How to create ISCSI shared disk in windows server for ESX VSphere environment.

This my first blog for ESX/VSphere where the requirement was to create ISCSI data store for HA & DRS (High Availability & Distributed Resource Scheduler).  We created storage from windows server instead of having a dedicated storage appliance/VM. The purpose of such configuration is only for learning & testing the HA/DRS activity.

This configuration is designed on windows 2012 R2 with ESX 6.0.

On windows server, install ‘File and ISCSI services’ and make sure ‘ISCSI Target server’ is selected.

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Once the role is installed then select ‘File and storage services’ feature and then ‘ISCSI’.

Right click on empty space and select ‘New ISCSI Virtual Disk’ as shown in above example. In my screenshot one of the volume is created and I am creating a new one.

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Now select the partition where you wish to place the Virtual Disk.

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Give the appropriate Name and Description and confirm the path of SCSI target.

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Give the appropriate size & select type of disk as mentioned below. In my example I have selected ‘Dynamically expending’ as I don’t need to worry about space.

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You need to create target that will be the list of ESX servers participating in HA/DRS and access VHD using ISCSI protocol.

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In my example, I have used DNS name of ESX servers as initiator but it can also be access using IQN, IP address OR MAC address.

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In following screenshot, there are two ESX servers are added but you have even more.

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Select type of authentication, I am leaving it blank to avoid confusion.

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In next page, you can confirm the setting you have selected and the result of different section will be available for you.10.jpg

Now the shared ISCSI disk is ready, you can add this in ESX server using VSphere console. Select ESX server \ Manage \Storage \ Storage Adaptor \Target \ Add Target.

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Rescan storage so all newly attache drives are visible.

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Now you should be able to see the path of all available SCSI share disk.

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SCSI disk will also be available as storage devices.

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In your windows server, you would notice the target status as ‘connected’.

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