ESX iSCSI Connection to NetApp

connecting netapp to vsphereWhen it comes to connecting ESX Server to NetApp storage, there are several ways: IP and Fiber, iSCSI and NFS.

If your organization can afford FC, then you have a larger IT budget than most of us, so you should have IT staff trained to configure your LUN storage. However, for the rest of the tight budget IT department, iSCSI is the way to go.

I’m not going to cover the iSCSI connection step-by-step but I will provide a checklist for making a successful connection.

1. Have your storage administrator create a: 1) volume 2) qtree 3) LUN (give it a good name) 4) igroup 5) igroup map 6)enable chap. Note: The order of item 1 & 2 were corrected on 8/28/07 by the editor

2. Have your storage administrator add the iqn (world wide name) that you give him after you enable the software iSCSI connection in your ESX vkernel your created to the igroup on the NetApp filer. *** Remember this point. If you are setting up a shared LUN then make sure you have the storage administrator add the iqn for all the ESX Servers. This will be needed later for VMotion. ***

3. Get the IP address of the NetApp filer interface that communicates with iSCSI connections. This will be setup as the gateway in your iSCSI vkernel when you are prompted for a gateway IP. ***Remember this or you will be troubleshooting for hours!***

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4. As mention in 2 and 3, you need to create a vkernel for the iSCSI to work then put the IP address that will be used for iSCSI, it will be on the same subnet as your filer.

5. Open the iSCSI tab in your ESX Server configuration and add the dynamic address of you filer, probably the same IP as your gateway.

6. Perform a scan for storage … If your lucky your LUN will be found.

troubleshooting: If not make sure you provide the chap password, verifiy all iqn’s were typed correctly, make sure you can ping the NetApp filer interface, make sure the firewall in allowing iSCSI traffic over port 3260 on the ESX Server in the security settings.

7. Configure the space.

Want expert advice on NetApp storage, check out this book review post.

For more details on this process search for “Network Appliance and VMware ESX Server 3.0 Storage Best Practices Document TR3428




  1. Martijn Moret
  2. ifeanyi

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