Windows 2003 iSCSI Cluster Instructions

Does anyone know where I can find a technote/white paper/tutorial, etc. that gives full instructions for creating an iSCSI cluster on Windows 2003 server ?

TIA



Rob
ccfcfcAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

x
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

NJComputerNetworksCommented:
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
iSCSI has been available to Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 with the iSCSI initiator by Microsoft - no third party software necessary.
NJComputerNetworksCommented:
Third party is needed if you want to create a volume or manage your raid level on a remote ISCSI storage device.  This is what I meant.  Yes, you are correct, the ISCSI drivers for the local operating system is supported natively by the OS...but there is no management console (added in Widows 2003 R2) for managing the remote device...

The 7 Worst Nightmares of a Sysadmin

Fear not! To defend your business’ IT systems we’re going to shine a light on the seven most sinister terrors that haunt sysadmins. That way you can be sure there’s nothing in your stack waiting to go bump in the night.

Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I still disagree - I've seen iSCSI in use on a 2003 server (though not a cluster) and everything worked fine with no third-party software.  If you are referring to allocating disk space, then all I can say is of course - iSCSI management is a project still in development and most iSCSI devices have their own tools for that.
NJComputerNetworksCommented:
I am "referring to allocating disk space, then all I can say is of course - iSCSI management is a project still in development and most iSCSI devices have their own tools for that."  This has now been incorporated natively in Windows 2003 R2.  You can manage your ISCSI devices regardless of vendor third party utilis.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Can you provide some reference links on that?  I've read numerous articles in eweek and Windows IT pro and other sources suggesting this is just not probable.  Storage Management software generally can't do it and Microsoft is not known for making feature rich products (Calc, Notepad, Quotas, DHCP, etc).  They tend to pick one or two aspects and make those feature rich, then include 20-30 others that are seriously lacking but there so you have SOMETHING.
NJComputerNetworksCommented:
http://blogs.technet.com/fabricem_blogs/comments/412080.aspx

Storage Management for SANs
Unrelated to SRM, the Storage Management for SANs component in R2 lets you use a single MMC console for managing a variety of SAN devices. You can create, extend, assign and un-assign logical unit numbers (LUNs), manage iSCSI target devices, and get a view of storage subsystems and the drives in those subsystems. This feature requires the SAN device to support Virtual Disk Services (VDS) in Windows 2003. Your vendor should have details.

NJComputerNetworksCommented:
See storage management webcast and more on this page:  http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/r2launch.mspx
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Now that makes more sense - "This feature requires the SAN device to support Virtual Disk Services (VDS) in Windows 2003" - I'm not suggesting that SOME devices can't be managed, but the way I was reading your comments suggested that every device was supported and as I suspected, the device must support a Windows standard  While it may make sense for companies to do that, it's unlikely that most do - right now, or in the past.  In time, I suspect most will, but right now, I wouldn't be so quick to use this as a selling point without knowing exactly what hardware the questioner has.
ccfcfcAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the tips.

The iSCSI array will ship with it's own utilities for storage/RAID management, so I'll create my logical drives there and then create my Windows partitions on those logical drives.

I take it from the message thread above that under circumstances I can do all this within Windows ?
NJComputerNetworksCommented:
Yes, you can with Windows 2003 R2.... you don't need the RAID Storage Management utilities (assuming they conform the Windows 2003 VDS standards - they probably do if this is a new device).

In anycase, you can use the utilities that come with your RAID / storage management system...  VDS works in conjunction with the third party application....or you can just use the third party utility.

The nice thing about VDS is for larger environments with multiple different hardware vendors, the Windows 2003 R2 administrator can manages the third party devices....all from Windows 2003 R2 MMC.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
NJComputerNetworksCommented:
"The iSCSI array will ship with it's own utilities for storage/RAID management, so I'll create my logical drives there and then create my Windows partitions on those logical drives."  = YES, you are correct here.

or if the device is Windows 2003 VDS compliant, you can "do all this within Windows "  (but you must be using Windows 2003 R2 operating system)
ccfcfcAuthor Commented:
One further question.........

Does the iSCSI initiator allow you to connect any IP-based storage device ?

I have an array on order but it won't ship for a few weeks, so what I'd like to do is have a spare server loaded up with disks, and use that as the clustered shared storage to the servers IP address. Is that possible ?
NJComputerNetworksCommented:
No, I don't believe that what you describe is possible.  
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Storage Software

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.