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Archive for the ‘IP-SAN’ Category

Openfiler as a FC SAN

Posted by Brajesh Panda on May 26, 2011

Brian did a good job on this; find his documentation in his blog

I will give a try when I will get a chance for sure!


Posted in IP-SAN, Storage | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Microsoft iSCSI Target Cluster – Building Walkthrough

Posted by Brajesh Panda on May 3, 2011

In one of my last post I have discussed about Microsoft iSCSI Target Software 3.3. You can use this software to convert your (old) servers especially where you can populate a bunch of high capacity SATA/SAS HDD to convert the same to an IP SAN. Well this kind of scenario may be applicable for LAB/SMB business units where we don’t want to buy/spend lots of money for a specialized storage box. Well these days a lot of low cost SAS based DAS or IP-SANs are available in market with specialized storage features. So for usability you have to decide where you can use this kind of setup. Lets build a highly available storage, kind of active passive iscsi storage controllers ;-). Hope you are not getting confused with Building a MS Failover Cluser using MS iSCSI Target Software.

My Design Decisions & Blueprint

In my environment I used to have a Dell MD3000 SAS based direct storage box. I can connect 4 Servers directly without any path redundancy to this storage box & 2 Servers with 2-redundant path. But I have bunch of old (10) Dell Poweredge servers in my lab (generated out of dc consolidation project), I would like to repurpose them in my LAB & for some low priority low production purpose in my headquarter. Well none of my servers or devices is having warranty any longer. Renewing warranty or buying new hardware is out of budget. So I thought let’s do it this way…..

  • Apart from 1st 2 HDD I have pulled out all HDDs from Dell PE Servers & Populated remaining empty slots of MD 3000i. And made sure these HDDs are compatible with the storage box. Easy way of doing is install MD 3000 storage manager software & verify from the console software. I have discussed the installation & MD 3000 config step in one of my old post. It is here.
  • On server front I have decided
    • Two Node Windows Failover cluster with complete redundant path
    • I will utilize this cluster for Two Roles
      • Hyper-V Failover Cluster Role;
        With one Clustered Shared Volume to Host Less Critical LOB Application Virtual Machine
      • Ms iSCSI Target Cluster Role;
        with multiple clustered LUNs to Host virtual disks. These virtual disks will be presented to other Stand Alone Poweredge Servers through iSCSI Target using iSCSI technique. After wards I can use the same disk to host multiple virtual machines or I can use the same disk as a pass-through disk to your existing VMs. I prefer them to use as pass-through disks. . If I could use these Disks to host multiple Virtual Machine VHDs, there must be a lot of virtual translations i.e. VHDs inside -> VHDs inside -> NTFS partition.

Note: In next version of iSCSI Target I would like to see direct use of physical disk not VHDs inside NTFS partition. I could have also used those 8 Stand Alone Poweredge Servers to again create a hyper-v cluster using exported iSCSI volumes. But I never thought of that as a requirement because I will be using them in my test lab. Even if one server fails I will re-assign iSCSI exported virtual disk (LUN) to another node & start VMs over there. We can design all components in a better way to provide more performance like one VHD in one LUN, redundant network connections etc.

  • So to start with I have carved out 3 LUNs from the MD3000 & assigned to Node1 & Node2
    • Quorum LUN:         1GB
    • CSV LUN:        550GB
    • iSCSI Target LUN:    550GB
  • Network Design is one of the key components to achieve this; so I have decided on below NICs for Failover Cluster Nodes. I am flexible because it is a LAB & low priority production env.
    • Management & Virtual Machine Network: 1 NIC/node with X.X.X.X subnet
    • Cluster Communication & Live Migration Network: 1 NIC/node with Y.Y.Y.Y subnet
    • iSCSI Target Network: 1 NIC/node with Z.Z.Z.Z subnet (this is the adapter through which iSCSI Traffic will be coming in from Standalone LAB Hyper-v Server’s iSCSI initiators)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Clustering, DELL MD3000i, Hyper-V, IP-SAN, WindowsStorageServer2008 | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Failed to setup initiator portal. Error status is given in the dump data.

Posted by Brajesh Panda on May 2, 2011

This error came in most of the IP SAN storage boxes. As per Microsoft’s KB it is a connectivity error. I mean you have defined some wrong/duplicate iSCSI SAN target in your iSCSI Initiator’s discovery portal/favorite targets section, which can’t be connected.

In my case I used have a Equal Logic PS series SAN. As per requirement I used install Dell Equal logic Host Integration Tool Kit software in all of my iSCSI imitator machines. It installs its own MPIO software on the top of MS MPIO driver & manage connection & it really do in a good way. Whenever we add a new target it create an entry under its favorite target section. I have installed-then uninstalled- then installed, so it created a couple of fake target entries in the favorite target section for the same target. After the 1st connection being initiated, iSCSI initiator can’t login to those fake targets. So this error was coming. I just remove them & it worked for me.

Log Name: System
Source: iScsiPrt
Event ID: 5
Task Category: None
Level: Error
Keywords: Classic
User: N/A
Description: Failed to setup initiator portal. Error status is given in the dump data.

Posted in IP-SAN | 2 Comments »

Microsoft iSCSI Target Software 3.3

Posted by Brajesh Panda on April 20, 2011

It is out for public use. I have used this particular free software to make my old server to a storage box………hurray…

You can download this software from Ms Site;

It is compatible with Windows 2008 R2 Service pack 1. Now I don’t need to break my head with other tools like iSCSI Kake, Openfiler etc…

Earlier this piece of software used to come with Storage Server as a optional feature…..

Here are some related URLs for this product:  Support Policies:, Scalability:, Technet:; Know Issues:

Posted in IP-SAN, Storage, WindowsStorageServer2008 | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Equal Logic Vs Left Hand

Posted by Brajesh Panda on May 7, 2010

Nice Blog about two good iSCSI Storage Box!

Posted in IP-SAN | Leave a Comment »

Dell Equallogc Storage

Posted by Brajesh Panda on May 6, 2010

This is a nice article by Graham on Equal Logic. I really like the whole story 😉

Posted in IP-SAN | Leave a Comment »

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