Boot ESX 4 from SAN on IBM HS22 Blade Server.

Wow, it has been a while since my last blog! I’ve been working on a large virtualization project at one of our customers lately, which involved diskless IBM HS22 blade servers with two QLogic QMI2582 Fiber Channel adapters. We configured the ESX host to boot from SAN, which was an IBM DS5300. The procedure below describes how to configure boot from SAN of an ESX 4.0.0 U2 server. It does not cover installing ESX itself.

  1. First, login to the IBM BladeCenter with an Administrator account.
  2. Navigate to Power/Restart under the Blade Tasks menu, select the blade you want to install ESX on and turn the power on.
  3. Go to Remote Control sub-menu under the Blade Tasks menu and start the remote control.
  4. Wait until the blade boots up and enter the BIOS by pressing the F1 key.
  5. Enable the following settings under the System Settings –> Processors menu:
    • Virtualization
    • Execute Disable
    • Hyperthreading
    • Turbo Mode
  6. Save the settings and exit the BIOS.
  7. Press CTRL+Q to enter the Fast!UTIL of the QLogic HBA’s.
  8. Select the first HBA in the Select Host Adapter window and navigate to Configuration Settings –> Adapter settings. Enable the Host Adapter BIOS.
  9. Press ESC key to return to the Configuration Settings menu. Select the Selectable Boot Settings and enable the Selectable Boot. Select the Primary Boot Port Name, Lun and press Enter. Select the correct LUN number and press Enter (ask your storage administrator in case of doubt).
  10. Repeat step 8 and 9 for the second adapter.
  11. When finished, reboot the system.
  12. Now, mount the ESX ISO image to the blade server and wait until ESX boots up.
  13. Install ESX server as you normally would and you’re done! 🙂


– Marek.Z


  1. Marek, thanks fir your post, it’s reaully usefull.

    Now, how should i configure the storage partitions (DS 3524) to boot from san? should i create one lun for the 3 ESX servers? a partition for each?.

    Thanks for your help

    • Hi Arthuro,

      Thanks for visiting my blog!

      You should configure each LUN (not partition) per ESX host as stated in the Fibre Channel SAN Configuration Guide from VMware on page 39.

      “When you use boot from SAN with multiple ESX/ESXi hosts, each host must have its own boot LUN.
      If you configure multiple hosts to share the same boot LUN, ESX/ESXi image corruption is likely to occur”

      Also, make sure that you mask the access to the LUN in the SAN software.


  2. Ohh,Thank you so much. Nice blog for me. I will try this to ibm qlogic2532 soon (hs22 type7870,EMC cx4-120c).

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