When you install ESXi to a software iSCSI disk, you must configure the target iSCSI qualified name (IQN).
During system boot, the system performs a Power-On Self Test (POST), and begins booting the adapters in the order specified in the system BIOS. When the boot order comes to the iSCSI Boot Firmware Table (iBFT) adapter, the adapter attempts to connect to the target, but does not boot from it. See Prerequisites.
If the connection to the iSCSI target is successful, the iSCSI boot firmware saves the iSCSI boot configuration in the iBFT. The next adapter to boot must be the ESXi installation media, either a mounted ISO image or a physical CD-ROM.
- Verify that the target IQN is configured in the iBFT BIOS target parameter setting. This setting is in the option ROM of the network interface card (NIC) to be used for the iSCSI LUN. See the vendor documentation for your system.
Disable the iBFT adapter option to boot to the iSCSI target. This action is necessary to make sure that the ESXi installer boots, rather than the iSCSI target. When you start your system, follow the prompt to log in to your iBFT adapter and disable the option to boot to the iSCSI target. See the vendor documentation for your system and iBFT adapter. After you finish the ESXi installation, you can reenable the option to boot from the LUN you install ESXi on.
- Start an interactive installation from the ESXi installation CD/DVD or mounted ISO image.
- On the Select a Disk screen, select the iSCSI target you specified in the iBFT BIOS target parameter setting.
If the target does not appear in this menu, make sure that the TCP/IP and initiator iSCSI IQN settings are correct. Check the network Access Control List (ACL) and confirm that the adapter has adequate permissions to access the target.
- Follow the prompts to complete the installation.
- Reboot the host.
- In the host BIOS settings, enter the iBFT adapter BIOS configuration, and change the adapter parameter to boot from the iSCSI target.
See the vendor documentation for your system.
What to do next
On your iBFT adapter, reenable the option to boot to the iSCSI target, so the system will boot from the LUN you installed ESXi on.