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Jay ThomasFlag for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland asked on

Add starwind isci target to vsphere 6

Hello all. I have a VMware workstation installed on laptop. I have added 2 virtual ESXi VMs.
I have downloaded, installed and created an StarWind iscsi target.
My problem, i cannot see how to add the target to vsphere 6. When i last used vmware it was 5.5 but everything has changed.

Any guidance appreciated.

Thanks.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

8/22/2022 - Mon
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

It's the same..... there are no changes between 5.5 and 6.0. Have you create the iSCSI Software Adaptor, and added the IP Address of the Starwind iSCSI VM ?

You need to create a iSCSI Network like my EE Article

HOW TO: Add an iSCSI Software Adaptor and Create an iSCSI Multipath Network in VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.0

this is also valid for 6.0.

I create these videos many years ago for EE...

Video Tutorial - Adding iSCSI storage to a VMware vSphere ESX/ESXi 4.x host server

Video Tutorial - Eazy Peezy Lemon Squeezy iSCSI Storage by StarWind iSCSI SAN Software

they were created for 4.x, but there have been no changes for 5.0 - 6.0.
Ajay Chanana

Hi Jason,

Once you create software iscsi adapter in vSphere environment , please add the ip of  startwind server in the  properties of iscsi adapter under dynamic discovery. Once its added you will be able to see the LUN and will be able to create datastore out of if.
Luciano Patrão

Hi,

Which Starwind are you using? For Windows? Linux? Appliance?

Regarding adding the iSCSI target from 5.5 to 6.0, nothing as changed. So is the same process that you need to do in 5.5
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Jay Thomas

Thanks all. Been away from VMWare for a couple of years so a bit rusty. I'll take a look at those links in the morning and see if it makes sense. Thank you all.
ASKER
Jay Thomas

HI, thanks to everyone for helping although i still cannot see where to add the storage adaptor in vsphere 6 console. I have configured the LUN in StarWind and have the iSCSI target, i just can't figure where to add the adaptor in vsphere. I beg to differ on one of the comments,  the interface between 5.5 and 6 is completely different, for a starter the help system is crap, i try typing storage adaptor and it doesn't find any results fgs.

I have include a pic of adding the storage adaptor in version 5.5, All i need is to know where this same setting is in version 6?
Thanks all
storage1.PNG
Luciano Patrão

Hi,

Again, is the same process. Create the iSCSI Software Adapter in 6.0 and follow the same process.

Andrew has already added some links and videos how to do it.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

If you click Configure > Storage Adaptors > Add

and then you click Properties to configure it, and add the IP Address.

I've not seen any changes in the interface here from 4.x, to 6.0.
ASKER
Jay Thomas

IS anyone able to provide a step by step for this please? For example, where am I supposed to be in the interface when i go to configure > storage adapters?
Luciano Patrão

Jason,

Did you check Andrew videos and articles links that he provide above?? Because all that information and step by step is in those videos/links
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Jay Thomas

Yep, you tell me which video demonstrates adding the storage iSCSI initiator to vSphere 6? None of them.
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Jay Thomas

I think i found the storage adaptor section. I have uploaded an image of the error i get. I didn't set any permissions on the starwind storage so unsure what credentials i am being asked. That said, the error is in the URL
storage2.PNG
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

well the reason it's looking different is because you are using the Web Client, and we are referring to the vSphere Client (Legacy C#).

Have you added the iSCSI Storage adaptor ?

If you select the Host > Storage >  Storage Adaptors > iSCSI Software Adaptor >  Targets Tab

and then add the IP Address of Starwind in there...

Click Add...

2017-11-27-10_49_09-vSphere-Web-Clie.jpg
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Jay Thomas

Hi Andrew, thank you for the response.
I have blown away StarWind and instead am using Windows iSCSI target. I feel it removes a layer of unnecessary complexity considering what i am trying to achieve. When I've set this up I'll add the storage as suggested to vSphere and report back. It's been a couple of years since i looked at VMWare, 5.5 was the last I used. I do recall some negative feedback to the web UI, now i see why. I'm cool with the storage side, just figuring out how to add to vSphere is what's throwing me.

Thank you for now.
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Jay Thomas

Actually, if i am not mistaken, isn't that screen shot from the 5.5 GUI, not the Web UI?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

That screenshot is from the Web Client via vCenter Server in vSphere 6.0.

