitch to be used for iSCSI

In the vSwitch properties, create Vmkernal ports for each physical interface.

Note the vmk numbers.

  1. Setup Vmkernal ports

In the vSwitch properties specify each Vmkernal port to use a specific adapter
  1. Bind vmkernal ports

Note you will need to connect to the console to issue these commands. You will need to enable either local or remote tech support mode on ESXi.

Bind each vmkernal port to the iSCSI software initiator. You will need to know the vmk# and the vmhba# of the iSCSI initator. Run these commands in the service console. esxcli swiscsi nic add –n vmk1 –d vmhba39

esxcli swiscsi nic add –n vmk2 –d vmhba39


  1. Enable Jumbo frames (optional)

The command to enable jumbo frames is

esxcfg-vswitch -m 9000 vSwitchx – where x= switch number

Note you should only enable jumbo frames if all other devices in your storage network are configured to use jumbo frames


  1. Setup iSCSI target

In the properties of the software iSCSI initatiator add the relevant info for your SAN


Add iSCSI Target


You should be prompted to rescan – please select yes.


You should now have more paths to the datastores.

To use round robin access, right click on each datastore and select manage paths. Choose Round Robin.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.