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New NAS can't see iSCSI targets

Posted on 2010-11-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi Folks

Stumped! I've been through a great tutorial on the web and everything on my ESXi 4 host looks absolutely right until the last bit, where I'm supposed to see the new partition available and waiting for formatting with VMFS. However, there is nothing listed at all.

Suggestions as to what I may have done wrong would be great to preserve my sanity at this point! ;)

Cheers
Chris
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Question by:kenwardc
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 34155229
Maybe some more information would be in order. What kind of NAS? What steps did you follow? Screenshots of your Networking page on ESX. Screenshots of your iSCSI adapter configuration...

The question is pretty wide open and additional information is required!
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Author Comment

by:kenwardc
ID: 34156017
Hi there,

You're right - sincere apologies. I entered the question in such a rush that I didn't give enough thought to what was needed for the answer.

Harware:
VMWare Host server has two NICs both connected to the switch
1 - Management interface on on one nic
2. VM machines themselves

I've just added the iSCSI device - see attached NAS1

Have gone through setup and seen roughly what I expected and ended up with this:
(see NAS2)

However, as you'll see, there is no device present below. I'm beginning to wonder whether this is a permissions thing and perhaps I've done something stupid on the NAS end which is stopping the host from looking at it.

Cheers
Chris
 Screenshot 1 Screenshot 2
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 34156839
In your iSCSI setup, first confirm the vmkernel port for iSCSI is on the same IP subnet as your NAS device - a routed iSCSI target is not supported. Next be sure you have added the iqn as either a static or dynamic target, and the IP address is correct in your software iSCSI adapter setup. Lastly, on your NAS device make sure the LUNs are properly presented to the iqn of your software iSCSI adapter - if trying to use chap authentication I would turn all that off until you get it working, then try to configure the authentication at that point.

Take a look at the Experts Exchange article http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/A_3720-Simple-iSCSI-Configuration-Guide-for-VMware-ESX.html for an overview of all the necessary steps.

Good Luck
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Author Comment

by:kenwardc
ID: 34187625
Hi there

OK - I've read and re-read the page you kindly indicated for me. I'm sure I've done everything OK but still see nothing when I go to "Add Storage".

Details checked as follows:
iSCSI Box
CHAP set to OFF - everywhere I can see it. I changed all settings that said "Inherit from parent" to "Do not use CHAP".

Storage set up for three partitions, named "store1", "store2" and "backup"

ESXi 4 Host

Set up as above still looks absolutely the same.

Stumped!
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 34187741
What kind of NAS device are you using? Can you provide any detail as to how it is set up? For iSCSI you typically have to present the storage to the iqn of your ESX or ESXi server.
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Author Comment

by:kenwardc
ID: 34187777
If there are screenshots I can upload to help please let me know and I'll do that with pleasure. I'm pretty sure there is something fundamentally easy that I'm not doing...
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Author Comment

by:kenwardc
ID: 34190349
Hi bgoering

The NAS device I'm using is a Thecus 8800+ with 8 x 2 Tbyte drives in it. I've set it up to allocate all but 300 Gig of the internal storage to iSCSI and separated it into three partitions using the Thecus wizard and setup interface.

A thought.... I have two NICS in the machine (ESXi host). Let's say I have allocated and set up the two nics as follows:

Nic 1 : 213.57.148.201
Nic 2 : 112.11.98.40

In the setup when I'm setting up the iSCSI initiator, I've tried using each of the two IPs above. Someone told me today that I should give the initiator another, different IP address. Is this the correct thing to do?

To be honest, I tried that but still didn't show up on the list.

Strange thing is that if I use a Windows 2008 server and set up an iSCSI interface there, it works immediately, so I guess this is a setup issue on the VMWare host box rather than on the Thecus device?

Cheers
Chris
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 34190811
The initiator will use whatever VMkernel port that has an address on the same subnet as your iSCSI targer. One thing to consider, VMware will not recognize a LUN larger than 2TB, so if you have 16 TB of storage divided into three LUNs, it is likely that all are larger than 2TB. Try carving it up into 1.99 TB LUNs and present those.
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Author Comment

by:kenwardc
ID: 34190977
OOPS! Yes - they are all bigger than 2Tb - in fact the two of them are just a teeny bit over 2Tb and the other is a backup partition of 3+ Tb... I'll rush off and try that. Thanks!
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Author Comment

by:kenwardc
ID: 34191148
Hi again...

