There are two types of iSCSI-initiators

  • Software iSCSI-initiator (created in ESXi)
  • Hardware iSCSI-initiator (implemented in the networkadapter)

The way through a hardware initiator moves CPU load to the networkadapter. The ESXi could use the free CPU power for its guests now.

Software iSCSI-initiator

What you clould use on every ESXi is the software initiator. To add this one you have to follow these steps:

If there are multiple LAN ports on the ESXi it is better to use a separate adapter for iSCSI traffic.

  • On the ESXi go to Configuration -> Network -> Add network.
  • Choose VMKernel as connection type. In the next step choose a free networkport.
  • Give the portgroup a name, like iSCSI. None of the checkboxes must be activated.
  • At the end the IPaddress could be set static or dynamic via DHCP.
  • In the properties of the new Network you can see a new option (iSCSI-Port-Binding) which is greyed out and not activated.


  • Now go to Configuration > Storageadapter and add a new Storageadapter.
  • Add Software iSCSI Adapter > OK
  • After that, open the properties of the new adapter
  • In the properties of the iSCSI-initiator add the new vSwitch “iSCSI” under Networkconfiguration.
  • In the overview you can see the vSwitch
  • The vSwitche properties shows now the activated portbinding for iSCSI.

Now you can configure your iSCSI-targets