• Network Adapters
  • Network Switches
  • Application Host Configuration Steps
  • Storage Solution Configuration Steps
  • Run Applications to Use the iSCSI Storage
  • Deployment Examples Deployment Environment

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    Deployment Examples

    Deployment Environment

    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.



    Server A

    Server B

    Server A

    Server B


    Single Xeon
    2.8 GHz

    Dual Xeon
    3.0 GHz

    Pentium D
    3.4 GHz

    Pentium D
    3.4 GHz



    1 each




    1 GB

    1 GB

    4 GB

    4 GB

    Network Adapters

    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.

    Network Switches

    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.

    Deployment Processes

    The deployment processes for this report were broken into several main steps.

    • Application Host configuration steps

    • Storage Solution configuration steps

    • Run applications to use the iSCSI storage

    • Additional host configuration steps

    In addition, special application scenarios were performed, including:

    • Configure Microsoft Exchange 2003 to use iSCSI storage

    • Configure Microsoft SQL Server 2005 to use iSCSI storage

    • Configure Microsoft Cluster Server to use iSCSI storage

    Application Host Configuration Steps

    The initial steps used to configure the application host servers were:

    • Install fresh copy of Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise x64 Edition

    • Install Microsoft iSCSI initiator

    • Configure Microsoft iSCSI initiator

    Storage Solution Configuration Steps

    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

    1. Configure network settings for iSCSI target device

    2. Launch management console

    3. Create LUNs on disk array

    4. Make LUNs ready for use (formatting, etc.)

    5. Create iSCSI Targets

    6. Optional – Configure multi-path I/O for iSCSI Targets

    7. Optional – Configure security for iSCSI Targets (CHAP, etc.)

    8. Make iSCSI Targets ready for use for iSCSI Initiators (virtual disks, etc.)

    Initiator Configuration Steps

    1. Optional – Configure multi-path I/O from application host (iSCSI initiator)

    Run Applications to Use the iSCSI Storage

    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)

    • Microsoft Windows 2003 Server (32-bit or 64-bit) – Service Pack 1 or higher is recommended

    Beginning with Microsoft Windows Vista and the next release of Windows Server, the Microsoft iSCSI initiator is pre-installed.

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    Deployment Examples Deployment Environment

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