This message is intended for anyone within Novell that works on the iSCSI
target portion of NetWare 6.5.

I have been working extensively with iSCSI and VMWare ESX 3.0 (which
includes iSCSI initiator support for VMFS filesystems) and have identified a
number of iSCSI target implementations that do not work with ESX 3.0.

iSCSI targets that fail to work with ESX 3.0 Server usually a) do not
support RESERVE / RELEASE commands, or b) do not understand the way in which
the ESX initiator issues the RESERVE command (ie. the SCB flags).

The NetWare 6.5 iSCSI target is one of the targets that does not work, and
I'd like to see it work with ESX.

My testing has shown that the issue is actually the way in which the ESX
iSCSI initiator sends a SCSI RESERVE command. Through Ethereal packet dumps
of iSCSI PDUs between the ESX initiator and the NetWare target, I am seeing
the ESX initiator setting the W-bit (write-bit, zero-length data-out
expected) in the RESERVE command, which most iSCSI targets do not expect.
The NetWare 6.5 iSCSI target responds with "Unknown (0x01)". (It should
really respond with "Check Condition", but that's a different story!)

Do you know whether or not the Novell NetWare 6.5 iSCSI target
implementation supports iSCSI RESERVE and RELEASE commands, and whether or
not it can be "patched" to work with iSCSI initiators (notoriously, mostly
Cisco 3.4.x initiators) that issue RESERVE commands with the W-bit set for
zero-length data-out?

I am thinking the NetWare 6.5 product and its iSCSI target could potentially
see quite a bit of prolonged interest if it could be made to work with
VMware ESX Server 3.0.

Let me know. Thank you!


Paul Lalonde