My good pal Duco Jaspars pinged me earlier this week about an issue that was getting a lot of discussion in the VMware community. Duco also pointed me to a blog post by Andreas Peetz where he described the issue in detail here.
The symptom is that the ESXi hostd process becomes unresponsive when software iSCSI is enabled. There is another symptom where an ESXi boot hangs after message “iscsi_vmk loaded successfully” or “vmkibft loaded successfully”. This has only been only observed with the ESXi 5.5 U1 Driver Rollup ISO. It has not been reported by customers using the standard ESXi 5.5U1 media. The VMware ESXi 5.5 Update 1 Driver Rollup provides an installable ESXi ISO image that includes drivers for various products produced by VMware partners.
Initially it was reported in the community that it appeared to be an issue with the Diablo TeraDimm driver that was shipped as part of the roll-up. However further investigation has concluded that the Emulex
be2iscsi driver is at fault and is the root cause. VMware support are recommending that you use an updated be2iscsi driver as per KB article 2075171 to address the issue.