VMware Cloud Community

Managing VMWare ESX 3.5 with VirtualCenter 2.5 using NetApp FAS3050C as storage


We have VMWare ESX 3.5 installed onto local disks (RAID1) on 6 Fujitsu Siemens Blade servers...

The blade servers are connected via fibre internally via the midplane to the fibre channel switch on the back of the chassis which is then connected to an external brocade 200e switch

A data partition is created on the NetApp storage FAS3050c which i can map with no problems in windows explorer... However I am not able to see this partition in the ESX server inside the Virtual Center 2.5 management screen

Please let me know what needs to be done on the ESX server options, do i need to configure anything or is the discovery dynamic... Also if i need to do anything on the NetApp ?


0 Kudos
2 Replies


I guess you could find some white papers right here.

I paste the following article http://blog.scottlowe.org/2006/12/15/iscsi-from-netapp-to-esx-server/

Configuring the ESX Server(s)

Configuring the ESX Server(s) to see and use the new iSCSI storage being presented by the NetApp storage system can be broken down into 3 steps:

1. Enabling the software iSCSI initiator.

2. Configuring the iSCSI initiator for security and discovery and then discovering new LUNs.

3. Creating VMFS datastores on the new LUNs.

These three steps assume that you've already created a VMKernel port group for iSCSI and a matching Service Console port group on the same subnet. If you haven't already done that, go ahead and do that now.

Let's take a quick look at these steps in a bit more detail.

Enabling the Software iSCSI Initiator

VMware ESX Server comes with a software iSCSI initiator that can be enabled and configured. To enable this software initiator, you can either use VirtualCenter or a command-line interface.

In VirtualCenter, enabling the software iSCSI initiator involves selecting a host from the inventory, going to the Configuration tab, selecting Storage Adapters, choosing the software iSCSI initiator (vmhba40), clicking on Properties, and then enabling software iSCSI. (Note: The dialog box for configuring software iSCSI doesn't dynamically update to show changes. You have to close the dialog box and re-open it to see your changes take effect.)

From the command-line (perhaps via an SSH session to the ESX server), you can simply type

esxcfg-swiscsi -e

and that will enable software iSCSI. And while we're here at the command line, let's also enable outbound iSCSI traffic through the ESX firewall with this command:

esxcfg-firewall -e swISCSIClient

Now we're ready to move on to configuring the initiator.

Configuring the iSCSI Initiator

Once software iSCSI has been enabled, you'll need to configure it for security (authentication) and discovery. I haven't found a way to do this via the command-line (yet), so all this takes place in VirtualCenter (through the VI Client).

  • From the Configuration tab of a host running ESX Server in VirtualCenter, click on the "Storage Adapters" link, then click on the software iSCSI initiator (vmhba40) and select Properties.

  • On the Authentication tab, configure CHAP authentication and specify the same username and password you entered on the NetApp storage system earlier (when you were configuring the igroup).

  • On the Discovery tab, add the IP address of the NetApp storage system as a dynamic discovery target. You can close the dialog box after this change is completed.

  • Back in the VI Client, click to Rescan vmhba40 and discover new storage devices and new VMFS partitions. When the rescan is complete, you should see the new LUNs that were mapped from the NetApp storage system show up.

If the LUNs don't show up, then go back and troubleshoot the configuration-check IP addresses, verify connectivity, re-type usernames and passwords, look for typos in initiator node names or igroups, etc. Forgetting to enable the iSCSI traffic through the ESX firewall is another common mistake, so verify that with "esxcfg-firewall -q".


Thanks for the link!

I need some help please. I have gone through the steps provided, backwards and forwards, but I cannot get it to work. A few questions I have are:

1) Does the 2nd service console need to be on the same network as the storage network? The VMware doc's screenshot shows them on the same, but it doesn't mention if it is a requirement or not...just to have it on the same vSwitch as the iscsi port group. We currently have only two nics (for now), so we can only have one vswitch that uses eth0 that is plugged into the production network(with SC1 and VMotion), the other vswitch that uses eth1 is connected to the the storage network(with SC2 and iscsi port group). So we cannot put the SC2 on the storage network because the SC1 gateway is already configured with the production networks gateway. I'm confused:(

2) Does the 3.5 firewall require more modification than just enabliing the swisci service?

3) We followed the Netapp directions, step-by-step...Is there anything new with 3.5 that requires a new/modified step. Also, I am new to netapp, is there a quick way to test that it is configred properly?

Any help is huge! Thx

0 Kudos