Use this task only if your ESX/ESXi host has two or more physical network adapters that you designate for iSCSI traffic. This task explains how to activate host-based multipathing for your host by connecting the software iSCSI initiator to iSCSI VMkernel ports that you created for the network adapters.

Before you activate multipathing, complete the following tasks:

Create VMkernel ports for the physical network adapters making sure to use 1:1 port to adapter mapping. See Create a VMkernel Port for Software iSCSI and Set Up Multipathing for Software iSCSI.

Enable the software iSCSI initiator. See Enable the Software iSCSI Initiator.


Identify the names of VMkernel iSCSI ports assigned to physical adapters.

The vSphere Client displays the port's name below the network label.

For example, the following graphic shows the ports' names as vmk1 and vmk2.

The graphic shows the ports' names as vmk1 and vmk2.


Using the vSphere CLI, connect the software iSCSI initiator to the iSCSI VMkernel ports.

Repeat this command for each port.

esxcli swiscsi nic add -n <port_name> -d <vmhba>


Verify that the ports were added to the software iSCSI initiator by running the following command:

esxcli swiscsi nic list -d <vmhba>


Use the vSphere Client to rescan the software iSCSI initiator.


To disconnect the software iSCSI initiator from the ports, run the following command.

If there are active iSCSI sessions between your host and targets, discontinue them before running this command. You can do so by removing static targets that the ports use from the vSphere Client.

esxcli swiscsi nic remove -n <port_name> -d <vmhba>

This example shows how to connect the software iSCSI initiator vmhba33 to VMkernel ports vmk1 and vmk2.


Connect vmhba33 to vmk1: esxcli swiscsi nic add -n vmk1 -d vmhba33


Connect vmhba33 to vmk2: esxcli swiscsi nic add -n vmk2 -d vmhba33


Verify vmhba33 configuration: esxcli swiscsi nic list -d vmhba33

Both vmk1 and vmk2 should be listed.

In this example, if you use the vSphere client to display the Paths view for the vmhba33 initiator, you can see that it uses two different paths to access the same target. The runtime names of the paths are vmhba33:C1:T1:L0 and vmhba33:C2:T1:L0. C1 and C2 in this example indicate the two network adapters that are used for multipathing.