VMware Solutions Discussions

ESXi iSCSI direct attach


Hello all,

I am trying to give an answer to a partner regarding the supportability of a solution made of 3 x ESXi hosts with iSCSI directly attached to an FAS2552A. The customer is aware of the little scalability of the solution, but they want to make it work, and know whether the solution is supported by NetApp. From the technical perspective, they have managed to make it work, tweaking the host networking settings form vSphere. However, we would like to get an official statement regarding the entire solution's supportability, and whether there are recommendations on how to set it up without switches. 


I would appreciate if someone could point me in the right direction. 


Thank you very much in advance!





not quite sure of the query on this...can you provision ISCSI LUNS to an ESXi host for datastore provisioning i assume?


then if that is the question, then I would say yes of course, and would expect that is fully supported by NetApp, is the concern no Virtual Centre and VSC and does that give you a problem?


again no, NetApp can of course just be deployed with the protocols and will be fully supported, the software suite is there to make life easier and provide better value to the solution.


please re-post if i've misunderstood or you need more help...


Hi Paul,

our concern is if the system has any technical issue in the future ¿would they get support from NetApp? The SAN Config guide says that directly attached iSCSI configurations are not supported with HA pairs. That's the thing.


The partner has got the configuration to work including seamless controller failover. However, I haven't been able to get a definitive answer about the supportability of this solution, and whether the statement in the guide is correct or not. This is a rather common configuration in the field, but should we say it is fully supported by Netapp? Or should we just advise the customer to install switches? This is a limited budget installation.






Hi Ivan,


When you say direct connected, you mean they are physically connecting NIC’s to the controllers…or is there a switch between then?


I’m guessing no switch by your end statement…


Not sure about the support of that solution, can only suggest speak with NetApp over that… but my gut feel would be put the switch in…a switch is a relatively low cost option and provides far more flexibility going forward… think plugging direct into controllers can only be a problem longer term…





Hi Ivan

The SAN configuration guide states:

Direct-attached single-node configurations in an iSCSI SAN

You can connect hosts using iSCSI directly to controllers. The number of hosts that can be directly

connected to a controller or pair of controllers depends on the number of available Ethernet ports.

Note: Direct-attached configurations are not supported in HA pairs.


There are a couple other things I'm checking on.