Category: ESXi

FreeNAS 11.2 and ESXi 6.7 iSCSI Tutorial

It’s been over 2 years since my previous guide on setting up iSCSI between FreeNAS and ESXi and in that time many things have changed. FreeNAS now has a new UI, making things simpler and more straight forward. I think we can all agree the prettier graphs are extremely important too. In this guide we’ll evaluate if FreeNAS is still the best solution for your storage needs and explain why iSCSI performs best, followed by complete setup instructions for a killer multi-path redundant link iSCSI config. FreeNAS is great but as with most things, there are pros and cons so lets get them out of the way as clearly as possible.

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VMware ESXi 6.7: Autostart VMs

Have your shiny new Virtual Machine all set up in ESXi? Wondering how to make it Autostart in case of power failure or other host restart scenarios? This mini guide is for you! Making ESXi auto boot VMs is very simple, these tools are designed for us dumb humans after all.

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FreeNAS 11 iSCSI with ESXi 6.5 Lab Setup

With FreeNAS’s new interface, this is out of date. I have written an updated one here. Also, I have a guide for FreeNAS, XCP-ng and iSCSI here. In my home lab setup I’ve currently got 1 FreeNAS box and 1 VMware ESXi box. They’re connected using a multipath iSCSI link on cheap quad-gigabit cards I brought used. This setup works quite well for home lab use and provides a safe enough place to store my VMs. In this article I’ll guide you through the setup process I’ve used to get iSCSI working between FreeNAS and ESXi. I’ll presume you’ve got a fresh FreeNAS and ESXi install on both systems and quad or dual gigabit links between them.

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ESXi iSCSI Round Robin IOPS performance boost

By default in ESXi the Round Robin IOPS limit is set to 1000 meaning that the path only changes after 1000 I/O operations have occurred. The result is basically the same performance as running a single path in my experience. Adjusting the limit from 1000 to 1 can result in much better performance.

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Creating an ESXi install USB Stick

Installing ESXi (or any os for that matter) off of a CD/DVD is becoming harder and harder yet they still insist on distributing ISO files. Once upon a time we had these drives internally but these days chances are neither your workstation or server are going to have an optical drive meaning you’ll have to dig up a USB optical drive from the bottom of a box buried under multiple other boxes… Or something like that. USB sticks have replaced optical media for installing operating systems so here I’ll show you how to create an install USB for VMware ESXi. You’ll need: A Windows computer (Or USB passthrough to a Windows VM) ESXi ISO file USB Flash Drive 4GB+ Rufus (Portable edition is convenient)

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