locked
WHS and iscsi RRS feed

  • Question

  • Has anyone gotten iSCSI disks to be available to the WHS storage pool? I finally managed to get the MS initiator to connect to my linux openfiler targets, and the disks show up in disk mangement but WHS doesn't see them in the console for some reason

    I know this isn't likely to be a "supported" config, but I was wondering if there was a way to get it to work (I'm down for some registry hacking if need be)

    If it doesn't work I'd like to make the suggestion that it should Wink (especially since it's realitivly easy to set up a SAN these days using off the shelf hardware and a distro like openfiler)
    Tuesday, April 3, 2007 2:27 PM

Answers

  • There are a couple of items on Connect regarding iSCSI, here and here. You should take a look and vote.

    The problem I see with iSCSI is that Drive Extender has much more control over the drives in the storage pool than a normal application would. iSCSI doesn't make it's drives available until after the network is fully initiated, and I suspect DE is already running and in control at that point. DE can't manage the disks if they won't be available when it starts. Or so I would guess.
    Tuesday, April 3, 2007 3:21 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • There are a couple of items on Connect regarding iSCSI, here and here. You should take a look and vote.

    The problem I see with iSCSI is that Drive Extender has much more control over the drives in the storage pool than a normal application would. iSCSI doesn't make it's drives available until after the network is fully initiated, and I suspect DE is already running and in control at that point. DE can't manage the disks if they won't be available when it starts. Or so I would guess.
    Tuesday, April 3, 2007 3:21 PM
    Moderator
  • Can't you plug a USB drive into the system after it has started up and add that to the storage pool?

    If it's just DE starting early I wonder if it's possible to start it after the network is initialized (assuming that wouldn't cause other problems)
    Tuesday, April 3, 2007 5:19 PM
  • Yes, you can just plug in a USB drive. But the usb drivers initialize with other hardware drivers.

    I'm really just guessing that it's a timing issue. But in any case, you should check out the suggestions on Connect and let the development team know that you feel these are important issues.
    Tuesday, April 3, 2007 5:23 PM
    Moderator
  • well if it is a timing issue I'll just try changing the dependencies on the drive extender service and see what happens. I have a feeling something else is at work though
    Tuesday, April 3, 2007 8:35 PM
  • I would like to see WHS offer an iSCSI target.  This would allow clients to see WHS drives as local drives.  This would be great for Media Center.
    Friday, April 6, 2007 9:46 AM
  • If you absolutely must connect to a SAN for your "local" WHS storage, then there IS away to accomplish it. I don't imagine it's supported. It is likely more trouble than it's worth. And, it strays  from the concept of what WHS is meant to be.


    The answer? WHS as a virtual machine.


    On your host, you need two things:


    First, get the iSCSI initiator up and running, connecting to targets, and having them show up as local drives to the host OS. That's the iSCSI SAN piece taken care of.


    Next, get your favorite virtualization package up and running (Since this is an MS forum, I highly recommend their offering, Virtual Server 2005 R2). Use the server flavor rather than the desktop flavor, because this way your virtual machine(s) will start automatically when the host starts. Install WHS as a virtual machine. Virtual machines see their virtual hard disk files as locally attached devices. You can put the vhd files anywhere....DAS on the host, iSCSI "local" drives on the host, heck they can be on a NAS for that matter.


    Congratulations. You've just tricked the WHS DE into seeing things your way.

    Sunday, April 29, 2007 4:08 AM
  •  

    While this method works, it is a severe klunky kludgy workaround. Do you have another solution?

     

    I would also like to get iSCSI volumes reconized under WHS.... I have a massive SAN that WHS needs to see....

     

    Thanks!

    -Bill

    Saturday, December 22, 2007 4:08 AM
  • You could try a free iSCSI target like http://www.mysan.com/products/mysan/mysan.htm

     

    I might give it a go when I get back home after Christmas - might be just the thing!

    Saturday, December 22, 2007 1:54 PM
  •  

    I'm already an accomplished iSCSI admin, I've used EMC, BlueARC and Eqilogic iSCSI SANs- I'm using Rocket Division Software's StarWind iSCSI server running on a Win2k3 system with 3 tb of disk. I can serve iSCSI targets to my other servers / systems, the volume is reconized and formatted under WHS's disk management.

     

    However, I cannot get WHS to reconize the new drive addition to add it to the storage pool - Does anyone have any tricks on how to do this? From what I've read, it looks like the DE engine comes up first, before the network stack, which prevents it from considering this disk as a valid option. Are their any forced 'rescan' options or something like that?

     

    UPDATE: I've set the QSM.exe service to be dependant on the MSiSCS service, so in theory iSCSI should load first.... any more ideas people?

     

    Thx

    -Bill

    Saturday, December 22, 2007 5:30 PM
  • My feeling says it's not a timing issue, however you may try making the PDL service dependant on the iSCSI service.

     

    Personally I think your best chance is to add the disk manually to the storage pool by editing the registry, although this will probably not be a trivial task. I'll have a look at required entries later today or tomorrow, have no access to WHS at the moment.

     

    As for rescan, you may try this from the disk management console, although I doubt this will have any effect. You could also try restarting PDL, QSM or drive extender migrator service.

     

    EDIT: Other things that may be of concern are access rights for relevant service to target, size of the target, personally I would start with a small (1 - 10 GB or so) target.

    Monday, December 31, 2007 12:49 PM
    Moderator
  • If you're going to try it, start with a target of at least the minimum size for a disk in the storage pool. I think that's 20 GB, though I don't have the number in front of me at the moment.

    Also, while I'm interested in the results of the experiment, I would not be completely surprised if this works only until the next update to Windows Home Server that includes changes to Drive Extender, at which point you will have to re-do all your work.
    Monday, December 31, 2007 4:54 PM
    Moderator