sh336697
Contributor
Contributor

Installation of ESX Server 3/3.5 - Availability of the iSCSI Software Initiator

Jump to solution

Hi guys hope you can help.

During installation of ESX, can you point your "to-be-esx-server" to an iSCSI Target server as the destination location for a vmfs volume, by using the iSCSI software initiator client?

By that I mean, when the esx installer asks you for the location of the vmfs, has the iSCSI software initiator client already been initialized by this stage, and can you then point the install to a volume on the iSCSI Target for the vmfs?

In other words, if you have an iSCSI target server on your network, will the install of ESX scan or pick up these iSCSI targets through autodiscovery during esx install?

The reason I want to know is twofold:

1) I want to install ESX Server at home on a desktop machine inside a virtual machine on VMware Workstation 6 to test out VIPerl and for a cheap home lab setup and I dont have scsi disks or an FC SAN.

and

2) Because i have set up the virtual appliance openfiler as an iSCSI Target Server, and wish to store vmfs volumes on iSCSI storage, without using a iSCSI HARDWARE inititator HBA.

If this is not possible to do, then can some nice person tell me how people have got a lab set to work on a desktop with VMware workstation, multiple esx hosts running, and openfiler?

I know how to set up the vms, but installing esx inside a vm pointing to iscsi storage is throwing me a bit, even though i have managed to get the iSCSI server in openfiler working with an MS box with the Software initiator client installed on the MS box, and target/port 3260 addresses being made available to it.

Any help greatly appreciated.

0 Kudos
1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
Gabrie1
Commander
Commander

Hi,

You can download the ESX iso (not ESX 3.5 !! Won't work). Put it on your local hard drive.

1) create VM with 1024Mb RAM (272Mb is needed for ESX, rest you can assign to VMs)

2) VM only needs 1 scsi disk, on this disk you create partitions during ESX install. You CAN but don't have to create a VMFS partition.

A VMFS partition is only needed to put VMs on. You can wait with a VMFS partition untill you have your iSCSI running. And its no problem to have multiple VMFS partitions, so you could have 2Gb local VMFS partition and 30Gb iSCSI or NAS or SAN VMFS partition.

Do follow the xtravirts guides!!! They are very good!

Gabrie

http://www.GabesVirtualWorld.com

View solution in original post

0 Kudos
7 Replies
Gabrie1
Commander
Commander

Hi

No you can't do this during setup. You have to configure iSCSI after the host is running. It will now connect to your iSCSI box and connect the luns and format them as VMFS.

On my laptop I have the following home lab setup:

- VMware Workstation with one VM for Win2003/Virtual Center, two VMs each as ESX host, on VM for iSCSI Openfiler.

Just be sure to bring up the Openfiler before the ESX hosts.

The ESX hosts have 8Gb local disks, part of which is vmfs3 and the iSCSI Openfiler VM has a 20Gb vmdk connected, which is presented to the esx hosts as a LUN. Then I format them as vmfs3.

Gabrie

http://www.GabesVirtualWorld.com
J-H
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

You can use a motherboard with a SATA controller that is recognized by ESX. It is not supported but it is a common lab setup.

http://communities.vmware.com/message/822867

0 Kudos
sh336697
Contributor
Contributor

Hi Gabrie :>)

Thank you so much for your kind help!! :smileyblush:

Gabrie sorry to ask...but on my pc then, if i download a trial of esx in iso format, run through install, would i:

1) First create a vm for the esx install, adding 2 virtual disks (SCSI)

2) Run the install and use the second virtual disk for vmfs

3) Post install, remove this vmfs and create a vmfs volume on the iSCSI network by connecting the esx host (through the iscsi software initator client) to the iSCSI target?

Is that basically what you did, or did you leave the vmfs volume created during esx install alone, and add additional vmfs volumes from the iSCSI SAN?

Really appreciate your guys help.

0 Kudos
Gabrie1
Commander
Commander

Hi,

You can download the ESX iso (not ESX 3.5 !! Won't work). Put it on your local hard drive.

1) create VM with 1024Mb RAM (272Mb is needed for ESX, rest you can assign to VMs)

2) VM only needs 1 scsi disk, on this disk you create partitions during ESX install. You CAN but don't have to create a VMFS partition.

A VMFS partition is only needed to put VMs on. You can wait with a VMFS partition untill you have your iSCSI running. And its no problem to have multiple VMFS partitions, so you could have 2Gb local VMFS partition and 30Gb iSCSI or NAS or SAN VMFS partition.

Do follow the xtravirts guides!!! They are very good!

Gabrie

http://www.GabesVirtualWorld.com
0 Kudos
sh336697
Contributor
Contributor

Gabrie YOURE A CHAMPION THANKYOU.

Im pushing my luck i know, but (last question :>)).

If I do this (and I will definitely follow your advice :>)).

1) Install ESX 3.0 on a vm with 1 vmdk

2) Connect post install to the iSCSI SAN for vmfs creation.

3) Will this configuration allow VMotion because the VMFS volumes are on shared storage eg.iSCSI SAN?

Does that mean that you can have the ESX installation on an IDE drive, and still have VMotion working because the VMFS volume location is the requirement?

By that I mean that you need shared storage just for the vmfs and not the service console/esx installation?

Really appreciate your help.

0 Kudos
Gabrie1
Commander
Commander

When you create two ESXs this way, both connect them to the same storage (your iSCSI LUN), yes you can do a vmotion !

Yes, you could install on IDE disks as long as your VMFS is on supported storage (SCSI, iSCSI, NAS, SAN). And if two ESX hosts can both see the same LUN (which is not possible with local vmfs on local scsi disk) you can vmotion. There are other requirements for vmotion aswell, but for storage, yes this is correct.

If you have more questions, I'd be glad to help, I'll sent you a private mail now.

http://www.GabesVirtualWorld.com
pasoboble
Contributor
Contributor

Hi, this is very intereting think here, could you do the same stuff with a ethernet disk plug directly to your laptop? I mean what happen if you run a openfiler vm with the disk from the ethernet box? I mean you have to SMB the ethernet disk on your laptop before but when it's done you just have to add a virtual disk of 500Go or 1To or?? I don't know the limit...but this virtual disk could be your share storage on your openfiler vm, so you can format it on vmfs3 with your ESX (physical). So what were your botleneck in this case ?? the disk? the Network..and how many vm is it possible to run in tis lab environnement?

Thanks for your advises

Paso

0 Kudos