A dependent hardware iSCSI adapter is a third-party adapter that depends on VMware networking, and iSCSI configuration and management interfaces provided by VMware.

An example of a dependent iSCSI adapter is a Broadcom 5709 NIC. When installed on a host, it presents its two components, a standard network adapter and an iSCSI engine, to the same port. The iSCSI engine appears on the list of storage adapters as an iSCSI adapter (vmhba). Although the iSCSI adapter is enabled by default, to make it functional, you must first connect it, through a virtual VMkernel adapter (vmk), to a physical network adapter (vmnic) associated with it. You can then configure the iSCSI adapter.

After you configure the dependent hardware iSCSI adapter, the discovery and authentication data are passed through the network connection, while the iSCSI traffic goes through the iSCSI engine, bypassing the network.

The entire setup and configuration process for the dependent hardware iSCSI adapters involves these steps:

  1. View the dependent hardware adapters.

    See View Dependent Hardware iSCSI Adapters.

    If your dependent hardware adapters do not appear on the list of storage adapters, check whether they need to be licensed. See your vendor documentation.

  2. Determine the association between the dependent hardware adapters and physical NICs.

    See Determine Association Between iSCSI and Network Adapters.

    Make sure to note the names of the corresponding physical NICs. For example, the vmhba33 adapter corresponds to vmnic1 and vmhba34 corresponds to vmnic2.

  3. Configure networking for iSCSI.

    See Setting Up iSCSI Network.

    Configuring the network involves creating a VMkernel interface for each physical network adapter and associating the interface with an appropriate iSCSI adapter.

  4. (Optional) Enable Jumbo Frames.

    See Using Jumbo Frames with iSCSI.

  5. Configure discovery information.

    See Configuring Discovery Addresses for iSCSI Adapters.

  6. (Optional) Configure CHAP parameters.

    See Configuring CHAP Parameters for iSCSI Adapters.