VMware integration

VMware integration with Charmed Ceph refers to VMware-based clients (iSCSI initiators) accessing block devices based on Ceph RBD images (iSCSI targets).

iSCSI is a network protocol that provides block-level access to storage devices by carrying SCSI commands over a TCP/IP network. It allows a network host to access central storage resources as if the storage was a locally connected device.

This support is enabled in Charmed Ceph via the ceph-iscsi charm. See the charm README for essential information.

Ceph iSCSI

Begin by accessing the VMware admin web UI.


These instructions were written using VMware ESXi 6.7.0.

WMware web UI - login
Accessing the WMware web UI.

Create a Ceph pool

If desired, create a Ceph pool to back the VMware targets with the ceph-mon charm’s create-pool action. To create one called ‘vmware-iscsi’:

juju run ceph-mon/0 create-pool name=vmware-iscsi

Enable the initiator

From the web UI select the Adapters tab in the Storage context. Click Configure iSCSI and enable iSCSI.

Take a note of the initiator’s name, also called its IQN (iSCSI Qualified Name). Here the IQN we’ll use is iqn.1998-01.com.vmware:node-gadomski-6a5e962a .

Determining the IQN for the initiator.

Create an iSCSI target

With the create-target action create a target for VMware to use. Use the pool that may have been created previously (such as ‘vmware-iscsi’):

juju run ceph-iscsi/0 create-target \
   client-initiatorname=iqn.1998-01.com.vmware:node-gadomski-6a5e962a \
   client-username=vmwareclient \
   client-password=12to16characters \
   image-size=5G \
   image-name=disk-1 \

VMware imposes a policy on credentials. The username should be more than eight characters and the password between twelve and sixteen characters.

Add a target to VMware

Follow the Ceph iSCSI gateway for VMware documentation to use the new target. Use the (CHAP) username and password passed to the create-target action.


At the time of writing, the redundant task of setting the credentials via the ESX CLI is still a necessity. This will require you to enable SSH under Manage > Services > TSM-SSH > Actions (Start).

When finished, under the Devices tab you should see the created target. To make more devices available to VMware simply create more targets (use a different image name and optionally a different image size). You may need to Rescan and Refresh for the new devices to appear.

Clicking on one of the target devices will show its details:

Inspecting target device details.

View targets in Ceph Dashboard

If you’re using the Ceph Dashboard, you’ll need to add a relation to view the added iSCSI targets:

juju integrate ceph-iscsi:admin-access ceph-dashboard:iscsi-dashboard