The deployment took place at a lab at Microsoft headquarters and at a lab at Demartek headquarters. The equipment at each location was similar.
Two host servers were used at each location. Windows 2003 Server R2 Enterprise x64 Edition was installed on all the application servers.
The network adapters used in the Microsoft lab servers were standard server-class network adapters. At the Demartek lab, three different types of network adapters were used, including the standard network adapters, advanced server-class network adapters and TCP Offload server-class network adapters.
Both labs used Gigabit switches. The Microsoft lab used a NetGear GS108 unmanaged, 8-port switch. The Demartek lab used a NetGear GS724T smart-switch with 24 ports. Jumbo frames were enabled on the GS724T switch.
The iSCSI storage solution configuration was separated into the steps necessary on the iSCSI target (storage solution itself) and the steps needed on the iSCSI initiator (application server). The general steps for configuring the iSCSI storage are outlined below, including some optional steps. Each specific iSCSI storage solution configuration follows this general outline, but the exact steps required varied slightly for each iSCSI storage solution. A separate section of this report is devoted to each iSCSI storage solution configuration, including screen shots taken during the deployment.
Target Configuration Steps
Configure network settings for iSCSI target device
Applications were used to read and write to the iSCSI storage, including basic Windows management functions such as Disk Manager.
In addition, IOMeter was used to read and write various block sizes to the iSCSI storage. IOMeter is an open-source I/O load generator and performance analysis tool. IOMeter is available from Source Forge at: http://sourceforge.net/projects/iometer/.
Although this report is not a performance benchmark for iSCSI storage solutions, some performance data are included to provide a general idea of the type of performance that can be expected with some iSCSI storage solutions. Two different lab locations and two different sets of servers were used for the deployments described in this document.
Application Host Configuration Steps
The following steps were used to initially configure each of the application hosts. These hosts became the iSCSI initiators.
Install Microsoft Windows 2003 Server R2 Enterprise x64 Edition
Each host was configured by installing Microsoft Windows 2003 Server R2 Enterprise x64 Edition. This particular version was installed so that all possible memory and clustering options could be explored. All the required security updates were installed after installing the base operating system.
The Microsoft iSCSI initiator can be installed on the following Microsoft Windows platform families
Microsoft Windows Server 2000 SP4 or later
Microsoft Windows XP Professional (32-bit or 64-bit)