Microsoft iSCSI Solution

The Microsoft iSCSI Solution

An iSCSI storage array consists of two components: the target and the initiator. The server that holds the storage is called the iSCSI target. Servers such as Hyper-V connect to the iSCSI target server by using an iSCSI initiator.

Figure below shows how these two components interact.           MsSAN_p01

What you have to keep in mind is that using a so-called software iSCSI initiator leverages only a standard network adapter, the caveat being that all the processing for the iSCSI communication is performed by the server itself—your Hyper-V host, which affects processor resources, and to a lesser extent, memory resources.If this causes a serious performance problem, a hardwareiSCSI initiator, a so-called host bus adapter (HBA), should be considered. Such an HBA would then take all the overhead associated with the iSCSI connection and minimize the resource use on the Hyper-V host.

Bonus:

For the remote computers the iSCSI LUN is still recognized as a standard 512-byte-sector emulation drive (512e). It’s only a 4K sector drive under the hood, but it emulates a 512-byte sector drive by presenting two sector sizes to the OS.

Components used in a Microsoft iSCSI solution

MsSAN_p03Building the iSCSI Target

The iSCSI target server in Windows Server 2012 R2

  • Stand-alone with local storage and no high availability
  • Clustered with shared storage that is either SAS, iSCSI, or has Fibre Channel attached

I will cover in this section Installation and configuration of a stand-alone iSCSI target on a fresh windows 2012 r2 server, and configure iSCSI initiators to connection to iSCSI target.

Let’s Start:

Installing the iSCSI Target

1- Server Manager, choose Manage –> Add Roles And Features.

MsSAN01

2- Select“iSCSI Target Server” And “ISCSI Target Storage Provider (VDS And VSS Hardware Providers)” from the Server Roles and click Next.

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3- File Server role is automatically selected, Continue installation process.

MsSAN03

Configuring the iSCSI Target

Let’s configure iSCSI target after roles added successfully

1- Server Manager — >File And Storage Services, click iSCSI

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2- CreateiSCSIVirtualDisk, define the name and specify size

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3- Select new iSCSI Target and Define the Name — >Next

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4- Add — > specify the iSCSI initiators (the server which can access the virtual disk)

5- Select a method to identify the initiator (IQN, DNS, IP or MAC address); I use     IPaddress to identify the initiator

MsSAN11  MsSAN12

6- Optionally you can enable CHAP or reverse CHAP for authentication.

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7- Confirm and then click Create.

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8-iSCSI Target configuration is completed after the job(s) has been completed,

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Configuring the Initiator

After the iSCSI target has been created and the iSCSI virtual disk(s) is assigned to the iSCSI initiators, log on to iSCSI initiator server.

Note:the initiator and target are on different machines

1- Server Manager — > Tools — >iSCSI Initiator, the first time it will asks for permission to start the service.Click yes to automaticallystart the service.

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2- Click Discovery tab — >click Discover Portal.

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3- Type the iSCSI target server name or IP address,

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Optional: From advance tab you can setup CHAP, IPsec…etc.

4- Click Targets tab and chose the target name from discovered targets list and then click connect.

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5- Check “Enable multi-path” from “Connect To Target” windows and then click O.K

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Bonus: to get IQN for initiatorClick configuration tab.make connection in your mind with step 5 for “Configuring the iSCSI Target”

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5-The last step is to map the iCSI disk to local server, Tools — > Computer Management — > Disk Management (select Rescan Disks from Action if you cannot see the mapped disk), initialize and use it as any local attach disk

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Hope you enjoyed, in my next post I will explain how to get benefit from Data Deduplication in your data center

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One Response to Microsoft iSCSI Solution

  1. Pingback: Microsoft iSCSI Solution for vSAN | IT Mug

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