JRink
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usinig iscsi with starter edition

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I understand that you cannot use the starter pack if you plan to utilize a SAN to host virtual machines. However, can you use the starter pack if you plan to use a SAN mainly as iSCSI storage?

For example... if my virtual machines are stored on the local drives of the vmware server, can those virtual machines have a iscsi initiator on them that accesses a LUN from my SAN device over iscsi?

Thanks!

JR

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CoreyIT
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Yes it is possible to use iSCSI within a Virtual Machine hosted on ESX Starter Edition. The functionality of the VM is independent of the version of ESX its hosted on. So yes you can run an iscsi software initiator inside the guest OS running on ESX starter edition, and the performance is acceptable, again the performance is no different on Starter then Standard or Enterprise.

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esiebert7625
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You cannot use iSCSI with Starter either...

Pricing, Packaging & Licensing Overview - http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vi_pricing.pdf

If you install a driver inside the OS to attach iSCSI storage as secondary storage to the VM that should work since it does not involve ESX.

fyi...if you find this post helpful, please award points using the Helpful/Correct buttons...thanks

mcwill
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I would imagine this is possible, however I don't think performance would be that great.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but for example you are planning on creating a windows install with the C: drive stored on the ESX host as expected, then within the windows VM mount additional drives through the microsoft iscsi initiator.

In the above scenario ESX isn't performing any iscsi, just large amounts of network traffic.

If you really need to do this, you may want to look at offering your iscsi LUNs over NFS, that way the whole VM can be stored on the iscsi store. Do note however that starter doesn't offer a cluster file system, so only one ESX host will be able to access the share safely. (I think)

CoreyIT
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Yes it is possible to use iSCSI within a Virtual Machine hosted on ESX Starter Edition. The functionality of the VM is independent of the version of ESX its hosted on. So yes you can run an iscsi software initiator inside the guest OS running on ESX starter edition, and the performance is acceptable, again the performance is no different on Starter then Standard or Enterprise.

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JRink
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I'm assuming that performance using iSCSI initiator within a VM wouldn't be any different than using an iSCSI intiator on a physical machine.

I guess the general consensus is that you CAN use an iSCSI initiator within the VM even using "Starter Edition", but seems like some people have different opinions on performance.

That seem about right?

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esiebert7625
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Correct it should be almost comparable to a physical server. You are sharing the NIC's with other VM's so it might be slightly less based on how busy the NIC is.

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CoreyIT
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Enthusiast

Thats right. Whether or not its officially supported is a moot point because its independent of VMWare to begin with. Its a guest thing. Secondly, performance is always going to be personal opinion depending on the party. In many cases poor iscsi performance inside a guest running an esx host can be attributed to slow network performance in general or congestion between the other vm's running. I would likely not rely on mission critical applications running iscsi through an esx hosted guest vm but for an average used file server I dont see a problem. We are running development servers using iscsi to connect to databases AND streaming media content servers and do not have any performance issues. We also try and dedicate a nic port to these and run split low network i/o vms on the same port to keep performance acceptable. I have never really seen poor performance though except with heavily congested network traffic on the hosts.

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