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iSCSI initiator on VM?

Posted on 2010-08-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
EE,
I'm having an issue initiating iSCSI on a virtual machine so I can connect to the shared storage.

Usually we do this on physical servers connected to the switch and it works no problem because we are able to ping those private IPs using the servers second NIC. But within the Virtual Machine, we can't ping those IPs therefore, cannot connect to the iSCSI shared storage.

When I add a new NIC in the VM and give it an IP Address of 192.168.x.x (same as iSCSI network) it does not ping.

What do I have to do to virtually connect to the iSCSI network so I can use the iSCSI initiator?

Thanks guys/gals :)
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Question by:snyderkv
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by:bgoering
ID: 33550301
You have to make sure the 2nd NIC is in a vSwitch that is on the same network as your storage. What are you using? ESX? ESXi? VMware Workstation or Server?
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Author Comment

by:snyderkv
ID: 33550432
ESX
I have iSCSI network and the server is on the public server network as you see it on the configuration tab | Networking

I'm going to try and create a port group but don't know if it should be VMKernal or Virtual Machine.

Once I do this for the iSCSI VSwitch, the virtual machine NIC2 should have the new port group drop down for iSCSI?
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by:snyderkv
ID: 33550462
Ok I used Virtual Machine for the new Port Group under the iSCSI network.

But my next question is, should I use Virtual Machine or VMKernal instead?

Thanks again :)
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33551108
It sounded to me like you are wanting to run the iSCSI initiater within the VM guest. If that is the case it will be a Virtual Machine network - not VMkernal.

Create the virtual machine network on the storage subnet
Add another NIC to the VM and place on the new vm network
configure the iSCSI initiator in the virtual machine same as you would in a physical machine

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by:bgoering
ID: 33551111
I guess I am assuming you are using software iSCSI initiators in your physical machines... If that isn't the case let me know
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Author Comment

by:snyderkv
ID: 33551894
Bqoering:

Your first comment was correct. I'm using the software iSCSI initiator in the VM to connect to the shared storage MD3000i from the R710 where the VMs are located.

I did like you said, Created a port group on the iSCSI vSwitch in VSphere using Virtual Machine network.
I added another NIC to the VM and on the drop down, selected the new port group.
It immediately started to ping the private iSCSI IPs.

If this isn't the best method let me know. Otherwise I'm closing the question. Thanks for your help and time.
:)
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Author Comment

by:snyderkv
ID: 33551936
Oh and just to point out incase anyone else read this. If your clustered, you need to create the same port group with the same name and everything on the second ESX host. That way when a VM with shared storage failsover dur to power outage or whatever, your storage fails over too.

But I haven't tested that theory yet so don't take my word for it. :)
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bgoering earned 500 total points
ID: 33552205
In your situation it sounds like it may be the best solution. Best practice would be, if you have a free NIC on the ESX hosts, plug that free NIC into the storage network and create your virtual machine port group on the seperate NIC.

Whenever possible seperate virtual machine traffic (which your software iSCSI  network traffic would be considered virtual machine traffic) from your VMkenel traffic. It will However work just fine if the vm port group is created on the same vSwitch as a VMkernel port. It is after all how ESX(i) looks immediately after installation -- there is a vSwitch0 bound to a vmnic that has a Virtual Machien Port Group called "VM Network" and a VMkernel Port for the Management Network service console.

Whenever the host is installed into a cluster you will need to create identically named Virtual Machine Port Groups on all of the ESX hosts before vMotion will work properly.

Glad you got it going
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