If you are an ESX/ESXi administrator who plans to set up ESX/ESXi hosts to work with SANs, you must have a working knowledge of SAN concepts. You can find information about SAN in print and on the Internet. If you are new to iSCSI SAN technology, read the following sections to familiarize yourself with the basic terminology this document uses.

iSCSI SANs use Ethernet connections between computer systems, or host servers, and high-performance storage subsystems. The SAN components include host bus adapters (HBAs) or Network Interface Cards (NICs) in the host servers, switches and routers that transport the storage traffic, cables, storage processors (SPs), and storage disk systems.

To transfer traffic from host servers to shared storage, the SAN uses the iSCSI protocol that packages SCSI commands into iSCSI packets and transmits them on an Ethernet network.