Sunday, October 2, 2011

Configure iSCSI 3.3 storage in Windows Server 2008


As in the past, to configure and purchase a iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface) which are running on IP base storage networking. The main advantage of using iSCSI it can be used in LAN or WAN as long the storage is reachable. This make it different from other storage which use fiber connection. It would be very useful to you , if you will like to setup a test environment with a supported storage by hyper-V. There is a reason why I would like to document this as on hyper-v it need a iSCSI server that support persistent connection. If you use other third party iSCSI server such as openfiler, you will hit to a lot of error when you perform a validation during the cluster configuration.

I will skip some of the introduction of the component here, to put into a summary. It will be server and client base where by the client need to connect to the server to get the configuration of disk that have been configure. I found out a good arcticle that explain on each of the component of the iSCSI.  

Why I would like to document this is because, if you are the researcher you can spend less on purchasing expensive storage for your lab. Well let get started.

How to download & Install iSCSI Server
To download, go to this  link on iSCSI 3.3. Once you have download the files, extract all the related files and install on computer running on Windows Server 2008 R2 by simply run the “iscsitarget_public.msi” from a command line or right-click it on Windows Explorer and choose “Install”. But if you will like to check for more detail you can refer to Jose Barreto's Blog. I see he did write something similar but with more question and answer.

Stage 1: How to configure a cluster iSCSI member
After you have install the component, you will need iSCSI target administration tools which you it will bring you to the following screen. You have few option to assign the member to the cluster, in this example I use IP address. Mostly some of the IT admin like to use IQN. It is almost the same as WWN for host base adapter. As mention before in my previous post regard to my ARP Spoofing article., please do make sure you have a tier control on your network.

What you have complete is , you have successfully add the 2 node in the your cluster. The next step is to assign the disk into the cluster.

Stage 2: Assigning disk into the cluster
In this activities you will require to assign 2 disk to the cluster. One of the disk will be called witness disk to keep the storage configuration and another will be use for cluster shared volume. The cluster shared volume is use to store all your VM for high availability in your hyper-V cluster.

Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3:

Step 4:

Step 5:

Step 6:
For the 6 steps, you have successfully create the witness disk.You also notice that the size is 1024mb, mostly some administrator just assign 500 MB for it. But I think 1GB should be fine.

The next step is to create the disk for Cluster shared volume. What you need to do is to repeat the step 1 - 6. End of the configuration you should have something like below.

Stage 3: Configure hyper-V server to the iSCSI storage.

Step 1: Configure iSCSI initiator
  • You will need to open control panel and look for iSCSI initiator. Click on it and you will the screen as below.
  • You will need to perform the same steps on the 2nd hyper-v host.
Stage 4: Preparing the disk
After you have configure the necessary changes, you will need to prepare the disk for the hyper usage.
Step 1: Open disk management from control panel, right click on both disk and set it to online
Step 2: Initialize both of the disk
Step 3:Create volume for witness disk
This is the most interesting configuration that I would like to discuss more. The question here would be, do we really need to assign a drive for a witness disk?In my configuration I didn't assign any disk. But if you do like to assign I will like to propose drive W.:) 

Step 4:Create volume for Shared Cluster Volume
  1. perform the same step as on step 3 and assign a meaningful drive for the it(e.g. V drive)

Stage 4:How about the configuration for the rest of the hyper-V server?
  1. There is no special setting on the rest of the hyper-V host, what you will need to do is making sure those disk appear in the disk management.
  2. If you do notice on the rest of the disk appear as offline, this is normal.

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