You want to create a seperate iSCSI network to isolate storage traffic for servers when communicating with the storage device. Using vCenter, create a network and VMkernel port on which the iSCSI device can communicate. Because we are using software iSCSI, we will create one vSwitch assigned to vmnic1.

Before ESXi can communicate with an iSCSI device, VMkernel network port must be created within the network component of the vCenter server.

The VMkernel port can be configured on an existing network, but I strongly advise you to put your iSCSI traffic on its own network and port group, isolated from all other traffic. This ensures maximum performance for your virtual machines. Follow these steps:

1. Log in to vCenter Server and select the server from the inventory list.
2. Select the Configuration tab from the right window panel, navigate to Networking on the lefthand side, and click the Add Networking link in the upper right corner.
3. Under Connection Types, select VMkernel and click Next. The VMkernel option allows you to set up VMotion, iSCSI, or NAS in your ESXi environment.
4. Under Network Access, select an unused network adapter (see Figure 2-2; I’ve selected vmnic1 for my VMkernel port) to set up your VMkernel on a seperate network (recommended), or select an already existing vSwitch and Ethernet adapter to share iSCSI traffic with other traffic. Your option will be displayed in the lower portion of the screen, in the Preview section (Figure 2-2). Click Next.

Adding and iSCSI VMkernel, selecting vmnic1Figure 2-2. Adding an iSCSI VMkernel, selecting vmnic1

5. You will be required to enter some information about the VMkernel port on the Connection Types screen (Figure 2-3).

Setting information for the iSCSI VMkernelFigure 2-3. Setting information for the iSCSI VMkernel

First, configure the port group properties:

Network label
The label by which the port group will be recognized within the virtual environment. It’s important to give this port group the same name on all physical ESXi Servers to ensure that vMotion and other aspects of the ESXi environment will work.

VLAN ID (optional)
The network VLAN your port group will use to communicate. This should be specified only if you are using VLANs in your network infrastructure

Use this port group for VMotion logins
This option should not be selected when configuring a VMkernel for iSCSI or NAS traffic because this port group will not include VMotion traffic.

Use this port group for Fault Tolerance logins
This option should not be selected when configuring a VMkernel for iSCSI or NAS traffic because this port group will not include VMotion traffic.

Use this port group for management traffic
This option should not be selected when configuring a VMkernel for iSCSI or NAS traffic because this port group will not include VMotion traffic.

Configuring the IP settings, Generally, you will want to use a static IP address here and not use the Obtain IP settings automatically; however, this may depend on your network configuration.

IP address
The IP address of the VMkernel. This is a required field.

Subnet mask
The subnet mask of the network. This is a required field.

VMkernel default gateway
Enter a gateway if your IP address resides on a network other than the one on which you are configuring the port group.

To configure additional options, such as DNS and advanced routing, click the Edit button.

6. Click Next to view the summary, and then Finish to create the port group.

 

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