How to Install and Configure iSCSI Target Server on Windows Server 2016

What is iSCSI Target Server?

iSCSI Target allows your Windows Server to share block storage remotely. iSCSI leverages the Ethernet network and does not require any specialized hardware. There is a brand new UI integrated with Server manager, along with 20+ cmdlets for easy management.

  • iSCSI:

In computing, iSCSI (/ˈaɪskʌzi/ (About this sound listen) EYE-skuz-ee) is an acronym for Internet Small Computer Systems Interface, an Internet Protocol (IP)-based storage networking standard for linking data storage facilities. It provides block-level access to storage devices by carrying SCSI commands over a TCP/IP network. iSCSI is used to facilitate data transfers over intranets and to manage storage over long distances. It can be used to transmit data over local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), or the Internet and can enable location-independent data storage and retrieval.

  • Target:

It is an object which allows the iSCSI initiator to make a connection. The Target keeps track of the initiators which are allowed to be connected to it. The Target also keeps track of the iSCSI virtual disks which are associated with it. Once the initiator establishes the connection to the Target, all the iSCSI virtual disks associated with the Target will be accessible by the initiator.

  • iSCSI Target Server:

The server runs the iSCSI Target. It is also the iSCSI Target role name in Windows Server 2016.

  • iSCSI virtual disk:

It also referred to as iSCSI LUN. It is the object which can be mounted by the iSCSI initiator. The iSCSI virtual disk is backed by the VHD file.

  • iSCSI connection:

iSCSI initiator makes a connection to the iSCSI Target by logging on to a Target. There could be multiple Targets on the iSCSI Target Server, each Target can be accessed by a defined list of initiators. Multiple initiators can make connections to the same Target. However, this type of configuration is only supported with clustering. Because when multiple initiators connect to the same Target, all the initiators can read/write to the same set of iSCSI virtual disks, if there is no clustering (or equivalent process) to govern the disk access, corruption will occur. With Clustering, only one machine is allowed to access the iSCSI virtual disk at one time.

  • IQN:

It is a unique identifier of the Target or Initiator. The Target IQN is shown when it is created on the Server. The initiator IQN can be found by typing a simple “iscsicli” cmd in the command window.

Instructions on How to install and configure iSCSI target server on Windows Server 2016

Install and configure iSCSI on Windows server 2016

  • Open Server manager > Add Roles and Features

  • Use default, next to Server Roles > tick iSCSI Target Server

  • Confirm installation

  • Installation progress

  • At the Server manager > File and Storage Services > iSCSI > Create an iSCSI Virtual Disk

  • Select iSCSI virtual disk location

  • Specify iSCSI virtual disk name

  • Specify iSCSI virtual disk size

  • Specify target name

  • Specify access servers

  • Enable authentication

  • Confirmation

  • View results

Connect to iSCSI from Windows 10

  • Check connectivity to the iSCSI server by telnet, if no error then the default port 3260 opened

  • Open iSCSI Initiator

  • Click on Targets tab > fill the iSCSI target server then click Quick Connect…

  • Select the discovered targets and click Connect, click Advanced to input Authentication

  • Verify the status

  • Open Computer Management to Initialize Disk

That’s it. Hope this help. Thank you for reading.

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