Configure Fibre Channel NPIV Settings in the vSphere Web Client

N-port ID virtualization (NPIV) provides the ability to share a single physical Fibre Channel HBA port among multiple virtual ports, each with unique identifiers.

Each virtual port is identified by a pair of world wide names (WWNs): a world wide port name (WWPN) and a world wide node name (WWNN). These WWNs are assigned by vCenter Server.

NPIV considerations or Limitations

  • NPIV must be enabled on the SAN switch.
  • NPIV is supported only for virtual machines with RDM disks.
  • The physical HBAs on the ESXi host must have access to a LUN using its WWNs in order for any virtual machines on that host to have access to that LUN using their NPIV WWNs. Ensure that access is provided to both the host and the virtual machines.
  • The physical HBAs on the ESXi host must support NPIV.
  • Each virtual machine can have up to 4 virtual ports. NPIV-enabled virtual machines are assigned exactly 4 NPIV-related WWNs, which are used to communicate with physical HBAs through virtual ports.Therefore, virtual machines can utilize up to 4 physical HBAs for NPIV purposes.


  • To edit the virtual machine’s WWNs, power off the virtual machine.
  • Verify that the virtual machine has a datastore containing a LUN that is available to the host.

1 Select a virtual machine.
2 In the VM Hardware panel, click Edit Settings.
3 Click VM Options.
4 Click the Fibre Channel NPIV triangle to expand the NPIV options.
5 (Optional) Select the Temporarily Disable NPIV for this virtual machine check box.



6 Select an option for assigning WWNs.
    To leave WWNs unchanged, select Leave unchanged.
    To have vCenter Server or the ESXi host generate new WWNs, select Generate New WWNs.
    To remove the current WWN assignments, select Remove WWN assignment.
7 Click OK.


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