Adding iSCSI Datastore to my lab

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So we finish the networking part of the blue print and now we are going to get into the storage part. To be prepared i will need to install iSCSI datastore in addition to the NFS datastore that we already created in previous post .(In this post i am assuming you already have the networking part done , i already configured VMkernel and vDS for storage in my previous posts).

I will be using my lab Microsoft 2012R2 to serve as my iSCSI target and will connect all of my three host to it, so lets get started.

The plan :

  • Enable Windows 2012R2 iSCSI Target Server
  • Configure Hosts to support iSCSI
    • Add iSCSI software adapter on each ESXi host
    • Configure iSCSI targets on VMware iSCSI software adapter on each ESXi host
    • Note the ISCSI iqn’s from each ESXi host
  • Configure Windows2012R2 iSCSI target Storage
    • Creating new iSCSI virtual disk
    • Specify the network address for iSCSI traffic.
  • Discover and create iSCSI datastore
    • Rescan to find the new disk on each ESXi host
    • Create a new datastore

To enable iSCSI target server we will need to add server role under File and iSCSI services .


Now lets go back to our vCenter and configure the hosts to support iSCSI

First we will need to add iSCSI software adapter. to do that go to the ESXi host >> manage >> storage adapters >>add(+) >> Software iSCSI adapter


Click OK when you get the information box and now you have new iSCSI software adapter. Repeat this process for all ESXi hosts that will have access to the iSCSI datastore


Now we will need to configure the target on the new iSCSI software adapter. to do that under the new iSCSI adapter click on the targets tab and make sure its on Dynamic Discovery and click on Add.


Type the IP of the Windows 2012R2 server (make sure to use the IP of the Storage subnet) and click OK. Repeat this process for all ESXi hosts that will have access to the iSCSI datastore.


Note the iqn’s from each host we will need to use them in the windows configuration, you can copy/paste to a notepad.

Now lets go back to the windows server configuration, I dedicated a separate 50G hard drive in VMware Workstation to for iSCSI , and now after we enable iSCSI server role we continue to create iSCSI virtual disk using the wizard link.

Choose the location of the disk.


Name the disk


Configure disk size , i choose only 40 since i will like to practice expansion in the future , also i use dynamic expending so save on disk space


Create New iSCSI target and name it


Add the iqn’s from each ESXi and click Ok.


Lets go back to Server manager >> File and Storage Services >> Servers >> right click on the server and choose iSCSI target setting

make sure to choose only the IP that is on the storage subnet.


A is set (for now :-)) on the Windows server side, now lets go back to the vCenter and discover the disk and create a datastore

Click on the ESXi host >> manage >> Storage >> Storage Devices >> click on the rescan all Storage adapter >> click OK

You wil be able to see the new drive. Repeat this process for all ESXi hosts that will have access to the iSCSI datastore.


Now that we can see the disk lets create a new datastore. from vCenter >> Storage >> data center >> right click >> storage >> create new datastore


Choose the location


Choose VMFS


Name the datastore and select the host


Create Partition or use the all disk.




New datastore is ready!


After configuring this i noticed the following error: Deprecated VMFS volume(s) found on the host. Please consider upgrading volume(s) to the latest version (see blow ) , i google it and found this KB arrticle which confirm its a false positive error and there is no solution yet .


After fix:



Thanks for reading.




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