All you need to do with any iSCSI storage SAN, is add the IP Address as above, in the screenshot. above, or use the vSphere Client (Legacy C# client)

Assuming no MSCHAP or CHAP security. and also assuming that IQN has been added to the LUN you have created, and then rescan for LUNs, and then Add a "New" Datastore, and Format.
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Jay Thomas

Hi Andrew. No security added. When using StarWind I believe this was mounted correctly - i had the iqn URL, although storage adaptor wizard failed to see it. This is the added layer i referred to, the 3rd party app isn't needed here. I'm putting together a demo Azure site recovery using VMWare as the hypervisor. I've done one for Hyper-V, but getting the VMware infrastructure setup is hampering me and fuelling some frustration - which i have manage to hide thus far ;)
Appreciate your help
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

Can you screenshot the Dynamic Discovery section in the GUI?

does this contain the IP Address of the StarWind Server,

Also is the Starwind Server IP Address on the same LAN ?

you must check you can ping and vmkping the IP Addreess of the Starwind Server - "SAN".

Also have you followed the EE Article I posted at the beginning, of creating an iSCSI Network and BINDINGs ?

Screenshots here would be good.
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Jay Thomas

StarWind has gone. I still can't find the setting in the screen shot from above because it doesn't show me how to get to that section. Decided to blow away vsphere 6 and go back to 5.5
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

Host > Storage >  Storage Adaptors > iSCSI Software Adaptor >  Targets Tab

Anyway, so with 5.5, have you found the location, to input the IP Address of iSCSI SAN ?

I assume you are using the vSphere Client now with 5.5 ?
ASKER
Jay Thomas

:) Now using windows iscsi. When i add storage provider to vsphere i get the specified provider url is invalid. Not my day
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

I'm not sure why you are adding a Storage Provider.

1. Add the iSCSI Storage Adaptor.

2. Then add an IP Address.

BUT have you created the VMKernels required ?

Are you using vSphere Client (Legacy C#) version ?
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Jay Thomas

Saw your response just before removing vsphere 6 so stuck with it.
I have created 4 iscsi disks on the same host that VMware is installed. Where do i add the iSCSI storage adaptor on the console?
ASKER
Jay Thomas

Using Windows to create iscsi disk, i should have added.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

Install the vSphere Client (C#) on the host.

if you type https://<ip address of ESXi 6.0 host> in your browser, if will show you a link to click to download the older non-Web Client.

there also listed here as well...

https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2089791
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Jay Thomas

No link. Just the crappy log in to vSphere Web Client link
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

did you click this link....

https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2089791

and ideally download the correct client to match the correct build of 6.0 you have installed.
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Jay Thomas

Hi, before seeing your reply i installed fat client 5.5 that i had, I have now logged on, and in familiar territory. I'll try and add the storage adaptor now.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

fat client is called the vSphere Legacy Client (C#)

Just select Host > Configure > Storage Adaptor - Add

then highlight it, and click Properties
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Jay Thomas

I know it's me :) If on the home tab, i do not see 'hosts', i see 'hosts and clusters' but no 'configure' after that
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

Click the Host! (in host and clusters!) in the left panel

and then in the Right Panel, select Configure Tab
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Jay Thomas

Ok, see where i was going wrong. It's this 'storage adapter' that I was looking for all alone. Mistake i was making was not looking for it under one of the esxi hosts.  So i added vmhba33 iSCSI adapter and assigned the iqn of my target on the same 2012 R2 box. I then go to storage tab for the first esxi host and add storage. I chose Disk/Lun option and as sure as eggs are eggs, i don't see any results in the 'select disk/lun' next screen.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

So you've added the iSCSI Storage Adaptor ?

You've added the IP Address of your iSCSI SAN to the Dynamic Discovery ?

Once you've done that you then need to RE-SCAN THE HBA.

and before you click Add Storage you need to check if the LUNs are present under the Storage Adaptor, iSCSI Storage Adaptor.

otherwise...configuration is not complete.

Did you follow any of my EE Articles about creating the storage network ?
ASKER
Jay Thomas

Hi, so all looks good but when adding storage the storage is displayed. I have uploaded 3 images.
1. iscsi-targets. This shows the iscsi target in windows.
2. Here is the general tab of the iscsi initiator which shows the ip address for the iscsi target.
3. And here is the dynamic tab, showing the ip address.

