Configuring a Virtual SAN Using ISNS in Windows Server 2012

    Yet Another very useful and free tool from Microsoft. If you remember the earlier version of this feature, it was an downloadable application where you can install separately but now with latest version of windows server 2012 it has been bundled in as a feature under roles and features.

    I was heavily using iSCSI software target for my testing purposes where I needed an Virtual SAN such as on SQL/Windows Clustering etc.. I loved this because I got the real SAN Experience without any hardware or software cost. You can read my previous article if you are a pre windows 2012 user.

    Note: This Tool only for Testing purpose and not recommended to propose for production environments.

    Windows 8 Doesn’t Support this Feature anymore, you cannot install iSCSI software target 3.0 nor the ISNS server. This has been detached from client Operating systems.

    Alright, Here is the scenario, I have two servers where I need this to be configured with.

    Server 01 (Host) – ISNS Target Server which is the Central place where holding all the Disks

    Server 02 (Initiator-Client) – Initiator servers where my SQL Instance about to host

    Setup steps falls in to two levels as

  • Server Configuration (Host Server/Target)
  • Client Configuration (Initiators)

So Let’s get configured this server.

  • Run this power shell command on Target Server – Add-WindowsFeature FS-iSCSITarget-Server (This will install the feature for you so nothing to be done through roles and features)
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  • Just hold on few seconds
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  • Now direct to Server manager of Target Server and in to iSCSI tab like shown below. Basically this is the interface you manage your SAN here after. Looks pretty nice huh ? !!
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  • So the next thing is to get our virtual disks created which should include in to our Target. Two methods to get it done, Either From the above tab simply click on Tasks and say New virtual Disk and completing that steps will create your disk/s else as usual go to disk management and right click on Disks and say Create VHD as shown below so it does the same.
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  • Then to attach the disk we got created. Server manager again and under iSCSI click on Import Virtual disk
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  • Browse and locate your disk here and click next.
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  • Now to assign Target. This simply means the configuring of our Target Server. Choose New Target and hit next.
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  • Specify the Name as you desire, make it a tricky one
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  • Yes the important part now, specifying server which are will be accessing this target server. In my case it’s my SQL Servers that I’m about to cluster. Click Add.
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  • Select the method to identify the initiators here.
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  • Specify the Initiators here. Either you can easily provide the IP address/s or else the IQN (which is an unique identifier of particular node that you can get from the initiator servers by just launching iSCSI initiator and then through configuration tab [Eg-] )
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  • Authentication is optional so can be ignored.
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  • Have a look at the summary and hit Import to proceed.
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  • Just few seconds to import
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  • Everything gone perfectly. Cool result UI huh !
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  • Direct again in to Server Manager and check the result. of course you can expand your SAN by adding more disks in to pool.
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  • Let’s configure the Initiator Servers now. Just type iSCSI on search and launch it (iSCSI initiator – readily available on windows servers). Say yes to the massage to start the service.
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  • Provide the target address here and hit Connect (your Host Server where we configured SAN before)
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  • So we are success here. Say done to close this.
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  • Direct to Volumes and devices and click auto configure so whatever the available disks of SAN storage pool will be mapped in. say ok for this window.
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  • Let’s see the real thing through disk management. Wow !! So my disks are attached automatically
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       So it’s ready to play with and up to you. will be back in Clustering part with another post Smile


    2 thoughts on “Configuring a Virtual SAN Using ISNS in Windows Server 2012

    1. Buenas. Me ha alucinado repasar tu post. Me ha afinado una interpretación muy sugestiva, mas,
      en algunos trazos difiero un poco de su sentir. He advertido
      que tiene más publicaciones, juro agarrar un tiempo
      para leerlas. Ten por infalible que acecharé todas tus publicaciones.
      Te congratulo por tu página web. Un cordial saludo.

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