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Storage, Part 1

Learn how to set up and use NFS, iSCSI, FC, and FCoE protocols. The authors also discuss how to set up and configure these protocols.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter covers the following objective:

  • Objective 3.1—Manage vSphere Storage Virtualization

    • Discover new storage LUNs

    • Configure FC/iSCSI/FCoE LUNs as ESXi boot devices

    • Create an NFS share for use with vSphere

    • Enable/configure/disable vCenter Server storage filters

    • Configure/edit software iSCSI initiator settings

    • Configure iSCSI port binding

    • Enable/configure/disable iSCSI CHAP

    • Determine use cases for Fibre Channel zoning

    • Compare and contrast array and virtual disk thin provisioning

In this chapter we will begin the first of three chapters related to storage. In vSphere storage can be either a block-based Storage Area Network (SAN) or a file-based Network Attached Storage (NAS) device. This chapter will concentrate on the requirements and capabilities of storage devices. The SAN protocols that an administrator will need to know are Fibre Channel, Fibre Channel over Ethernet, and iSCSI. The NAS protocol that VMware supports is Network File System (NFS). These protocols can be enabled, modified, and deleted in different ways. In addition, there are properties and features that you will need to know for the exam.

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz

The “Do I Know This Already?” quiz allows you to assess whether you should study this entire chapter or move quickly to the “Exam Preparation Tasks” section. Regardless, the authors recommend that you read the entire chapter at least once. Table 4-1 outlines the major headings in this chapter and the corresponding “Do I Know This Already?” quiz questions. You can find the answers in Appendix A, “Answers to the ‘Do I Know This Already?’ Quizzes and Review Questions.”

Table 4-1 “Do I Know This Already?” Foundation Topics Section-to-Question Mapping

Foundations Topics Section

Questions Covered in This Section

Discover New Storage LUNs

1, 2

Configure FC/iSCSI/FCoE LUNs as ESXi Boot Devices


Create an NFS Share for Use with vSphere


Enable/Configure/Disable vCenter Server Storage Filters


Enable/Disable Software iSCSI Initiator


Configure iSCSI Port Binding


Enable/Configure/Disable iSCSI CHAP


Determine Use Cases for Fibre Channel Zoning


Compare and Contrast Array and Virtual Disk Thin Provisioning


  1. ESXi Host does not need a VMkernel port for which type of network adapter?

    • ESXi Host always requires a VMkernel port for iSCSI.

    • Software iSCSI initiator

    • Dependent hardware iSCSI initiator

    • Independent hardware iSCSI initiator

  2. What is the best approach for discovering new storage LUNs.?

    • You do not need to do anything; storage is automatically presented to the ESXi Host.

    • To scan for new storage, select Home > Hosts and Clusters > Datacenter > right-click Storage > Rescan Storage > OK.

    • After the ESXi Host boots up, select the Scan for New Storage button.

    • Highlight the LUN, right-click, and select Scan for New Storage.

  3. Which of the following is an incorrect statement?

    • In order for Fibre Channel (FC) to boot from a SAN, the /etc/vmware/fc.conf file must designate the FC adapter as a boot controller.

    • When you boot from a SAN, each ESXi Host must have exclusive access to its own boot LUN.

    • With FCoE, during the ESXi boot process, the parameters to find the boot LUN over the network are loaded into the system memory.

    • If you are using a dependent hardware iSCSI or software iSCSI initiator, you must have an iSCSI boot-capable network adapter that supports the iSCSI Boot Firmware Table (iBFT) format.

  4. The virtual disks that are created on an NFS datastore are ________.

    • in a format dictated by the NFS server

    • thin provisioned

    • thick eager-zeroed

    • thick lazy-zeroed

  5. vCenter Server uses storage filters to prevent LUN filtering corruption. If you need VMs to access the same LUN, then they must share the same RDM mapping file. To set up a SCSi-3 quorum disk for MSCS, which configuration parameter filter would you need to disable in the advanced settings of vSphere Client?

    • config.vpxd.filter.rdmFilter set to false

    • config.vpxd.filter.vmfsFilter set to false

    • config.vpxd.filter.rdmFilter set to true

    • config.vpxd.filter.vmfsFilter set to true

  6. Which CHAP security level is not supported with Independent Hardware iSCSI?

    • Do Not Use CHAP

    • Use Unidirectional CHAP if Required by Target

    • Use Unidirectional CHAP Unless Prohibited by Target

    • Use Unidirectional CHAP

  7. If you are following best practices, where should LUN masking be configured?

    • On the ESXi Host

    • On the switch

    • On the storage array

    • On vCenter Server

    • LUN masking is not supported in vSphere 6

  8. Which statement about thin provisioning is incorrect?

    • When a thin virtual disk is created, it does not preallocate capacity and does not zero out the data block on the VMFS file system.

    • When you use Storage vMotion, there is an option to enable thin provisioning on a storage array.

    • When writes occur and more space is needed, the VMkernel grows storage for VMFS 1 MB at a time.

    • If the file system is NFS, which is by default thin provisioned, it grows 4 KB at a time.

  9. Which of the following statement about iSCSI port binding is incorrect?

    • You need to associate a VMkernel port with a specific iSCSI adapter in order to configure iSCSI port binding.

    • For multipathing purposes, it is best to have two active network adapters connected to one VMkernel port.

    • The iSCSI initiator for an ESXi Host can be either hardware or software based.

    • Best practices say to designate a separate network adapter for iSCSI; this is done for performance and security.

  10. Which of the following statements about iSCSI initiators is incorrect?

    • The steps to enable a software iSCSI initiator begin with browsing to the host using the vSphere Web Client. Click Manage > Storage > Storage Adapters > Add.> Storage > Storage Adapters > Add.

    • You need to activate a minimum of two software iSCSI adapters on each host.

    • If the iSCSI software adapter was used to boot the ESXi Host, it will be reenabled the next time the host boots.

    • The steps to disable the software iSCSI initiator begin with browsing to the host using the vSphere Web Client. Click the Manage tab and then click Storage. Click Storage Adapters and then highlight the iSCSI software adapter that you want to disable.

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