This blog will guide you through the necessary steps of connecting the iSCSI initiator on Windows Server 2008 R2 Server Core to an iSCSI target or volume on a Storage Area Network. I prefer server core for the host operating system on my Hyper-V virtualization servers, but some things such as the iSCSI Initiator settings are easier to configure through a GUI. Luckily Microsoft has included the iSCSI Initiator control panel applet as part of R2. Log into your server and launch iscsicpl.exe.
Only check the “Enable multi-path” check mark if the Multipath IO feature has been previously installed on the server. This option allows multiple iSCSI network paths from your server to your SAN to be active simultaneously. Click “OK”:
Enable “Allow MMC Remote Management” as shown in my “Remote Management of Hyper-V Server or Server Core” blog.
From a machine that is running a full GUI version of an operating system (Vista or higher), launch the “Computer Management” MMC and remotely manage your core server. In “Disk Management”, locate the “Unknown” disk:
Leave the defaults selected unless the disk is over 2Tb (Terabytes) or expected to grow over 2Tb in the future. I chose a “GPT” type disk since the iSCSI target I am mounting is 2Tb and may grow larger in the future:
Next week I’ll be writing a blog on Multipath IO for Windows Server 2008 Server Core which will be available on Thursday (August 26, 2010).
January 27, 2011
The “Volumes and Devices” tab in the iSCSI control panel applet should actually show drive letters (unless you’re mapping the volume as a folder) and must be configured after completing the drive setup inside the operating system. From what I’ve found, this helps the OS keep the correct drive letter mapped to the SAN volume during restarts, etc.
April 16, 2011
If you’re using an EqualLogic SAN, I recommend installing the EqualLogic Host Integration Tool (HIT) Kit before doing any of the iSCSI configuration. See my “MultiPath I/O on Server Core with the EqualLogic HIT Kit” blog for more information.