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Archive for the ‘WindowsStorageServer2008’ Category

Windows Bootable USB Drive

Posted by Brajesh Panda on September 26, 2011

Creating a Windows Bootable USB drive

You can use the ISO file of Windows Server 2008 R2 to create a bootable USB drive too.
For this scenario you need to create a bootable DVD first or mount the ISO file. After you have gained access to the files on the DVD or in the ISO file, simply type the following commands on a system with the image mounted or physical DVD copy in the drive and the USB device plugged in:


DISKPART> list disk

Select the USB device from the list and substitute the disk number below
when necessary

DISKPART> select disk 1
DISKPART> create partition primary
DISKPART> select partition 1
DISKPART> active
DISKPART> format fs=fat32
DISKPART> assign
cd boot
bootsect /nt60

xcopy X:\*.* /s/e/f Y:\

where X:\ is your mounted image or physical DVD and Y:\ is your USB


Posted in WindowsStorageServer2008 | 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 »

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 »

iSCSI Target/Lun Configuration in Windows 2008 Storage Server

Posted by Brajesh Panda on January 14, 2010

In my previous blog post I have mentioned about the first look at Windows 2008 Storage Server. Let’s get into little dipper of this product & features.

If you remember I left my new Windows 2008 Storage Server VM for Windows update. After a day when I visited my lab found a bounch of patches has been updated on the server. Seems to be same kind of security hotfixes like other Windows Server. I always prefer to update my servers with windows updates, hence RTM gotcha can removed from the product.

I kept below targets for me for today’s exercise;

– Create A iSCSI LUN & assign to a Windows Server

From a long time I am using Opensource OpenFiler as an iSCSI storage box in my LAB and using for clusters etc. But current version of openfiler lacks “SCSI Persistent 3” commad support. So I can’t use the product with Windows 2008 Servers. I just read Operfiler forum moderator was talking this componnet will be available as a commercial plug-in in near future. Lets hope so!!

Let’s jump into our LAB & see what are the steps to get the iSCSI stuff work in Storage Server 2008.

Crap…no interface to configure iSCSI volumes, targets etc.. Sorry till today I didn’t get time to dive into any of the Storage Server documentations. After Investigation came to know you need a iSCSI Target Software for this kind of configuration. And you can download from your MSDN portal for testing/devleopment.

So you have to download below ISO files;
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Windows Storage Server 2008, WindowsStorageServer2008 | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Windows 2008 Storage Server Logon Password

Posted by Brajesh Panda on January 8, 2010

This is my first look at the product. I will keep writing about the product and how to do in next my postings. So don’t forget to check Storage Section!

Today I have installed Windows Storage Server 2008 in my LAB without reading any manual. Found, it is not letting me to create “PASSWORD” like other windows versions. After a Google search come to know it is “wSS2008!”

Installation is pretty straight forward like other Windows Versions. But after my 1st successful login it started installing “File Services” – Distributed File System. After that it started configuring my profile etc. & started shutting down. Not sure why?? I will find out that on a later day J

I was using 512MB RAM in a Hyper-V box & I felt like it damn slow…. I am going to increase it to 2048MB & will observe. Now it seems to be good J

Hey my mouse is not working in this Virtual Machine! Let me jump and install the Hyper-V Integration Software… ZZZZZZZ. Done… Asking to reboot… let’s go ahead for it!

Remote Desktop has been already enabled! I just enabled Windows update, let see how many updates are available for this product.

Windows update is showing downloading & installing! Surprise, I didn’t ask him to install updates… Anyway I am going for the day.

To be contd…..

Posted in Storage, Windows Storage Server 2008, WindowsStorageServer2008 | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

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