Storage Pt 2 – Set up Nested iSCSI Target/SAN using OpenFiler

Welcome to the second part of the storage segment. This time I want to cover setting up a nested iSCSI target in VMware Workstation. The idea is to create a shared datastore for the training lab so that you may be able to play around and use different features of vSphere that use shared storage. I am using OpenFiler but you can use FreeNAS, NAS4Free, StarWinds iSCSI Target for Windows, etc.

  1. Create a New VM with 1 CPU/1GB Ram/ 13Gb HDD
  2. Add a second HDD to the VM large enough to hold a couple of VMs from ESXi (40 – 80Gb recommended)
  3. Connect the OpenFiler ISO to the CD Rom in VMware Workstation
  4. Start the VM and select Boot from CD
  5. Click Next > Select Language 
  6. Select the small 13Gb drive and make sure it is set as Boot drive > click Next and accept Erase all data. 
  7. Click Edit > Put in IP address settings for your network > Click OK > type hostname > type Gateway and DNS
  8. Click Next > type in root password > click next and wait for install process
  9. Click reboot
  10. Once restarted open up your web browser and go to https://:446
  11. Log on with Username:  openfiler   Password: password
  12. Click on Services and click enable and start on iSCSI Initiator and iSCSI Target
  13. Select Volumes > Click Create New Physical Volume
  14. Select /dev/sdb depending on which drive is not your OS drive.
  15. Change your partition size to suit and click create
  16. Select Add Volume on the right > Give the Volume a name and select the disk
  17. Select iSCSI Target > Click Add for the Target IQN
  18. Select Add Volume > type a name for the LUN > Select the size for LUN > select block filesystem
  19. Select iSCSI Targets > LUN Mapping > Click Map
Once you have completed the steps setting up your LUN in OpenFiler, you then need to log onto your vCenter Server and connect to the Target. 
You can attach multiple vNICs to the OpenFiler VM in Vmware Workstation if you want to play around with Load Balancing, etc.

Please see the video below which will walk you through setting up right through to attaching the target in vCenter.

Thank you for viewing. If you have any comments, suggestions or would like me to cover a topic, please leave a comment.

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