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vmware iscsi targets and vranger

Posted on 2012-04-05
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hello Experts,

I am relatively new to VMWare and iSCSI.

I have an environment running 10 virtual servers using VMWare.  VSphere client 4.1.0 and VMWare Center Server 4.1.0.

I also have a QNap with iSCSI targets created for attachment to the VM's.  

Some of the machines are configured to attach the iSCSI targets from within VCenter.

Without thinking I attached other iSCSI targets to machines from within Windows and the iSCSI initiator.  

My problem is that VRanger does not appear to see the drives attached via iSCSI initiator (Windows), which is a big problem.  VRanger does "see" the drives attached from within VCenter.

Here is my question:  Is there a way to DETACH the iSCSI attached Windows drive and REATTACH it from within VCenter and NOT lose data?  

That way I can avoid extra work and also use VRanger to back up the data on those drives?

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:mediatechnica
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 400 total points
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vRanger will not detect the iSCSI LUNs you have presented to the virtual machines, because these are NOT virtual disks that are attached to the Virtual Machine, they are iSCSI LUNs that are presented directly to the Virtual OS.

The only way would be to "convert" or copy the data to virtual disks attached to a virtual machine.

You could use VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 to complete a Virtual to Virtual conversion which would then convert ALL you existing disks, including the iSCSI direct attached LUNs to virtual disks, and then remove the iSCSI initiator connected disks from the new Virtual Machine.

vRanger would then backup ALL the virtual disks (VMDKs).

OR, create a new virtual disk, in the VM, and use Copy or Robocopy the data from the iSCSI LUN to the New Virtual Disk.

OR, third option, is to disconnect the existing Microsoft iSCSI LUN which is connected ti the OS, and present this as a Virtual RDM to the existing VM.

vRanger can backup Virtual RDM, but not physical RDM.

and if you do use VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0, and you want to make your transfers 60% faster checkout my EE article here

HOW TO: Improve the transfer rate of a Physical to Virtual (P2V), Virtual to Virtual Conversion (V2V) using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

Download VMware vCenter Converter 5.0 here
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 Documentation
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 User Guide


If you have issues, you may want to consult the following articles and guides


Read fellow Expert Bestway's article.

Best Practice Video Guide here


Some Videos I've develeoped for Experts Exchange

A Tutorial video by me:- Restore a Virtual Machine using the FREE VMware vCenter Converter to VMware vSphere 4.x, 5.0 ESXi 4.x, ESXi 5.0, ESX 4.0

A Tutorial video by me:- Backup VMware vSphere 4.x, 5.0 ESXi 4.x, ESXi 5.0, ESX 4.0 for FREE using VMware vCenter Converter

A Tutorial video by me:- VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Process at work

A Tutorial video by me:- VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 Convert monolithic sparse to monolithic flat for use with VMware vSphere 4.x 5.0 ESXi 4.x 5.0
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by:mediatechnica
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This is great help.  I will look into this right away.

I appreciate the response.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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No problems.
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Author Comment

by:mediatechnica
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I have much to learn....
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