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How to configure Software iSCSI Initiator in ESXi 6.5 Host that Contains Multiple NIC

Note: We will be using the new HTML5 host client for configuring ESXi 6.5.

1.    Access and login the client by URL – https://<FQDN-or-IP-Address-of-ESXi>/ui   
2.    Click the “Networking” tab
3.    Select “VMkernel NICs” tab > “Add VMkernel NIC

4.    Name the new port group. This should be something easily recognizable.  Also assign an IP address and subnet mask to the VMkernel.  Then click Create.

5.    At the same “Networking” tab. Select “Virtual switches” tab > “Add standard virtual switch”.

6.    Name the new vSwitch. Select another unused Physical NIC (vmnic) for uplink.  Then click Add.

7.    Select “Networking” tab > “VMkernel NICs” tab > “Add VMkernel NIC” to add new vmkernel under the new vSwitch just created.

8.    Name the new port group. Also assign an IP address and subnet mask to the VMkernel (Suggest to separate the network segment to avoid confusion). Then click Create.

9.    Results after created the VMkernel NIC.

10.    At Networking > Virtual switches tab > vSwitch0 / vSwitch1, the topology should look like below, for example:

11.    Enable the iSCSI software adapter:  
Select Storage > Adapters tab> Configure iSCSi > click Enabled

12.    Click the “Add dynamic target” button in the Dynamic targets section. Type in the IP address for the TeraStation. Leave the port number at the default of 3260 and click Save configuration.

13.    Again, go back to Storage > Adapters tab> Configure iSCSI. Under Static Targets section, you should see the two connected iSCSI target listed. Then you can just exit the Configuration iSCSI settings.
If this is not the case, please check your previous settings and iSCSI connection and make sure that everything has been setup properly.

14.    At the same Storage > Adapters tab, click “Rescan”.

15.    You should get a message at the bottom under "Recent Tasks" indicating that the "Rescan HBA" task is running. This can take 3-5 minutes. Please be patient.

16.    When the rescan is complete, go to Storage > Devices tab, click “Refresh”.
Then you should see the connected iSCSI devices listed. The number of devices should equal the number of iSCSI volumes created on the TeraStation.

If there is only one path to the target then the device status will be "Degraded".


Use Multipathing for load balancing via Command-Line Interface
17.    Under Host > Manage > Services tab. Make sure TSM or TSM-SSH status is running in order to access the Command-Line Interface.

18.    Login to ESXi host console.
19.    List the LUN multipathing information, to ensure your device is controlled by the VMware NMP Multipath Plugin.
Type esxcli storage nmp device list

The default path policy is VMW_PSP_MRU (Most Recently Used)

20.    Type esxcli storage core path list -d naaID  to list the detailed information of the corresponding paths for the iSCSI storage.
We can see there are two available paths.
21.    Set the path policy to Round Robin:
esxcli storage nmp device set --device --psp VMW_PSP_RR

22.    Type esxcli storage nmp device list  again to confirm the changes
Now we can confirm that the path policy has changed, and currently there are two paths working with Round Robin policy.

At this point iSCSI is working and connected. Now we'll create a partition to store data. In ESX, this is referred to as a "Datastore".

23.    In the “Storage” section, go to “Datastores” and create a new datastore. Click “New datastore” and then “Create a new VMFS datastore”, and click Next.

24.    You should see all the available volumes that were created on the TeraStation listed here. Enter a name for this datastore and select the volume you want to use to create the datastore, then click Next.

25.    You can split a volume into multiple datastores, but it is recommended to subdivide the storage on the TeraStation and use the maximum space for each datastore.
VMFS 6 is the new filesystem of vSphere 6.5. If needed, select VMFS 6 from the drop-down menu and click Next.   (VMFS 5 filesystem is preselected by default)  

26.    Verify that the information shown is correct, and then click Finish.

27.    Click YES if you understand that the iSCSI disk will be re-partitioned.

28.    At the bottom of the screen under "Recent Tasks", you should see the "Create VMFS Datastore" task running. Depending on the size of the datastore, this could take several minutes.

29.    Once the task is complete, the new datastore should be listed on the "Datastores" tab in the "Storage" section. At this point the datastore is ready for use.