Connect the VMkernel, which runs services for iSCSI storage, to a physical network adapter on your ESXi host. You then use the created VMkernel adapter in the port binding configuration with the iSCSI or iSER adapters.

The following types of adapters require the port binding:
  • Software iSCSI adapter
  • Dependent hardware iSCSI adapter
  • VMware iSCSI over RDMA (iSER) adapter



  1. In the vSphere Client, navigate to the ESXi host.
  2. Select Add Networking from the right-click menu.
  3. Select VMkernel Network Adapter, and click Next.
  4. Select New standard switch to create a vSphere Standard switch.
  5. Click the Add adapters icon, and select an appropriate network adapter (vmnic#) to use for iSCSI.
    Make sure to assign the adapter to Active Adapters.
  6. Enter a network label.
    A network label is a friendly name that identifies the VMkernel adapter that you are creating, for example, iSCSI or iSER.
  7. Specify the IP settings.
  8. Review the information and click Finish.
    You created the virtual VMkernel adapter (vmk#) for a physical network adapter (vmnic#) on your host.
  9. Verify your configuration.
    1. Under Networking, select VMkernel Adapters, and select the VMkernel adapter (vmk#) from the list.
    2. Click the Policies tab, and verify that the corresponding physical network adapter (vmnic#) appears as an active adapter under Teaming and failover.
      The screenshot shows the vmnic4 physical network adapter on the Policies tab. The adapter appears as an active adapter.

What to do next

If your host has one physical network adapter for iSCSI traffic, bind the VMkernel adapter that you created to the iSCSI or iSER vmhba adapter.

If you have multiple network adapters, you can create additional VMkernel adapters and then perform iSCSI binding. The number of virtual adapters must correspond to the number of physical adapters on the host. For information, see Multiple Network Adapters in iSCSI or iSER Configuration.