Best practices for using vSAN 6.7, vSAN 7, and vSAN 8 iSCSI targets
search cancel

Best practices for using vSAN 6.7, vSAN 7, and vSAN 8 iSCSI targets


Article ID: 326884


Updated On:


VMware vSAN


This article provides information on best practices when hosting iSCSI targets from a vSAN 6.7, vSAN 7, and vSAN 8 clusters.


VMware vSAN 7.0.x
VMware vSAN 8.0.x
VMware vSAN 6.7.x


The iSCSI LUNs hosted on vSAN are essentially large empty virtual disk (VMDK) container objects that are managed and protected by storage policy configurations. This means that the properties of these objects can be modified without bringing the LUNs offline. For instructions on configuring iSCSI as a service, see the Using the vSAN iSCSI Target Service section in the Administering VMware Virtual SAN guide  (Use the Product version drop down for vSAN versions in the link)

Key benefits
  • Supports Windows Server Failover Cluster (WSFC)
  • Performance service improvements for iSCSI targets
  • Preferred method for mapping VMDKs to physical Oracle RAC deployments
  • Improvements for sharing vSAN resources with physical workloads
  • Support for CHAP & Mutual CHAP authentication methods
  • iSCSI target objects are protected according to storage policies
  • Simplified storage management through the use of vCenter, vSAN API and PowerCLI
Current Limitations
  • Unsupported usage as a target for other ESXi hosts
  • Unsupported usage with third-party hypervisors
  • Migrations using raw device mapping (RDMs)
  • No support for Multiple Connections per Session (MCS)
Configuration maximums
  • Maximum 1024 LUNs per vSAN cluster
  • Maximum 128 targets per vSAN cluster
  • Maximum 256 LUNS per target
  • Maximum LUN size of 62TB
  • Maximum 128 iSCSI sessions per host
  • Maximum 4096 iSCSI IO queue depth per host
  • Maximum 128 outstanding writes per LUN
  • Maximum 256 outstanding IOs per LUN
  • Maximum 64 client initiators per LUN

Supported Operating Systems

  • Windows 10, Windows 2019, 2016 , 2012 R2, 2012, 2008 R2, 2008
  • RHEL 8, RHEL 7, RHEL 6, RHEL 5
  • SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server 12, SLES 11 SP4/SP3/SP1

For WSFC support, see Using SQL Server Failover Clustering on a vSphere 6.7 vSAN Datastore with vSAN iSCSI Target Service: Guidelines for supported configurations

For more information on vSAN 6.7 contents and limitations, see the Release Notes here .
For more information on vSAN 7 contents and limitations, see the  Release Notes here .
For more information on vSAN 8 contents and limitations, see the Release notes here .

New updates in 7.0 U1 vSAN from iSCSI perspective to existing:

  • vSAN stretched cluster is supported with iSCSI configuration. 
  • The handling of cross site iSCSI traffic between the initiator and target has been enhanced compare to previous version. Supports IO owner location config in stretched cluster to avoid cross site iSCSI traffic.  


Additional Information

vSAN iSCSI Target Usage Guide

We can see the config max for vSAN iSCSI for vSAN 7.0 in configmax tool below which has same values for 6.7 and 7.0.  (Select vSphere >  Select vSphere version ( 6.7, 7.0 or 8.0 ) > Select vSAN)

e.g. :
vSAN 6.7 :
vSAN 7.0 :
vSAN 8.0 :