To boot the ESXi host from iSCSI using iBFT, you must properly configure networking.

To achieve greater security and better performance, have redundant network adapters on the host.

How you set up all the network adapters depends on whether your environment uses shared or isolated networks for the iSCSI traffic and host management traffic.

Shared iSCSI and Management Networks

Configure the networking and iSCSI parameters on the first network adapter on the host. After the host boots, you can add secondary network adapters to the default port group.

Isolated iSCSI and Management Networks

When you configure isolated iSCSI and management networks, follow these guidelines to avoid bandwidth problems.

  • Your isolated networks must be on different subnets.

  • If you use VLANs to isolate the networks, they must have different subnets to ensure that routing tables are properly set up.

  • VMware recommends that you configure the iSCSI adapter and target to be on the same subnet. If you set up the iSCSI adapter and target on different subnets, the following restrictions apply:

    • The default VMkernel gateway must be able to route both the management and iSCSI traffic.

    • After you boot your host, you can use the iBFT-enabled network adapter only for iBFT. You cannot use the adapter for other iSCSI traffic.

  • Use the first physical network adapter for the management network.

  • Use the second physical network adapter for the iSCSI network. Make sure to configure the iBFT.

  • After the host boots, you can add secondary network adapters to both the management and iSCSI networks.