MS iSCSI Initiator - Usage in a non-external array configuration

I am looking to use an iSCSI array within my system, but it won't be available for a few weeks yet.

I'm looking to implement a temporary solution while I wait for the array to arrive.

The array will be used as external storage for a SQL cluster of two servers in active/passive mode. What I'd like to do in the short term is add an addittional server loaded up with hard drives. I would like to connect to this server using the iSCSI initiator, so that I can setup my SQL cluster now, and then just swap the storage server for the iSCSI arrary when it arrives.

So, my question is - can I do this ? The server will, in effect, be an iSCSI array - it will hold external storage which is accessed via IP. Can I use the iSCSI initiator in this way ?


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No, you need iSCSI target software for that, and now MS have bought stringbean and restricted it to OEMs only I don't know where you can get one for Windows. Unless you download the trial version of starwind from that is.

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You should be aware that the MS iSCSI initiator doesn't support load balancing for redundancy, it only supports active/passive as far as I'm aware. There are other manufacturers iSCSI drivers that do offer that functionality, but it's usually bundled in with an OLE card (off load engine) type network HBA (and they are quite expensive).

Just my 2 cents worth.
ccfcfcAuthor Commented:
Active/Passive is the mode we'll be using it in, for a SQL cluster.

The other option, as we've recently discovered, is to use SQL database mirroring. I'm still reading up on this at the moment, but it seems that we can use this instead of clustering.

Install a Linux Box with above open source stuff as your target and off you go.

You should use iSCSI cards on your server to offload the processors.
Example: Adaptec 7211 and Qlogic 4010 are excellent Bios equipped iSCSI offload engines. You also can boot your servers over iSCSI using any of the adaptes here...
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