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Connect to SAN volume via Windows recovery console.

Rick_Penney
Rick_Penney asked
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Hi

We have two servers connected directly to a HP MSA2052 SAN using ISCSI
One volume holds our VMs and belongs to the Failover clustered storage, the Failover of VMs works smoothly between nodes.

We have another volume on the SAN that is mapped to one of the nodes that we want to test Windows backup on. The Disk mounts successfully within the windows environment to drive letter H. (Initially the second volume was also added to clustered storage, but windows server backup was unable to run as the back up of Drive C also contained the Clustered Storage volume).
Windows server backup can successfully backup and restore within the Server OS GUI.
We want the ability to be able to restore the windows backup from the recovery console if needs be.

The server nics are all static as shown in the attachment. The SAN has a clustered IP address on the 192.168.1.* network.
Once booted into the recovery console we can assign IP Addresses via netsh to the 192.168.1.* subnet and one of the 17.16. subnets and can successfully ping the respective IP on the SAN.

What we don’t know how to do is see the volume on the SAN that was mapped to the server as the H Drive, which contains the Windows backup image.

Server SAN connectivity drawing.
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Commented:
See the following thread/discussion.

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/forums/windowsserver/en-US/3cb89ad2-c9a3-4115-acca-a0a8dcdaa6b6/baremetal-recovery-from-iscsi-target

In newer versions boot from iscsi volume is included versus the older version where additional things had to be added to make it possible.
David Johnson, CDSimple Geek from the '70s
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Commented:
net use * \\172.16.1.10\sharename
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Commented:
The volume Is an iscsi resource, not a Windows network share.
Though using iscsi on a functional host to then share with the one being recovered.
Make sure to disconnect the iscsi before booting the restored system.

Author

Commented:
Many thanks for your responses,
@ David, i am unable to  use net use \\172.16.1.10\sharename as the SAN doesn't share any folders on it, it just maps the volumes to the host where it  is presented as a drive to store folders on it.

@arnold, so you are saying to map the volume on the SAN to my other host, share that folder that contains the backup and then browse to the second server within the recovery console to restore the image

We did kind of already do it that way in previous tests, i just wondered if there was a way to connect directly to the SAN,
I had a look at your link but i think they may have been using local storage and not a SAN

regards
Rick
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Commented:
Rick,

The question in the link is exactly the same one you asked, the issue is before you enter the recovery you have to load the additional drivers for iscsi. You then need to have an option to run an iscsi initiator through which you can explore an ISCSI host and choose a LUN where the backup is stored. To bring it as a local storage volume.
Depending on the server version in question see if iscsicli is an available option withi your recovery console session
David Johnson, CDSimple Geek from the '70s
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Commented:
I missed the iSCSI reference. Since WINRE doesn't contain an initiator you have to connect to a server that has one and use its share of the iscsi volume OR copy to external media and recover from that. 
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Commented:
If it's 2012R2 you could just pinch the WinRE ISO this guy made, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyDPZoJrjEs

Author

Commented:
Some great advise there guys, very much appreciated
The servers are Server 2019, I will build a new bootable ISO using the info from both links, in the meantime, if my test server does need restoring, i can restore it via the share method on the other box
Thanks again
Rick

Author

Commented:
Hi,
I followed the two guides and carried out all the steps.
The server boots from the USB stick into the Windows Recovery environment
The batch file runs the commands but the Iscsi control panel doesnt open. (The cli equivalent seems ok, but i would prefer the GUI)

netcfg -winpe
wpeinit
netsh interface ip set address "Embedded LOM 1 Port 1" static 192.168.1.16 255.255.255.0 192.168.1.2
netsh interface ip set address "Embedded LOM 1 Port 3" static 172.16.1.5 255.255.255.0
net start msiscsi
iscsicpl

I have uploaded the steps i took
Any Ideas?
regards
WinPE-ISCSI-Steps.docx
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Commented:
in recovery mode, graphical tools are not an option.
The iscsicpl is an option when in the Core Environment or OS load

Author

Commented:
Thanks Arnold, much appreciated
Kind Regards
Rick