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Step-by-Step: Speaking iSCSI with Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V
Built-in support for iSCSI and MPIO provide an easy path for connecting Hyper-V hosts to existing SAN storage
By: Keith Mayer
Mar. 14, 2013 02:00 PM
Windows Server 2012 and our completely free Hyper-V Server 2012 certainly have some really cost-effective new storage options, with Storage Spaces and Hyper-V over SMB 3.0. However, many IT Pros have already invested in iSCSI shared storage and, as a result, many Hyper-V deployments also need to be able to leverage these existing storage investments.
iSCSI? No problem! Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V Server 2012 include native support for a software iSCSI initiator as well as MPIO ( Multipath IO ) for resiliency and load balancing of storage IO over multiple network paths.
In this article, we’ll walk through the process of connecting Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V Server 2012 to common iSCSI storage arrays. Because most of my IT Pro friends are running Hyper-V either on Windows Server 2012 Server Core or Hyper-V Server 2012, both options without a local console GUI, I’ll be providing my examples below in PowerShell.
NOTE: In this article, I make the assumption that your iSCSI storage array is already configured and that your Hyper-V host is already physically attached and zoned into your iSCSI storage network.
Let’s Get Things “Started” …
After running the above cmdlets, you can check on the status of the MSiSCSI service with the following command line:
Now Let’s Get “Connected’ …
If you’re successfully connected to the target on your iSCSI storage array, you should see the connection status returned with the following cmdlet:
Now, let’s make the session for this iSCSI connection persist across reboots with the following command:
You can check to make sure the IsPersistent value is True for this session with the following command line:
We’re ready to start using our new iSCSI disk!
Note the disk Number in the first column and verify that the Partition Style column shows “Raw” ( ie. unused ) for this new disk. To initialize and format the new disk, use the following command line, being careful to specify the correct disk number from the command output above:
After this command completes, you can use the following command to confirm the drive letter assigned to the new partition on your iSCSI disk so that you can begin using this path for storing new virtual machines and virtual hard disks!
Great! But … What about High Availability?
After MPIO is installed, configure it to automatically claim all iSCSI devices for MPIO with the following command lines:
After running these commands, restart your server for MPIO discovery to take effect. After restarting, you can also configure a Round Robin load-balancing policy for all newly claimed devices with the following command:
NOTE: The above commands leverage the Microsoft MPIO DSM ( Device Specific Module ). Prior to attempting to implement MPIO between your hosts and storage array, be sure to check with your storage array vendor to confirm their compatibility with this DSM. In some cases, your storage vendor may require an alternate DSM and/or a different MPIO configuration. Many storage arrays that are SPC-3 compliant will work with the Microsoft DSM, but we recommend confirming compatibility with your storage vendor before proceeding.
Want More? Become a Virtualization Expert in 20 Days!
After you’re done reading the series, if you’d like to learn more and begin preparing for MCSA certification on Windows Server 2012, join our FREE Windows Server 2012 “Early Experts” online study group for IT Pros at:
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