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Implenting iSCSI on WHS on the cheap


yodafett
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After getting a couple request last week at the meetup followed by 2 emails recently I have written up a how to guide on installing the OpenFiler server OS on a PC and implementing a iSCSI connection to a WHS. This can also be used to actually use a single server with a hardware or software RAID solution to act as a fully functional SAN to have a single shared storeage between 2 ESX servers for vMotion plus connect it to your WHS or Windows 7 PC. OpenFiler can also be used as a NAS, FTP, CIFS or SMB server.

 

Using iSCSI Storage with WHS

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Very nice write-up. I'll have to look closer at this when I get home. I'm wondering if I can use the Synology DS211+ as an iSCSI target.

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Dave - I was thinking the same thing except I am going to try using the Thecus box as my iSCSI target.

 

Yodafett - So this topic has got me thinking about trying it. One question I have is the issue of power outages. My WHS and my iSCSI target are each running on their own UPS (router and switches are using WHS UPS too). If I get a power outage that requires a WHS shutdown or the iSCSI target shuts down what happens to any files / data that were in the process of being written to the target?

Edited by cskenney
added some questions....
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Excellant question.

Answer is that it depends on what your UPS is capable of. Openfiler does have a UPS module.

 

I use 2 APC SmartUPS with the network management control card. I also have a dedicated switch for iSCSI.

with this setup I can have both UPS control any PC and have set the responces so that the SAN (aka Openfiler Server) is the last thing down. This basically means you shut down the Servers at 15% power and the SAN at 10%

 

In my work setup we then also use a switched PDU so that the SAN comes up first before the servers.

 

There is some caching on the openfiler so any current file should be written correctly but I would not guarantee it.

 

Here at the house I am using a D525 as the Openfiler Server with a 16TB of Shared storage across 2 WHS2011 boxes, my ESX and my Verizon STB expanded DVR storage.

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  • 1 month later...

Came across this a while ago, Microsoft has released their own iSCSI target for use in a SAN or VM environment.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/virtualization/archive/2011/04/04/free-microsoft-iscsi-target.aspx

 

Looks like we now have three choices for iSCSI - openfiler, unraid, and windows server w/ iSCSI target. I'm tempted to put this on a lower end box and try it and maybe use it as storage for the VM server I've been trying to build instead of putting a whole bunch of drives in the VM server. Wonder how well it would work in a WHS/SBS-E/WSS box? I suppose my biggest concern would be the extra load it adds to the network interfaces slowing everything else down. I don't really have the ability to run a dedicated SAN network at home.

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