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Is is possible to set up ESXi or more expensive ESX server as a storage target (FCoE, ISCSI or NFS, in that order) for other ESX servers? If so, how?

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ESX is to my knowledge not more pricey. – 3molo Apr 13 '11 at 10:43
up vote 7 down vote accepted

One solution would be to set up a VM guest on the ESX / ESXi server running something like openfiler which is a linux based open source storage server

It can be downloaded from and supports iSCSI and NFS - not sure about FCoE

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FCoE isn't quite there yet, but OpenFiler will get it pretty soon (within 18 months is my guess). – sysadmin1138 Apr 13 '11 at 11:42
Interesting solution. But seems like a lot of overhead. – Henno Apr 14 '11 at 11:02
Would it be possible set up ISCSI target on ESX(i) – Henno Apr 27 '11 at 12:48

You can install Openfiler or FreeNAS or similar project and pass whole physical hard drive(s) to this virtual machine (VMWare Raw Disk Mapping - RDM). Then you can easily configure Openfiler as FCoE Target or iSCSI target or NFS Server.

enter image description here You can configure your ESXi manually.


vmkfstools -r /vmfs/devices/disks/vml.01000000002020202020205354463630374d473356304a554b486974616368 testdisk_1.vmdk

and then edited the servername.vmx to include the following lines:

scsi0:1.present = TRUE
scsi0:1.fileName = /vmfs/volumes/datastore2/DC1/testdisk_1.vmdk 

Discussion about VMWare Raw Disk Mapping, and similar questions at ServerFault.

Here is complete HOWTO configuration Openfiler as iSCSI target for ESX/ESXi.

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