Configuring Coraid EtherDrive SAN appliances and deploying with ESXi 5.x (Partner Support)
search cancel

Configuring Coraid EtherDrive SAN appliances and deploying with ESXi 5.x (Partner Support)


Article ID: 324883


Updated On:


VMware vSphere ESXi


This article provides information about Partner Support for configuring Coraid EtherDrive SAN appliances and deploying with ESXi 5.x.

Note: The Partner Verified and Supported Products (PVSP) policy indicates that the solution is not directly supported by VMware. For issues with this configuration, contact Coraid directly. See the Support Workflow on how partners can engage with VMware. It is the partner's responsibility to verify that the configuration functions with future vSphere major and minor releases, as VMware does not guarantee that compatibility with future releases is maintained.

Disclaimer: The partner product reference in this article is a software module that is developed and supported by a partner. Use of this product is also governed by the end user license agreement of the partner. You must obtain the application, support, and licensing for using this product from the partner.


VMware vSphere ESXi 5.1
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.0
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.5


Introduction to Coraid technology

The Coraid EtherDrive Host Bus Adapter and driver for VMware ESXi enable your server with AoE technology to deliver affordable, fast EtherDrive SAN solutions for your virtualization environment. Enabling ESXi hosts to work natively with EtherDrive storage is a highly effective way to take full advantage of VMware vSphere features including vMotion and VMFS. Coraid EtherDrive SAN products deliver Fibre Channel speeds at Ethernet prices in an easily scalable, reliable, and simple solution.

EtherDrive SAN is comprised of one or more LUNs exported as storage targets for VMFS Data Stores. Installed in the ESXi host, the EtherDrive HBA presents the LUN on the EtherDrive SAN as a locally attached standard SCSI device to ESXi. The software driver and HBA perform the translation of the SCSI disk requests to AoE requests and transmit them to the EtherDrive SAN. As responses return from the EtherDrive SAN, the reverse translation occurs in the HBA software driver.

This image provides an overview:

  • Logical Unit Number (LUN) – A LUN is a grouping of uniquely numbered blocks of storage attached to a storage appliance by Ethernet SAN. LUNs can be disk drives, disk partitions, or a RAID. EtherDrive storage appears as one or more LUNs to an ESXi host. VMware refers to LUNs as Volumes and/or Datastores.

  • ATA over Ethernet (AoE) – AoE is the storage protocol that Coraid EtherDrive devices use to send block data between the target and host.

  • Host Bus Adapter (HBA) – A HBA is used to connect an ESXi host to network storage. Contact Coraid for more information about available EtherDrive HBAs.

Basic Configuration of RAID LUNs on the EtherDrive SAN

Before Coraid EtherDrive SAN storage can be used with an ESXi host, one or more LUNs must be configured on the EtherDrive SAN storage appliance or through the EtherDrive VSX storage virtualization appliance. Use the Coraid EtherDrive SRX Administration Guide and Coraid EtherDrive VSX Administration Guide for EtherDrive SAN appliance configuration.

Installing the Coraid HBA and Driver in ESXi

The Coraid EtherDrive HBA utilizes a PCIe interface within the ESXi Host. A full set of documentation on the ESXi HBA options and drivers is located at Coraid Support.

The software driver must be installed for ESXi to recognize and utilize the EtherDrive HBA card. Always install the software driver before physically installing the HBA card. Installing the HBA card before the HBA driver might renumber NICs and destabilize virtual switches. The latest ESXi EtherDrive HBA drivers are available at Coraid Support.

For more information about installing the EtherDrive HBA driver and card, see the Coraid EtherDrive HBA for VMWare vSphere ESXi 5.x Administration Guide.

Accessing and using EtherDrive LUNs in the vSphere Client

Claiming LUNs

The EtherDrive HBA sees all EtherDrive LUNs that are available on the SAN. To allow the ESXi host visibility of the LUN, it must be "claimed". Only LUNs that have been claimed by an ESXi host are presented to ESXi and assigned a SCSI ID. When a LUN is claimed by an ESXi host, all other hosts in the ESXi cluster view it as claimed and also obtain a SCSI ID for access to this shared storage device. The act of claiming is only required by one ESXi host.

Note: One of the changes between ESXi 4.x and 5.x is in the VMFS file system. If a datastore was created on an ESXi 4.x system, that datastore and the LUN are considered "legacy" LUNs.

For more information about claiming LUNs and legacy LUNs, see the Coraid EtherDrive HBA for VMWare vSphere ESXi 5.x Administration Guide.

Renaming the EtherDrive LUNs

vSphere assigns a name to each LUN available to the ESXi host. LUN names can be changed from the vSphere-assigned LUN names to reflect EtherDrive shelf.slot names. Renaming the LUNs to reflect the EtherDrive shelf.slot mapping is recommended to maintain DataStore to LUN mappings and organization.

To name/organize EtherDrive LUNs:
  1. Claim the LUN. For more information, see the Coraid EtherDrive HBA for VMWare vSphere ESXi 5.x Administration Guide.
  2. Launch the vSphere Client.
  3. Click the Configuration tab.
  4. Click Storage Adapters.
  5. Select the vmhba under Coraid EtherDrive HBA in the Storage Adapters menu.

    A list of available storage devices is shown in the Details field.

  6. Note the vSphere‐assigned LUN name in the Runtime Name column. For example:

    Compare it to the output of this ESX CLI command:

    ~ # cat /proc/ethdrv/devices

    For example:

    vmhba2:C0:T3:L0 26.0 8000.000GB
    vmhba2:C0:T8:L0 28.1 2199.023GB
    vmhba2:C0:T8:L1 28.1 2199.023GB

    The Runtime Name vmhba2:C0:T3:L0 is assigned to LUN 26.0.

  7. Note the name that the ESXi host has assigned to the LUN:

    In this example, it is Local Coraid Disk (naa.600100408f7239d9f03fa00700000000).

  8. Right-click the LUN and click Rename.
  9. Name the LUN with the shelf:LUN:Extent number used by the EtherDrive SAN.

    In this case, it is EtherDrive 26.0.

Creating a datastore on the EtherDrive SAN

Creating a datastore on the EtherDrive SAN follows the same steps as configuring any SCSI storage.

To set up a volume:
  1. Launch the vSphere Client.
  2. Click the Configuration tab.
  3. Under Hardware, click Storage.
  4. Click Add Storage.
  5. Follow the Add Storage Wizard to select the Disk/LUN and the datastore options for storage initialization.

Additional Information

Disclaimer: VMware is not responsible for the reliability of any data, opinions, advice, or statements made on third-party websites. Inclusion of such links does not imply that VMware endorses, recommends, or accepts any responsibility for the content of such sites.

For translated versions of this article, see: