How to set up a connectx-5 as an iSER initiator on vsphere?

I don’t know if I should be asking this here on on the vmware forums, so forgive me if I am in the wrong place. I have two connectx-5 cards connected directly with a QSFP28 cable. One side is on a vsphere 6.7 host, the other on a CentOS 7.5 storage appliance. The basic functionality is working just fine. I am trying to set up an iSER initiator on the vsphere host, but it doesn’t seem to be working. One of the vmware blog posts I found gave directions for creating a software iSCSI initiator, and enabling it for iSER, but that doesn’t seem to work (yet I don’t get any errors.) I ask this here only because there may be a possibility I am configuring something wrong. The cards are connected back to back (no switch), so I haven’t bothered with PFC (dunno if that could be relevant.) I also have SR-IOV enabled, with 1 VF attached to a windows server 2012 guest configured as a VEEAM backup proxy (dunno if SR-IOV could be in play either?) Any thoughts, hints or tips appreciated