Both vsphere and iscsi targets on the same physical server. But still can't find the targets?
iscsi-targets.PNG
general-tab.PNG
dynamic-tab.PNG
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

Okay, well assuming the IP Address is correct, from the Windows display, it states not connected so ESXi host is not connected to the LUNs.

you can also confirm this in the ESXi panel, under iSCSI Storage Adaptor, and you should see some devices, e.g. ALL the LUNs.

which confirms, ESXi host is not communicating with SAN.

So time for some troubleshooting...

But before you do this, did you complete bindings, complete VMKernel Configuration ?

also ping and vmkping at the console of ESXi, can be used to check you can communication between ESXi host and Windows SAN Server.

it's all here, you don't need to complete dual nics, unless you want to test dual paths..

HOW TO: Add an iSCSI Software Adaptor and Create an iSCSI Multipath Network in VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.0
ASKER
Jay Thomas

Hi Andrew, not too sure what this means - But before you do this, did you complete bindings, complete VMKernel Configuration ?

From the ESXi console i used the 'test management network, added the IP address of the windows host with the iSCSI, and the ping test was successful.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

Hi Andrew, not too sure what this means - But before you do this, did you complete bindings, complete VMKernel Configuration ?

These are ALL required for iSCSI to send packets/data to your SAN, not optional required. All covered step by step with screenshots in my EE tutorial Article.

From the ESXi console i used the 'test management network, added the IP address of the windows host with the iSCSI, and the ping test was successful.

okay, that's one test passed, but ping does not use the VMKernel Interface, which is a special interface which sends iSCSI data, to test this, you need to use vmkping at the console or remotely via SSH.
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Jay Thomas

Ok, so a big thank you for your help this evening/ morning. Turning in now but will check that link above first thing and report back. Thank you.,
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

no probs Jason.....
ASKER
Jay Thomas

One last thing. I just did a quick connect using iSCSI initiator from another host, which can ping the ip address of the iSCSI storage server. That fails with error 'connection failed'. So, looks like the issue is with the iSCSI target
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

possibly....but as you've responded with a question about VMKernel Interface and Bindings.....I'm wondering if you have configured iSCSI correctly, it's more than just add iSCSI Adaptor, and add IP Address!
ASKER
Jay Thomas

Hi Andrew, i suspect you are right, something has not been done correctly. I have logged another ticket in EE to help trouble shoot the iSCSI connectivity problem in Windows. Looks like i have taken a step back.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

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ASKER
Jay Thomas

Hey Andy, i see the error in iSCSI setup in windows. I didn't add target servers when creating the disk. I guess i can be forgiven as was a late one yesterday. I'm now going to see if i can add the LUN to vSphere. Fingers crossed.
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Jay Thomas

I have my 100GB disk initialising then I'll move over to vSphere.
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Jay Thomas

Now that wasn't too difficult was it? :)

Up and running. Thanks for your help Andrew, i almost gave up on at least 2 occasions. I am not going to document the entire process so i have it next time.
Thanks again ;)
ASKER
Jay Thomas

Thank you for persevering!
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

No problems. "Keep the Faith"
Taras Shved

Here is a nice step-by-step guide by StarWind that exactly covers your issue: https://www.starwindsoftware.com/starwind-virtual-san-hyper-converged-2-node-cluster-vmware-vsphere

Using Microsoft iSCSI target was not the best decision to be honest. Unlike StarWind, it is not certified with VMware, moreover AFAIK Microsoft plans to EOL it in upcoming Windows versions. Additionally, StarWind iSCSI target is much faster and has two levels of caching (RAM and SSD) on top to speed things up. If you plan to bring such setup in production or want to get some high-availability and fault-tolerance you should better stick to StarWind :-)
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Jay Thomas

Hi Taras,  To be honest, i never come across companies using StarWind and so despite the benefits you mention plus the fact I only use in a lab, I am better off getting more involved with MSFT storage.
Thanks all the same.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

I have!
Luciano Patrão

I have lot of Starwind implementations and all working without any issues.
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Jay Thomas

Yep, i always used StarWind for labs, but had an issue with adding target to vSphere a couple of days back (Just ask Andy. H) and so wanted to rule it out and used MSFT target instead. To be honest, turns out nothing wrong with StarWind, more of an err..... user - cough cough error.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

We use NFS now for most of our labs, quick and easy to setup, and jumbo frames, can be faster than iSCSI for some workloads.