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?

  • ESX is to my knowledge not more pricey.
    – 3molo
    Commented Apr 13, 2011 at 10:43

2 Answers 2


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 http://www.openfiler.com/ and supports iSCSI and NFS - not sure about FCoE

  • FCoE isn't quite there yet, but OpenFiler will get it pretty soon (within 18 months is my guess).
    – sysadmin1138
    Commented Apr 13, 2011 at 11:42
  • Interesting solution. But seems like a lot of overhead.
    – Henno
    Commented Apr 14, 2011 at 11:02
  • Would it be possible set up ISCSI target on ESX(i)
    – Henno
    Commented Apr 27, 2011 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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