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ISCSI in windows 20008

Posted on 2014-08-07
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I'm using rocket iscsi with a virtual disk image set up on another server.  I have a production server that connects to this iscsi drive using windows 2008 iscsi initiator.  When either server reboots, or loses power and the other one doesn't, it creates some wacky halt condition where the SQL server still runs, but in a very limited way (The SQL DB is not on the ISCSI volume, FYI-- nothing system related should be, no page, no index, etc) It won't run any maintenance plans and it won't gracefully shutdown.  I'm assuming there is some system patrol writing to this iscsi volume when the condition occurs, because the windows event viewer is plague with bad sector warnings.  

I've tried round-robin and failover, but the problem still occurs.  Is this native to ISCSI in 2008?  Is there a way to make it content with being removable?  Can I make it pause or increase a timeout value to 500 seconds?
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Question by:Chris H
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by:Davis McCarn
ID: 40248484
iSCSI treats the storage device as if it were a local, block driven I/O device and you should never have direct access to it from two different PC's.  Doing so is asking for data corruption.
M$ reccomends using a dedicated pair of NICs for access to the iSCSI device and then you should share it to other systems that need access: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee338476(v=ws.10).aspx
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by:Chris H
ID: 40249105
I understand that.  There is one server connected to one iscsi share.  When either the storage server reboots or the 2008 server reboots, the 2008 server acts really stupid.  I need this to stop.  There is nothing system related, other than system volume information, which would have a lock on the drive.  I only have this issue with 2008 iscsi Initiator.  Vmware is much more graceful....
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by:Davis McCarn
ID: 40249408
There must be something open on the storage server from the other server and assuming the iSCSI is a mapped drive, it could be the system volume information which you could disable on the 2nd server.  Its in the advanved system properties on the system restore or system protection tab.
If that ain't it, we need to figure out what is open.
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by:Chris H
ID: 40249694
Interesting...  2008 sp1 (Not 2008 R2) does not contain system protection, but I think you're on to something.
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by:Chris H
ID: 40249769
I started down the path you were going and found a lot of people trying to resolve the issue are using a program from MS called Handle.  This is a list of handle locks on the drive.  

 3F4: File  (R--)   F:\$Extend\$RmMetadata\$TxfLog\$TxfLog.blf
  538: File  (R--)   F:\$Extend\$RmMetadata\$TxfLog\$TxfLogContainer00000000000000000001
  580: File  (R--)   F:\$Extend\$RmMetadata\$TxfLog\$TxfLogContainer00000000000000000002
  58C: File  (RWD)   F:\$Extend\$RmMetadata\$Txf
  1FC: File  (RWD)   F:\$Extend\$ObjId
  204: File  (R--)   F:\System Volume Information\tracking.log

Any idea how to free these so the system doesn't halt if the drive disappears?
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Davis McCarn earned 2000 total points
ID: 40249841
Your entry for F:\$Extend\$RmMetadata\$TxfLog\$TxfLog.blf only occurs if the drive is mounted locally (meaning, most probably, that iSCSI has been initiated.
It needs to be a normal network share with no iSCSI involved, at all.
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by:Chris H
ID: 40286768
I gave up and went with unstoppable copier, some registry edits and a network share.  Pray for me...
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Author Closing Comment

by:Chris H
ID: 40286775
The downfall of 2008 ISCSI is that it must be persistent or redundant, otherwise a locally mapped drive with a windows volume will always demand access to the drive.  Bummer...  I believe the problem is resolved in windows 2008R2, in which the user is able to disable all the locking features on the drive, such as indexing and recovery.  Thanks for the suggestions!
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