VMware - Install on SAN

Hi All,

Im just playing arround with ESXi 5.1 and installing it on a SAN. I have setup a small SAN using OPEN-E DSS 7. I have confirgued the SAN iSCSI targets correctly and from windows I can mount the LUNs.

In my ESXi host i have a a BCM 5708 iSCSI card, I havce confirgured this to mount the LUN and then boot from the ESXi CD so i can can pick the LUN to install it on. On the installation screen i do not see the LUN. I can see that teh server connects to the SAN but then the session disconnects.

I have been searching the Internet but can find any documentation what the correct method is. These are the steps I followed.

1. Configure the SAN, Volumes, Targets, LUNs...
2. On the ESXi Host, configure the Broadcom card as an initiator.
3. Put the HBA as the primary boot option
4. Put from the CD and install ESXi
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you want to install ESXi onto a SAN LUN, you need to ensure, that your iSCSI Hardware Initiator, supports "BOOT FROM SAN", "BOOT FROM LUN" in the iSCSI Hardware Initiator HBA BIOS.

I would recommend installing ESXi onto a USB flash drive or SD card.

Here is the VMware KB on installing 5.0 on USB/SD:
Rio_10Author Commented:
The HBA does support it. I dont want the whole companies infrasturuture repling on a £10 USB stick!
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
We've been installing ESXi onto USB flash drives since 2004, for ALL our clients, and not a single USB flash drive has failed in that time!

ESXi only reads from the installation source, at boot, and then goes memory resident, if installed inside the server, they last for years, do not compare the use of a USB flash drive used for booting ESXi, to a usb flash drive in your pocket, to copy files from pc tro pc!

Easy to backup to make a copy...see my EE Article

How to Backup an ESXi installation on an USB Flash Drive or SD card, for security or redundancy.

When using the ESXi installer, you should be able to see the LUN, you need to select and install the OS to.

You also need to check if OPEN-E DSS 7, is on the VMware HCL.

I'd go for the USB install as well much nicer, I have noticed issues with iSCSI LUNs delaying boot of ESXi servers.

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jandelbasanalSystem AdministratorCommented:
what is your HBA? qlogic or emulex?

- in your storage be sure to export or present your LUN to the server your esxi.
- Use LUN0 ID for your boot LUN so its easy for your to determine
- In your esx server BIOS, check on the HBA bios settings be sure to change boot selector with your SAN port WWN. once you have enabled and selected boot LUN and other HBA settings. Go reboot your server and install esxi, by that it can detect your SAN.

- On the BIOS settings, you should also changed boot order, HBA is the first on the list.

jandel basanal

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