vSphere 6.5 iSCSI Binding Bug…Dude, Where’s My Unused Adapters?

Problem

Tonight I was going through an install of ESXi 6.5 (No vCenter yet) and I wanted to setup iSCSI binding to provide multiple paths to the iSCSI array. This requires setting the other vmnic into an “Unused” State. I need to set vmnic5 to unused, however I quickly realized there was no Unused Adapter option in the GUI as shown in Figure-1, only Mark Active or Standby.

Figure-1

I then SSH into the host and ran the following command:
esxcli network vswitch standard portgroup policy failover get -p iSCSI-1

Notice in Figure-2, there is an “Unused Adapter” so I thought maybe there is an ESXCLI command to set the vmnic adapter to “Unused” so I ran the following command:
esxcli network vswitch standard portgroup policy failover set --help
As you can see in Figure-3 there is only “active-uplink” and “standby-uplink”.

Figure-2
Figure-3

Like most I googled it and came across a bug report on VMware’s Fling site found here were other users experienced the same issue.


Workaround

Continuing to troubleshooting the issue and stumbled across a workaround and figured why not share it. To workaround this issue we need to set the standby adapter (vmnic5) to Unused by issuing the following ESXCLI command:
esxcli network vswitch standard portgroup policy failover set -p iSCSI-1 -a vmnic5 . The results are shown in Figure-4. This moves vmnic5 to active while also moving vmnic1 to Unused. In my case I need to have vmnic5 set to Unused so I run the command again but this time using vmnic1, as shown in Figure-5.

Figure-4
Figure-5

There you have it a quick workaround around for this issue! If you found this helpful please share it.

19 comments On vSphere 6.5 iSCSI Binding Bug…Dude, Where’s My Unused Adapters?

  • Pingback: Configure a vSphere 6.5 Host – Part1 – VirtualizeStuff ()

  • Man, lucky I found your blog, I was about to pull my hair out as to why I couldn’t bind the iscsi adaptors together on 6.5.
    Why the hell would VMware leave or make such a school boy error as iSCSI has been around on their product for a long time.
    Thanks,

  • I don’t get how VMware could have overlooked this, but I do owe you a beer. Thank you.

  • Dave the Man! All told, I probably lost about 45 min of reviewing my settings, vmkernel log, and then google. I would have lost far more if not for this post, THANKS!!! Also, I am not surprised at all that VMware missed this feature but at least we have HTML 5 finally.

    Tweet Sent!

  • It didn’t work for me. What build did you try this in?

  • @Santos this was done with vSphere 6.5.0-4602587 build . I have not tried this with vSphere 6.5a to see if the issue was resolved or not.

  • Thanks saved me ages of searching
    worked on VMware ESXi 6.5.0 build-4887370

  • Wow thank you so much for posting this. I was banging my head against the wall and thought I was going crazy trying to find the Unused Adapters and kept getting ‘the vmkernel network adapter is associated with more than one physical network adapter’ when I tried to set up the iSCSI adapter

  • It sure is very odd that this setting is not in the GUI anymore! Thanks for the information on how to solve it!!!

  • Thank you, exactly what i’m looking for! Sometimes you have to wonder with VMware; most companies, making progress means making things simpler for their customers… vmware is so dumb I really don’t have words for them.

  • Thanks so much for this video! It helped me a lot! Thanks!

    I have only one question:
    – Did you use different subnets for your vmk2 / vmk3 (e.g. 10.0.1.50/24 for vmk2 and 10.0.2.50/24 for vmk3)?

    I’m still not quite sure, if I should use different subnets for both vmkernel when they are allocated in the same vswitch. I remember forum discussions which were about that one should explicitly set both vmkernels into DIFFERENT subnets – and other discussion who proposed the opposite 😉 So, what did you do? 🙂

    My personal feeling would be, to use different subnets for ESXi as well as iSCSI SAN. E.g.
    vmk1 10.0.1.50 connects to iSCSI SAN 10.0.1.51
    vmk2 10.0.2.50 connects to iSCSI SAN 10.0.2.51

    What do you think? 🙂

    Thanks so much! Chirs

    • Hey Chris,

      Glad the post was helpful! I used a single subnet for my iSCSI traffic each host has two physical nics that go to separate switches to provide redundancy to the storage. I then changed the multipathing policy to use Round-Robin.

      Thanks,
      Dave

      • Dear Dave,
        thank you for your quick anweser!
        Let’s assume you have only one iscsi-target of a SAN, you would like to mount: Is it necessary to configure the same target two times using different ip-addresses in order to provide multipathing?

        E.g. let’s assume your SAN uses IP-adresses 10.0.1.100 and 10.0.101.
        When I got it correctly, in iSCSI configuration of ESXi, you would have to configure the same target two times, however, with different ip-addresses, wouldn’t you?
        1.) iqn-path-to-your:target-A; 10.0.1.100
        2.) iqn-path-to-your:target-A; 10.0.1.101

        Thanks, Chris

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