Now we have the Networking in place, we need some Shared Storage.  Im going to refer to a few older posts of mine to set this up with FreeNAS which works really well.  I may look at other solutions at some point but for now this does exactly what I need.

Installing FreeNAS into VMware Workstation Pt1
Installing FreeNAS into VMware Workstation Pt2
Installing FreeNAS into VMware Workstation Pt3 (iSCSI)

This should be enough to get going (May add some NFS Later)

So, I followed my own instructions, even up to using the ISCSI Initiator in Windows to check I can connect.  The only thing I have done for this lab is add a second Interface to my FreeNAS Server – the usual way, via Virtual Machine Settings, Add… and then added (in my case) a new Network Adapter on the VMnet 3 network.

In FreeNAS I went to Network and Add Interface – then added a second Interface with the VMnet3 IP Range


Im going to use the Software iSCSI Adapter within vCenter to connect.

Navigate to the ESXi Host you want to connect to the iSCSI Target and select Configure

Select the Green Plus sign and select Software iSCSI adapter

iscsi adapter.png

Select ok in the Add Software iSCSI Adapter Window – this is advising to complete the config in the Adapter Details section

iscsi adapter2.png

Navigate to the iSCSI Software Adapter – in my case vmhba65 and select it

Select Network Port Bindings and the Green Plus – Here we are going to Bind our Network Adapter we created earlier to the iSCSI Initiator

network bindingSelect the iSCSI Port Group you created and click ok


Throughout this process you will see: Due to recent configuration changes, a rescan of this storage adapter is recommended


Select the below Icon to rescan the Hosts adapter


Now time to add our Targets IP – Select Targets > Dynamic Discovery and then Add…

Enter the IP you assigned to the iSCSI Target and click OK


Now do another Rescan

Select Datastores and Create a new Datastore


Select VMFS and click Next

Select your FreeNAS Disk, Give the Datastore a Name and select Next


Im going to choose VMFS 6 over 5 and click Next

Im also keeping default Partition config so click Next and Finish


Repeat on all Hosts and you should have the shared iSCSI datastore connected