ONTAP Discussions

Netapp iSCSi direct-attach




I am pretty new in netapp environnement and pretty lost.

Now i have to configure a iSCSi netapp cluster connected in DAS with two ESXi servers. You can find a litlle shema in attached piece.

My problem is i don't understand how to connect the netapp cluster to my Vcenter ?

I can't create aggregate in this situation right ? so how to connect all path to my Vcenter ?


Any help will be appreciate !


Re: Netapp iSCSi direct-attach


Each host needs access to each controller.    
(Which looks like your drawing (I think)) 

Host 1 port A-> NetApp-01 port e0c 

Host 1 port B -> NetApp-02 port e0c 

Host 2 port A -> NetApp-01 port e0d

Host 2 port B -> NetApp-02 port e0d 


For Aggrs / vole / LUNs in this config...   I’m going to assume you have 24 drives in there,  you’d want to creat 2 aggrs, one on  each controller.   From there, the basic way is just do a volume / lun off each aggr and map to the hosts.     Install VSC too, It’ll making mapping datastores easy.   

and always test failover on each controller before it goes production.   



Re: Netapp iSCSi direct-attach


Yes i connected my node like this.

Not sure about the aggr.

If i have node1 e0c e0d, i can't create an aggr cause ports don't go on the same server ?

Re: Netapp iSCSi direct-attach


I would go a step further. e0c/e0d are using the same ASIC. if the ASIC fails, both ports fail. I would use e0c to go to one host on both nodes and e0e to go to the other host on both nodes.


The best solution (as always in a case like this) is to get a small SFP+ based switch and just hook up with Twinax cables.


Be sure to:

  1. use a different subnet on every connection:
    1. Node 1 e0c -> 192.168.10.x
    2. Node 1 e0e -> 192.168.11.x
    3. Node 2 e0c -> 192.168.20.x
    4. Node 2 e0e -> 192.168.21.x
  2. DO NOT use a gateway on the iSCSI networks.
  3. On ESXI, use Port Binding for the iSCSI software ports.
  4. Use Jumbo Frames
  5. Install VSC (in vCenter)


If you are using current ONTAP software (like 9.7), it should allow you to create the aggregates automatically with the GUI (called Provision Storage, if I recall). As @SpindleNinja  said, you should end up with two even-sized aggregates, one on each node.


Re: Netapp iSCSi direct-attach


disks and ports are independent of each other. 

In the NetApp ONTAP world an aggr (aggregate) is a collection of disks that allows data to be written to them.   And an aggr is owned by a storage node.    
like TMAC said,   Each port will have its own IP address, on both the storage side and host side.    There’s no port trunking/lacp/binding etc with this config.  

you want each host to be able to access each storage controller aggr.     

Re: Netapp iSCSi direct-attach


Thank's to both of you.

iSCSi need IP address to work, so i have to create subnets for each phisicals connections.

I do it with LIF ? (like i said i pretty new and i have a lot to learn to understand well all things on Ontapp)

Re: Netapp iSCSi direct-attach


Let me correct myself:


when using Multiple Subnets, it is not a best practice to use iSCSI Port-binding. Only when all connections can see and talk to each other is port-binding to be be used. Sorry!


If the iSCSI is direct connected, you do not need to create subnets.

On the NetApp, Create the four LIFS (two per node) dedicated for iSCSI and no gateway.

On the ESXi side, create a vswitch for each subnet and place a vmkernel port there.

Re: Netapp iSCSi direct-attach


Here's the SAN config doc for some reading for you:  https://docs.netapp.com/ontap-9/topic/com.netapp.doc.dot-cm-sanconf/SAN%20configuration.pdf  


Also, here's an example for the last time I did a config like this: 

Controller 1:

SVM Logical Interface Role Status Network Address Current Port
iSCSI N1_vmhost01a_lif1 data up/up e0c
iSCSI N1_vmhost02a_lif2 data up/up e0d

Controller 2:

iSCSI N2_vmhost01b_lif1 data up/up e0c 
iSCSI N2_vmhost02b_lif2 data up/up e0d

Host's each have two IP addresses too.  

Host 1: and 
Host 2: and



View solution in original post

Re: Netapp iSCSi direct-attach


Perfect thank's.


I am gonna take some times to read and try to apply thoses advices.

I will tell you back if i can make it work !

Re: Netapp iSCSi direct-attach


Allright guys.


I think i have all setup, but now when i add an dynamic discovery i can't find my target.

On the netapp i have my 4 lifs for each ports in iSCSi attached to my SVM.

On each of my both ESXi i have two virtual switch with two VMkernerls.


I gonne make a litlle diagriam, it will be simplier to explain myself ...

On my netapp, i have created a Lun and a vol on my aggregate just to try to connect it to the ESXi.


I will send you the diagram tomorrow.


See u !

Re: Netapp iSCSi direct-attach


Everything is working now ! 


I forgot to start the iSCSi service in the SVM parameter.


Thank for your help !

Re: Netapp iSCSi direct-attach


No problem! Glad it worked out. 

Re: Netapp iSCSi direct-attach


How many adapter iscsi in on host i need?(vmware)

Re: Netapp iSCSi direct-attach


min 2 - 1 per vlan/switch

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