This short post will describe the process of installing the Equallogic Multipathing Extension Module (MEM), creating and configuring an iSCSI on an ESXi(5.5) host using the VMware vSphere CLI for windows.

I needed to use this method because I wanted to use the –bestpractices switch and configure the iSCSI vSwitch through the CLI rather then the GUI or esxcli. This can only be done by using The perl script can also be executed from within an ESX(<=4.1) host or a vMA appliance.

The importance of using the –bestpractices option is to ensure that the below tweaks are done on the iSCSI initiator:

  • LoginTimeout to 60 seconds
  • DelayAck to False

NOTE: These parameters are changed at the HBA level. If the host is attached to other types/brand of iSCSI SANs, it is best to apply these manually on the individual discovery portal.

Installing Equallogic MEM

Note : If your host is already configured to connect to the Equallogic SAN and you only need to install the MEM, you can follow the steps in this section only. You will need to configure the advanced options manually on the iSCSI Software Adapter or on the specific targets as mentioned earlier.

  1. Download the “Dell EqualLogic Multipathing Extension Module for VMware® vSphere vX.X” from
  2. Extract the contents of the zip file to a folder on your computer. Eg. c:\eqlmem
  3. Ensure you have VMware vSphere CLI installed on the computer.
  4. Put the host, you will install the MEM on, in maintenance mode.
  5. Open the VMware vSphere CLI command prompt
  6. Change to the direcotry where you extracted the zip file eg cd c:\eqlmem
  7. Execute the command –install –server=<esxihostip/FQDN> –reboot
    • Eg. –install –server= –reboot
    • This command will install the MEM and reboot the host

The output will be similar to the below:

As you can see the default bundle was uploaded to a random datastore before being installed. If you want you can specify a bundle zip file and/or the datastore, where the bundle should be uploaded for staging, by using the –bundle=<> and/or–datastore=<datastore name> option. Make sure the bundle is in the same location as the file if you do not specify it.

Make sure the host has been rebooted to ensure that the update has been applied properly.

Once done you can remove the host from maintenance mode.

Configuring vSphere iSCSI

To create and configure the iSCSI networking, initiator and vmkernel ports, we will use the –configure option together with the required parameters.

The below shows the command with all the parameters that can be used: --configure --bestpractices --server=hostname [--username=username] [--password=password] --nics=NIC1,NIC2,... --ips=IP1,IP2,... [--vswitch=vswitchname] [--mtu=mtu] [--vmkernel=vmkernel_prefix] [--netmask=subnet_mask] [--enableswiscsi] [--nohwiscsi] [--groupip=PS group IP][--vds] [--logfile=logfilename] [--heartbeat=IP] [--chapuser=username] [--chapsecret=secret] [--vihost=vihostname] [--viusername=viusername]

In my config I created a vSwitch named EQL_iSCSI with one physical network card attached to it, vmnic3, set with an mtu of 9000. I enabled the iSCSI Software Adapter, bound port groups and created the discovery target connections.

The command I used was : --configure --bestpractices --server= --nics=vmnic3 --ips= --vswitch=EQL_iSCSI --mtu=9000 --vmkernel=vmk_iSCSI --netmask= --enableswiscsi --groupip=

The output looked like this:

As you can see marked in red above,the –bestpractices option made the changes in the advanced parameters. You can always run the –configure option by specifying only the –server option and an interactive setup will begin asking for all the details.

If you need further information about available options to be used with the perl script, you can refer to the MEM-User_Guide.pdf available with the downloaded package.

The guide mentions other methods of installing the MEM including esxcli and update manager.

in his post,Christian Mohn describes the process of installing the MEM by using the esxcli over SSH.

Hope you find it useful.


By Brian Farrugia

I am the author of More info can be found on the about page.

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