VMware Workstation, ESXi VMs, and external iSCSI storage

From a post I made here:   http://communities.vmware.com/thread/342742?tstart=0


It started out simple, then got longer, and ended a saga.  The iSCSI saga.  


I would paste the whole thing here...but I'd imagine the VMware communities will be around well after this article is rendered obsolete.


Bottom line:  If your switchport is accepting tagged packets on VLAN10 only, and your physical adapter is tagging packets for VLAN10, setting the virtual machine networking (bridged to said physical adapter) to ALSO tag packets for VLAN10 will break stuff.  Leave the VLAN tagging for the physical devices.


After the saga came to a close, I then tried to add the iSCSI targets to my workstation, but ran into this:  http://www.jeremycole.com/blog/2007/11/09/the-iscsi-name-specified-contains-invalid-characters-or-is-too-long/


Yes, my naming scheme was foiled by a subtle Microsoft...oversight.  This is what the Initiator does:  (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee338474(WS.10).aspx)
Generates an event log if a target has a node name that is not valid. It ignores that target, and in some cases, all targets that are discovered with it (for example, if a target in the SendTargets node has an invalid node name, Microsoft iSCSI Initiator ignores all targets within the SendTargets text response). 


Found a little more 'best practice' stuff here:  http://www.cognizant.com/InsightsWhitepapers/vmware_esx_wp.pdf
Hostname Naming Convention
It is recommended that the hostname should not
contain an underscore. Labels cannot start nor end
with a hyphen. Special characters other than the
hyphen (and the dot between labels) are not
advisable, although they are sometimes used. (1)


One other tidbit: https://forums.openfiler.com/viewtopic.php?id=815
The underscore is not a legal character int he iSCSI spec and the MS initiator docs does say that invalid paths will be ignored. [sic]


I rescind my previous comment about Microsoft's insights, and I thank them for following RFCs.  


So there we have it - it's an RFC oversight...or intention.  At any rate, everything is working wonderfully, and if I didn't have underscores in the names, I'd even be able to access it from the host.


Good times!

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