Just to remind you, our configuration environment looks like this:

Environment configuration:

Server 1 (Windows)

  • Intel Xeon E5-2670 v4
  • 128Gb RAM Kingston
  • 1x HDD Seagate 1tb
  • 4xIntel DC S3610 Series 480gb
  • Mellanox ConnectX-3 network adapter 10G

Server 2 (ESXi)

  • Intel Xeon E5-2670 v4
  • 128Gb RAM Kingston
  • 1x HDD Seagate 1tb
  • Mellanox ConnectX-3 network adapter 10G

We’ve all heard about iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface), a protocol based on TCP/IP and designed for linking and managing storage systems, servers, and clients.

iSCSI is based on two most widely used protocols: SCSI – the protocol for transferring data blocks between computers and storage, and IP – a network transport protocol which is now commonly used in Ethernet corporate networks.

Configuring iSCSI

To create the iSCSI device, we’ve decided to choose StarWind Virtual SAN since it has its free version and it’s quite easy to work with.

So, run StarWind VSAN and add the server where you’ll be creating a virtual disk.

starwind-management-console

Click the ADD Device(advanced) button and in the «Select Device Type you want to create or export as iSCSI Target» tab, select Hard Disk Device.

In the «Select Disk Device Type» tab, choose the device type (Virtual Disk).

Further on, in the «Virtual Disk Location» tab, specify the name, location, and size of the device that is to be created.

In «Virtual Disk Option» tab, pick Thick-provisioned.

In «Specify Device RAM Cache Parameters» tab, disable RAM Cache (N/A).

In «Specify Flash Cache Parameters» tab, turn off the use of Flash Cache (No Flash Cache).

In the «Creation Page» tab, click «Create».

The result of the device creation can be seen in StarWind Management Console.

 

Configuring iSCSI StarWind in VMware.

 Now, select the host and go to the Configure tab. After that, navigate to Storage Adapters section and add Software iSCSI adapter. You can see the result in the screenshot below.

In the same window, go to the Targets tab from Adapter Details section. Add a new target with your host’s IP address on which StarWind is installed.

In the Configure tab, navigate to the Storage Devices section and scan all disk’s adapters.

After the successful scanning, the StarWind device connected to iSCSI will appear in the Storage Devices section.

In the VM properties section, connect the StarWind device as RDM Disk.

In the VM’s Disk Management, you can see the added disk as unallocated.

 

Conclusion

In this chapter, we have run through the configuration and connection process of the iSCSI device to the VMware host. Now, we have everything ready for testing our network protocols performance. And this will be the topic of our final part. Stay with us!