With the software-based iSCSI implementation, you can use standard NICs to connect your host to a remote iSCSI target on the IP network. The software iSCSI adapter that is built into ESXi facilitates this connection by communicating with the physical NICs through the network stack.

When you use the software iSCSI adapters, consider the following:

  • Designate a separate network adapter for iSCSI. Do not use iSCSI on 100 Mbps or slower adapters.
  • Avoid hard coding the name of the software adapter, vmhbaXX, in the scripts. It is possible for the name to change from one ESXi release to another. The change might cause failures of your existing scripts if they use the hardcoded old name. The name change does not affect the behavior of the iSCSI software adapter.

The process of configuring the software iSCSI adapter involves several steps.

Step Description
Activate or Disable the Software iSCSI Adapter Activate your software iSCSI adapter so that your host can use it to access iSCSI storage.
Modify General Properties for iSCSI or iSER Adapters If needed, change the default iSCSI name and alias assigned to your adapter.
Configure Port Binding for iSCSI or iSER Configure connections for the traffic between the iSCSI component and the physical network adapters. The process of configuring these connections is called port binding.
Configure Dynamic or Static Discovery for iSCSI and iSER on ESXi Host Set up dynamic discovery. With dynamic discovery, each time the initiator contacts a specified iSCSI storage system, it sends the SendTargets request to the system. The iSCSI system responds by supplying a list of available targets to the initiator. In addition to the dynamic discovery method, you can use static discovery and manually enter information for the targets.
Set Up CHAP for iSCSI or iSER Storage Adapter If your iSCSI environment uses the Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP), configure it for your adapter.
Set Up CHAP for Target You can also configure different CHAP credentials for each discovery address or static target.
Enable Jumbo Frames for Networking If your iSCSI environment supports Jumbo Frames, enable them for the adapter.