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).

The iSCSI adapter is enabled by default. To make it functional, you must 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 is passed through the network connection. The iSCSI traffic goes through the iSCSI engine, bypassing the network.