Adding a LUN with an existing VMFS into an ESXi node

I really only have 1 lun that is important to me on my home san. It stores a VM running ubuntu that I remote into using NoMachine on a fairly constant basis from all over the place. When I upgraded the SAN and did a zfs send and receive from one SAN to another, I neglected to think about the iscsi IDs getting changed between SANs thus screwing up my ESXi machine. I could reimport the LUNs easy enough, but when you import a LUN into an ESX node, the first thing it does is format it! Not good. So after digging around, I found a way to tell ESXi to simply scan the SAN for available LUNs and to allow access to VMFS that might be on them.

In your VI client, do the following.

  • Select the Configuration tab
  • Select Advanced Settings
  • Select LVM in the left pane
  • Set LVM.EnableResignature to 1 and hit OK
  • Go back to Configuration
  • Click Storage Adapters
  • Right click on your iscsi adapter and select rescan. This will take a minute or two.
  • In storage, you’ll now see a bunch of LUNs labeled snapshot-whatever_you_called_the_LUN
  • Rename the snapshots to just be whatever_you_called_the_LUN and go along your merry way