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ESXi iScsi boot from NC382i

Ed Mason_1
Occasional Contributor

ESXi iScsi boot from NC382i

I have a dl385 g6 with NC382i adapters. Does this adapter support booting ESXi over iScsi?
8 REPLIES
Jan Soska
Honored Contributor

Re: ESXi iScsi boot from NC382i

hello,
I may depend on ESXi version. Which one do you plan?

Jan
Ed Mason_1
Occasional Contributor

Re: ESXi iScsi boot from NC382i

Since I first posted I was able to get the server to install ESXi v4.1 to an iScsi LUN. Once installed though for some reason I need to first boot with the setup CD and from there tell it to boot from the local (iScsi) disk where I installed VMWare. I want to have the server boot directly to the iScsi LUN without the CD.
Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor

Re: ESXi iScsi boot from NC382i

Did you check for a Bios setting on the nic?

You may need to enable it (like on a fibre channel hba) in order to boot from it directly.


Why would you want to boot from iSCSI?

What happens if you lose your iSCSI storage? Not only are your VM's not accessible... but your OS is also not accessible.


Steven
Steven Clementi
HP Master ASE, Storage and Clustering
MCSE (NT 4.0, W2K, W2K3)
VCP (ESX2, Vi3, vSphere4, vSphere5)
RHCE
NPP3 (Nutanix Platform Professional)
Ed Mason_1
Occasional Contributor

Re: ESXi iScsi boot from NC382i

I have tried setting the NIC to boot from iScsi, the server sees the iScsi LUN but VMWare never loads. Booting the server with the CD and then from the setup menu telling VMWare to boot from the local disk (iScsi) works.

Why use iScsi to boot my VMWare server? It is mostly a cost savings consideration. I can go totally diskless on my VMWare server. Boot VMWare over iScsi and host my VMs on NFS. It is all hosted on a Netapp with dual parity raid so from a disk failure standpoint I am fairly comfortable.
Jan Soska
Honored Contributor

Re: ESXi iScsi boot from NC382i

Hello Ed,
First good news:
- ESXi 4.1 is the first wmware product supporting boot from iscsi with software iniciator.
- check deeply Vmware iSCSI SAN Configuration Guide located at www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_iscsi_san_cfg.pdf (suitable for 4.1 version)

Then bad news:
- To deploy ESXi and boot from the iSCSI SAN, the host must have an iSCSI boot capable network adapter that
supports the iSCSI Boot Firmware Table (iBFT) format. I am really not sure if your adapter NC382i is capable of it. Try latest firmwares for it at: http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/DriverDownload.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodNameId=3811493&taskId=135&prodTypeId=329290&prodSeriesId=3811492&submit.y=8&submit.x=9〈=en&cc=us , apply the latest one available, read HP Broadcom iSCSI Boot for NC382x Adapters User Guide at http://bizsupport1.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c01555874/c01555874.pdf and follow Vmware guide mentioned above and let us know.
I am quite afraid iscsi boot works mostly on windows with this adapter (as Vmware support it less than one month), but try...

Regards,
Jan
Stuart Pearce_1
Occasional Visitor

Re: ESXi iScsi boot from NC382i

Hi Ed,
Hope it's ok if I tag on to this thread.
I have been trying to install esxi 4.1 on my netgear 4200 via iscsi from my dl385g7 which has a nc382i.

The iscsi drive connects and then the dvd boot to the esxi installation hangs. I tried to boot to a w2008rs dvd and the system crashes.

You were able to install esxi on iscsi but couldn't boot. That's closer than I got.

How did you make out?

Stuart.
Ed Mason_1
Occasional Contributor

Re: ESXi iScsi boot from NC382i

I could not get further than where the thread left off. Apparently the network adapter on the dl385 does not support the iSCSI Boot Firmware Table. I could boot partially using the VMWare CD, then connect to the iSCSI LUN and complete loading VMWare, but without the CD I couldn't get it to work.
Stuart Pearce_1
Occasional Visitor

Re: ESXi iScsi boot from NC382i

Thanks for the reply Ed.