In my previous post I have demonstrated how to deploy VMware vCSA 6.5 and enable Native high availability for vCenter Server Appliance, I am going to demonstrate vSAN 6.5 iSCSI support for physical servers in this post. With vSphere 6.5 and vSAN 6.5 you can now you can extend vSAN data stores to physical servers using iSCSI target service. The main use case for extending vSAN support for physical servers is to support legacy non virtualized clustered application which requires RDMs (MSFC for instance). Now customers need not to maintain multiple storage solutions based on applications they run at their data center and unifi. In previous version only virtual machines on the vSAN cluster could access the vSAN. Please refer this link to know more about what’s new VSAN 6.5
First lets setup VMkernel for VSAN traffic. I have already configured virtual switch hence I am skipping vSwitch configuration part.
5. Enter the IP address for hosts in VSAN nodes to communicate and click Next.
Now that we have created VMkernel for VSAN, lets proceed with enabling VSAN. Please refer the documentation for VSAN design and sizing considerations.
- Select the cluster in which you want to enable VSAN, Navigate to Configure >> General >> Virtual SAN and then click on Configure.
4. Select the disks for capacity and cache tier, I have chosen manual method in step 2 of this hence we have to chose the disks manually. Disks will be added to the group automatically If you chose Automatic option in step 2.
Now we have enabled VSAN on a cluster lets verify disk groups and disk format version are proper.
Validate the disk groups and disks for each host within VSAN cluster are mounted and healthy.
Now is active, lets proceed with configuring new VSAN 6.5 feature iSCSI access to physical servers. We need to first enable iSCSI Target Service, this will enable access to physical nodes to access the VSAN data store using iSCSI protocol. You need to use IP address of one of the nodes within VSAN cluster (VSAN kernel ) in order to access the data stores, I will show how to that in later section of this post.
- Navigate to Virtual SAN General Section, Click on Edit option available under Virtual SAN iSCSI Target Service.
2. Check the Enable VSAN iSCSI target service option, select the default iSCSI network ( VMK 3 in this case, you need to use this network for extending iSCSI to physical nodes outside of VSAN cluster), leave the default TCP port. Select the authentication type ( CHAP, Mutul CHAP or None ). Select the storage policy if you have defined any and Click next OK to enable the service.
At this stage we have fully functional VSAN setup, its time to map VSAN LUN on a node which is outside of VSAN cluster. I have a Windows 2012 host with one NIC configured on a network same VSAN network in this post.
Navigate to Discovery tab in iSCSI initiator application click on Discovery portal, enter the portal IP address ( One of the VSAN node, multiple IP addresses with iSCSI multipath is recommended for production use cases ).
Thank you for reading.