December 6, 2016

Configure iSCSI Taget and Storage Space using Windows Server 2012 R2


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The iSCSI Target made its debut as a free download for Windows 2008 R2 in April 2011, since then, there were more than 60,000 downloads. That was the first step to make it available for everyone. Now in Windows Server 2012, no more downloads and separate installation; it comes as a build-in feature. This blog will provide step-by-step instructions to enable and configure iSCSI Target.

If you are not familiar with iSCSI Target, it allows your Windows Server to share block storage remotely. iSCSI leverages the Ethernet network and does not require any specialized hardware. In this release we have developed a brand new UI integrated with Server manager, along with 20+ cmdlets for easy management.

Overview
There are two features related to iSCSI Target:

· The iSCSI Target Server is the server component which provides the block storage to initiators.

· The iSCSI Target Storage Provider (VDS and VSS) includes 2 components:

o VDS provider

o VSS provider

iSCSI : it is an industry standard protocol allow sharing block storage over the Ethernet. The server shares the storage is called iSCSI Target. The server (machine) consumes the storage is called iSCSI initiator. Typically, the iSCSI initiator is an application server. For example, iSCSI Target provides storage to a SQL server, the SQL server will be the iSCSI initiator in this deployment.

Target : It is an object which allows the iSCSI initiator to make a connection. The Target keeps track of the initiators which are allowed to be connected to it. The Target also keeps track of the iSCSI virtual disks which are associated with it. Once the initiator establishes the connection to the Target, all the iSCSI virtual disks associated with the Target will be accessible by the initiator.

iSCSI Target Server : The server runs the iSCSI Target. It is also the iSCSI Target role name in Windows Server 2012.

iSCSI virtual disk : It also referred to as iSCSI LUN. It is the object which can be mounted by the iSCSI initiator. The iSCSI virtual disk is backed by the VHD file. For the VHD compatibility, refer to FAQs section below.

iSCSI connection : iSCSI initiator makes a connection to the iSCSI Target by logging on to a Target. There could be multiple Targets on the iSCSI Target Server, each Target can be accessed by a defined list of initiators. Multiple initiators can make connections to the same Target. However, this type of configuration is only supported with clustering. Because when multiple initiators connects to the same Target, all the initiators can read/write to the same set of iSCSI virtual disks, if there is no clustering (or equivalent process) to govern the disk access, corruption will occur. With Clustering, only one machine is allowed to access the iSCSI virtual disk at one time.

IQN : It is a unique identifier of the Target or Initiator. The Target IQN is shown when it is created on the Server. The initiator IQN can be found by typing a simple “iscsicli” cmd in the command window.

In this video, i will trying to configure iSCSI target server using windows server 2012 R2 with 2 Disk 4 TB.



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