How to Configure VMware ESXi 6.7 to use iSCSI NAS Storage

Introduction

Internet Small Computer Systems Interface (iSCSI) is a high-performance/low-cost IP-based standard used to transmit SCSI commands over TCP/IP.

This walkthrough provides step-by-step instructions on how to configure VMware ESXi 6.7 to use iSCSI with Network Attached Storage (NAS) .

The NAS appliance I use is the QNAP TS-269L, a high-performance 2-bay/hot-swappable, dual GbE NAS server, configured with RAID 1 (mirroring) using (2) 2TB Seagate Barracuda XT Series (ST32000641AS) 7200RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s drives.

Prerequisites

  1. A SOHO NAS device, i.e. QNAP TS-269, or a Linux Server running Openfiler (free, licensed under GNU GPLv2).
  2. Free VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.7 (VMware ESXi).

Overview

  1. Configure the NAS
  2. Configure VMware ESXi 6.7

Configure the NAS

Create an iSCSI Target with a mapped LUN
  1. From a web browser, log into the NAS and launch Storage Manager.
  2. iSCSI Storage
  3. Create
  4. Follow the Quick Configuration Wizard.
  • NOTE: I did not enable CHAP Authentication (as this is a lab environment).
  • NOTE: Thick Provisioning allocates all disk space at creation time, whereas, Thin Provisioning allocates disk space on demand.
The iSCSI Target is created and enabled
  • This concludes the NAS configuration.

Configure VMware ESXi 6.7

Add and configure a VMkernel NIC
  1. From a web browser, log into the VMware ESXi Console.
  2. Networking
  3. VMkernel NICs Tab
  4. Add VMkernel NIC
  5. New port group: qnapiscsi02
  6. IPv4 settings: Static
  7. Enter an available IP address on your network.
  8. Enter Subnet mask
  9. Create
  1. While on Networking, select the Virtual switches Tab.
  2. vSwitch0
  3. Review the vSwitch0 Details and Topology.
Setup the iSCSI Software Adapter
  1. Storage
  2. Adapters Tab
  3. Configure iSCSI
  4. Check Enabled
  5. Dynamic targets
  6. Add dynamic target
  7. Enter the IP address of the NAS.
  8. Save configuration
  1. While on the Adapters Tab, press Refresh.
  2. Configure iSCSI
  3. The Static targets should have auto populated as shown below.
  4. Cancel to continue
  1. Storage
  2. Devices Tab
  3. Find the new iSCSI connected device as shown below.
Create a Datastore
  1. Storage
  2. Datastores Tab
  3. New datastore
  4. Configure as follows
  1. Select Create new VMFS datastor and click Next.
  1. You should see the new iSCSI Disk.
  2. Enter a descriptive Name and click Next.
  1. Use the defaults (Use full disk and VMFS 6) and click Next.
  2. NOTE: If you need to partition the disk, don’t do it here. It’s highly recommended you partition the volume directly on the NAS appliance.
  1. Verify the below and click Finish.
  1. Click Yes to erase the disk.
  1. The new Datastore is ready for use.

References

  1. QNAP TS-269L: https://www.qnap.com/en-us/product/ts-269l
  2. Openfiler: https://www.openfiler.com/
  3. Seagate Barracuda XT Series SATA: https://www.seagate.com/staticfiles/support/disc/manuals/desktop/Barracuda%20XT/100586689a.pdf
  4. VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.7 Download Center: https://my.vmware.com/en/web/vmware/evalcenter?p=free-esxi6

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