Lab 9: Accessing iSCSI Storage

In this lab, I will demonstrate how to configure access to an iSCSI datastore.

An iSCSI SAN consists of an iSCSI storage system that contains one or more LUNs and one or more storage processors.

The EXSi host is the iSCSI initiator. An iSCSI initiator can be hardware based or software based. The hardware-based iSCSI initiator is known as an iSCSI host-based adapter (HBA) and Software-based iSCSI is known as iSCSI software initiator.

The tasks list for the lab 9:

  • Add a VMKernel port Group to a Standard Switch
  • Configure the iSCSI Software Adapter

Steps for the task: Add a VMKernel port Group to a Standard Switch

Software-based iSCSI of Networking Configuration creating a VMKernel port on the virtual switch to handle the traffic for iSCSI.  VMKernel port is known as “VMkernel Networking interfaces”, some cases, It’s called “Virtual Adapter”.

A VMKernel networking interface establish network connectivity for the host and handle VMware vSphere vMotion, IP Storage, and VMware vSphere fault tolerance.


  • Log in the web client portal: https://vCenter Server Appliance Name.domainname:9443/vshpere-client/#
  • VMware vCenter Server Appliance root password
  • VMKernel port IP address and Subnet mask and default gateway

Step1: login into the vCenter Server Appliance through VMware vSphere Web Client0

Step2: Go to the Home->Hosts and Clusters -> Data Center -> lab Servers -> ESXi Host 01 1.jpg

Step2: Go Networking option from Manage. 2

Step3: Select vSwitch1 from the list of Virtual switches and click “Add host Networking3.jpg

Step4:  Now you will get “Add Networking” wizard for ESXi host one. Select Connection Type: VMKernel Network Adapter is the TCP/IP stack that handles traffic for EXSi services including vSphere vMotion, iSCSI, NFS, FCoE, Fault Tolerance, Virtual SAN and  SAN Management.4.jpg

Now you need to select target devices. Click “Select an existing device for the new connection”. Then Click Next.5.jpg

You need to give a name for Network Label in the port Properties option.  In my case, I named it “pod vIPStorage SW” according to my network diagram. Keep other settings default and click “Next”6.jpg

In this step, You need to provide VMkernel port IP and Subnet Mask and also verify the VMkernel default gateway is correct or not!  Select “Use Static IPv4 Setting” for manual setup. and Click “Finish



Steps for the task: Configure the iSCSI Software Adapter

In this task, I will configure iSCSI Software Adapter that is built into VMware EXSi. It enables ESXi host to create a connection to communicating with the physical NICs through the network stack.  I will use standard NICs to connect ESXi host to a remote iSCSI target on the IP network.


  • ESXi iSCI qualified name (IQN)
  • Name of the iSCSI target

Step1: First you need to select ESXi host and go to the “Manage” tab and Click Storage. 3

Step 2: Now you need to add storage adapter and Select the iSCSI adapter. Go to the “Storage Adapter -> click “Add new Storage adapter” -> “select software iSCSI adapter” and Add it. then click “OK“.11.jpg12.jpg

Step3: Now select the newly created iSCSI adapters, Go to the properties tab and verify the adapter status is enable or not! from the adapter details. 13.jpg

Step4: Click “Edit” in the general section under Adapter Details on the “Properties” tab.14.jpg

Now you need to verify that the iSCSI initiator name is correct or not! If IQN does not match with ESXi iSCSI IQN, change the IQN to match the value.


Step5: Now click “Network Port Binding tab” in the adapter details section. 7.jpg

In this section, you need to add VMkerel adapter that you created task one. Click the  green (+) icon and select the VMKernel adapter: vmnic1, vSWitch1 (IP vIPstorage SW) and Click “OK”.8.jpg

Step6: Click target tab for configuring iSCSI target IP address in the Adapter Details Section. Provide your Storage system IP address as the iSCSI target.  Select “Dynamic Discovery” and click “Add“.9.jpg



Rescan the host storage after added new devices and wait for the complete task12.jpg

Step7: Now select the “iSCSI” software adapter from the “Storage Adapters”  list and view the path tab. 14.jpg

Now you can see your LUNs are attached in “Path” location and status is active.  You can access LUNs from your ESXi host which is located in your storage system.

Now you need to do the same task for the ESXi host 2.17.jpg16.jpg



If you do not get connection path of LUNs for iSCSI from Storage System

1. Go to iSCSI Storage Server

  • Check iSCSI protocol is running or not! If not, Run iSCSI protocol. And iSCSI Initiator Security group. 18.jpg
  • 19.jpg
  • Check iSCSI license is activated or not! Enable iSCSI License20.jpg
  • Initiator groups and initiator. Match iSCSI name with initiator name and group21.jpg22.jpg

2. Check the VMKernel route Gateway.23.jpg

Thank you 🙂 


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