Assigning NIC cards to the default iSCSI Software adapter in ESX

I wanted to start utilizing an iSCSI storage system that we had for our ESX servers but didn’t want to have the iSCSI traffic using any of the existing NIC’s in these ESX servers. So the first step was to put the NIC’s we previously added to the servers into a new VSwitch. Connection type for ISCSI will use vkernel.



Once the VSwitch is created take note of  use the name assigned. In this case vmk3

The default software iSCSI adapter listed under configuration -> storage adapters on the ESX host show up on my system as vmhba37.


To view which NIC’s, if any, have been assigned to the iSCSI software adapter (vmhba37)you can run the following command:

[acct@esxserver ~]# esxcli swiscsi nic list -d vmhba37 Errors: No nics found for this adapter.

In this instance there are no NIC’s assigned to vmhba37. Since none are specified, by default the system will pick an existing one at random and use it.

To assign specific NIC(s) to the iSCSI software adapter you can run the following command(s).

[acct@esxserver ~]#esxcli swiscsi nic add -n vmk3 -d vmhba37

[acct@esxserver ~]#esxcli swiscsi nic list -d vmhba37 vmk3     pNic name: vmnic5     ipv4 address:     ipv4 net mask:     ipv6 addresses:     mac address: g4:de:56:a4:3c:42     mtu: 1500     toe: false     tso: true     tcp checksum: false     vlan: true     vlanId: 0     ports reserved: 63488~65536     link connected: true     ethernet speed: 1000     packets received: 5270264     packets sent: 26     NIC driver: igb     driver version: 3.1.17     firmware version: 3.19-0

You can see by running the “list” command that after you’ve assigned the NIC to the iSCSI software adapter it now shows additional info, specifically network info for the assigned NIC.

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Author: JA

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