With the software-based iSCSI implementation, you can use standard NICs to connect your host to a remote iSCSI target on the IP network. The software iSCSI adapter that is built into ESX/ESXi facilitates this connection by communicating with the physical NICs through the network stack.

When you connect to a vCenter Server or a host with the vSphere Client, you can see the software iSCSI adapter on the list of your storage adapters. Only one software iSCSI adapter appears. Before you can use the software iSCSI adapter, you must set up networking, enable the adapter, and configure parameters such as discovery addresses and CHAP. The software iSCSI adapter configuration workflow includes these steps:


Configure the iSCSI networking by creating ports for iSCSI traffic.

See Networking Configuration for Software iSCSI and Dependent Hardware iSCSI.


Enable the software iSCSI adapter.

See Enable the Software iSCSI Adapter.


If you use multiple NICs for the software iSCSI multipathing, perform the port binding by connecting all iSCSI ports to the software iSCSI adapter.

See Bind iSCSI Ports to iSCSI Adapters.


If needed, enable Jumbo Frames. Jumbo Frames must be enabled for each vSwitch through the vSphere CLI.


Configure discovery addresses.

See Configuring Discovery Addresses for iSCSI Initiators.


Configure CHAP parameters.

See Configuring CHAP Parameters for iSCSI Adapters.