Nope - I've tried that. Still shows nothing in the device list when I go to add storage. Should I be using a different IP address for the iSCSI initiator than the one I've given the NIC in the NAS device?

Cheers
Chris
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Author Comment

by:kenwardc
ID: 34191167
Here is what I see when saying "Add Storage"
 Add Storage screen
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 34193466
Please post a screenshot of your Networking screen on the ESX server.
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Author Comment

by:kenwardc
ID: 34195437
Thanks, bgoering, here it is Networking screen. IP blurred for security
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 34196553
On vSwitch0 you have the Management Network for the Service Console, and a VM Port Group for iSCSI. You probably don't need that Virtual Machine Port Group for iSCSI. What you need is a VMkernel port for iSCSI. While this is not typical (nor recommended), you can have your storage on the same network as the SC. Typically most folks have a dedicated network for storage traffic so that it will not interfere with other traffic (or be interferred with for that matter).

Masking IPs (if they are public routable ip addresses) is indeed good for security. However if they are private addresses like 192.168.x.x, 10.x.x.x, or 172.16-31.x.x there is no need to mask them. I mention this because most networks these days don't use public addresses inside their firewall.

That being said - we still need to have VMkernel connectivity to your iSCSI storage. To validate this use the vmkping command from the console of your ESXi host (or from a SSH session if you have SSH set up). vmkping is similar to the "regular" ping except that ensures the source of the ping comes from the VMkernel and not from the service console OS. If your storage is at 10.0.0.22, for example - then from your ESXi console session:

vmkping 10.0.0.22

If you get a response then you have the proper connectivity. If not we need to address the networking. To address the networking you will need to create another vmkernel port on the appropriate vSwitch and VLAN, then give the new VMkernel port an IP address. With the example range that address must be on 10.0.0.x (assuming a standard 255.255.255.0 subnet mask).

Let me know how the vmkping command goes - if it is successful then we can concentrate on the software iSCSI initiator configuration. But first let's make sure the network connectivity is present.
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Author Comment

by:kenwardc
ID: 34201937
Hi bgoering

vmkping works fine on both interfaces. Looking forward to seeing what we do next.

Many thanks
Chris
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Accepted Solution

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bgoering earned 2000 total points
ID: 34202225
Now we focus on the iSCSI adapter. Go to the storage adapters screen, click on properties, then the configure button. Make sure it is enabled and make note of the iqn string.

Next go to the Dynamic Discovery tab and post a screenshot of that, as well as the Settings dialog for each Dynamic target you have configured.

Repeat the above for the Static Discovery target. Note the iqn strings configured for the targets

Now if you only have Dynamic Discovery enabled try deleting that and configuring static discovery - you will need to enter the iqn of your port on the NAS device.

Verify from within your storage you are presenting to proper iqn that you found above where we made note of the string for your software iSCSI adapter.

I did find http://esupport.thecus.com/support/index.php?_m=downloads&_a=viewdownload&downloaditemid=114 for configuring a different model Thecus for ESX - but it is supposed to be good for the 8800 too. I have never used Thecus myself and this document is for 3.5 but should still be relevent.

Another thing to look at is your iSCSI block size - it likely needs to be limited to 512 bytes on the Thecus. I know this was true in ESXi 3 and have not heard that the limitation has changed.
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Author Comment

by:kenwardc
ID: 34206191
BINGO!

Thanks so much for your perseverance with me on this one. I finally managed, with your help, to get it working. The reason for it not working was that I wasn't putting the correct iqn name into the initiator. As soon as I did that, the new entries came up immediately and are working fine.

Wow - what a learning curve this one was! ;)

Many thanks again, bgoering

Chris
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 34212815
No problem - glad you got it going. I learned something also on this as I hadn't run across the 512 byte iSCSI block size parameter in the past.
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