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How to Change the VMware Software iSCSI Login Timeout Value

Summary: Changing the iSCSI login timeout value for VMware ESXi.

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How to change the VMware software iSCSI login timeout value

Dell recommends creating the highly available vmkernel port as described in the Dell EqualLogic technical report TR1075
Configuring iSCSI Connectivity with VMware vSphere 5 and Dell EqualLogic PS Series Storage.

If you are using the Dell EqualLogic multipathing extension module, see Dell EqualLogic technical report TR1074
Configuring and Installing the EqualLogic Multipathing Extension Module for VMware vSphere 5.0 and PS Series SANs.

These technical reports provide a detailed explanation on how to create the highly available vmkernel port, which ensures that ping replies can be transmitted to the array.

For more information on the above articles, refer to storage vendor Dell.

Adjusting the iSCSI login timeout on ESXi 5.0

With ESXi 5.0 the iSCSI login timeout is currently set 5 seconds, this means that after 5 seconds the ESXi host kills the iSCSI session if there is no response, and tries to login again immediately after. This places additional load on the Storage Array, and can result in a ‘login storm’.

With ESXi5.0 patch 2 (build 515841 - ESXi500-201112001) there is the ability to change this setting from the vSphere client. To help alleviate this problem extend the login timeout to 15 seconds, or 30 seconds if necessary.

To change the login timeout from the vSphere client:

  1. Go to Storage Adapters > iSCSI Software Adapter > Properties.
  2. Select Advanced and scroll down to LoginTimeout.
  3. Change the value from 5 seconds to a larger value, such as 15 or 30 seconds.

To adjust the iSCSI login timeout in ESXi 5.0, run this command from the command line:

esxcli iscsi adapter param set -A adapter_name -k LoginTimeout -v value_in_sec

For example:
esxcli iscsi adapter param set -A vmhba33 -k LoginTimeout -v 60


  • This option is grayed out if you are not running ESXi 5.0 patch 2 (build 515841).
  • You need to reboot the host to reflect the correct timeout settings.
  • As per the Release Notes for ESX/ESXi 4.1 U3, it is now possible to set the timeout value settings for iSCSI initiator login.


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Last Published Date

21 Feb 2021



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