Configure iSCSI on Windows Server 2012 R2
It should be simple to configure iSCSI on Windows Server 2012 R2 right? While it is not rocket science and really not that difficult at all to configure, it’s also not as intuitive as I think it should be. Therefore I decided to create this post on how to configure iSCSI for a Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V cluster using an HP MSA 1040 as the shared storage device.
Shared Storage: HP MSA 1040 (4 NICS)
Servers: Quantity of 2 Hyper-V Hosts (each host has 6 NICS)
Network switches: Quantity of 2 network switches (for redundancy)
Operating System: Windows Server 2012 R2
Storage Network: Each Hyper-V host has two NICS dedicated for the storage (1 NIC cabled to MSA Controller A and 1 NIC cabled to MSA Controller B)
Configure HP MSA 1040 Storage Network
The first thing you must do is configure the storage network. This involves configuring the HP MSA 1040. This post will not cover all the aspects involved in configuring the MSA 1040. The screen shots below are just demonstrating the IP configuration so as to better understand how it ties to configuring iSCSI in this environment.
Log into your MSA 1040 shared storage device
The MSA 1040 comes with dual controllers with two NICS on each controller for a total of four network interface cards (NICs). The first thing you will do when you are ready to configure the MSA 1040 is to run the Configuration Wizard. At some point in the configuration wizard you will be asked to assign IP addresses to the MSA NICs. Please consider configuring a separate “private” IP scheme for the storage network. The storage network should always be isolated from your internal network so that the storage traffic doesn’t interfere with your normal network traffic. Normally, your internal network will reside in the 10.0.0.0 network. You will need to VLAN the ports on your network switch in order to do this. That is beyond the scope of this post. In the example below, you’ll notice that the four NICS were configured as such:
MSA Controller A Port 1 (A1) – 192.168.9.7
MSA Controller B Port 1 (B1) – 192.168.9.8
MSA Controller A Port 2 (A2) – 192.168.9.9
MSA Controller B Port 2 (B2) – 192.168.9.10
From a cabling standpoint, on MSA Controller A, we have cabled port A1 to Network Switch 1 and port A2 to Network Switch 2 for redundancy. We’ve done the same for MSA Controller B. On MSA Controller B, we have cabled port B1 to Network Switch 1 and port B2 to Network Switch 2. We have a total of four different paths going through two network switches for maximum resiliency. We can lose a controller AND a network switch and still maintain connectivity to the storage.
Configure Hyper-V Host Storage Network
As stated in the Equipment section at the beginning of this post, each Hyper-V host server has 6 NICs. We are using 2 of those NICs on each host for the storage network. We are also teaming the two storage NICs. Of course, the storage network on the Hyper-V host must reside on the same network as the MSA 1040 storage network. In our example, that is the 192.168.9.0 network. See the example in the figure below. We have configured the storage network for both Hyper-V hosts as such:
Hyper-V Host 1 (MSA Storage Team) – 192.168.9.3
Hyper-V Host 2 (MSA Storage Team) – 192.168.9.4
Configure MPIO on Hyper-V Host/s
Before you continue, you must add the MPIO (Multi-Patch I/O) which is built into the Windows Server 2012 R2 operating system. To do this, just open Server Manager on each Hyper-V host and select Manage, then Roles and Features. Complete the Add Roles and Features wizard to install the MPIO feature to your Hyper-V Host/s. After the MPIO feature is installed, configure MPIO by opening Server Manager, Tools, then MPIO. Select the Discover Multi-Paths tab, check the Add support for iSCSI devices and select OK. This will require a REBOOT of the Hyper-V Host server.
Configure iSCSI Initiator on Hyper-V Host/s
Now it is time to configure the iSCSI Initiator on the Hyper-V host server. To do this, from Server Manager select Tools, then iSCSI Initiator.
On the Targets tab, enter in one of the IP addresses you assigned to the MSA 1040 NICs in Configure HP MSA 1040 Storage Network section at the beginning of this blog post. In the example below, we used the first IP address of 192.168.9.7 and selected Quick Connect. It will discover the iSCSI target and display it in the Discovered Targets box and the status will state “Connected” (see image below).
Once the target is discovered, select Properties for the connected iSCSI target. You will notice the image below. What are we seeing here? Each Identifier represents a NIC or path on the MSA 1040 storage. Remember, in our configuration, we have 4 NIC’s on the HP MSA 1040 (2 on MSA controller A and 2 on MSA Controller B). You must add each Identifier manually by selecting Add Session.
Once you’ve selected Add Session, you will be presented with the Connect to Target screen below. Make sure you check the boxes below, especially the Enable multi-path checkbox and select Advanced.
In the Advanced Settings, for the Local adapter select Microsoft iSCSI Initiator from the drop-down menu. For the Initiator IP, select the Hyper-V Host 1 MSA Storage Team (192.168.9.3 in this example). You configured this in the Configure Hyper-V Host Storage Network section earlier in this blog post. For the Target portal IP, select the first IP address of the MSA 1040 storage (192.168.9.7 in this example). You configured this in the Configure HP MSA 1040 Storage Network section earlier in this blog post.
* You will need to do this for all 4 NICs/paths on each Hyper-V Host.
At this point you are pretty much done if you are OK with all the default settings. However, if you choose to customize the configuration each of the devices you just added above, select Devices from the iSCSI Initiator Properties screen (below).
On the Devices screen, you will notice all the disks or LUNS associated with the devices (sessions) you added. So what are we looking at? Notice the GREEN highlighted areas in the image below for Disk 1 and Disk 2. Don’t worry about LUN 0. Since our example included 4 NICs or paths on the MSA 1040 storage device, you will have 4 disks or LUNS for each device. In the example below, you don’t see the 4th device because you would need to scroll down. So why are there two disks associated with each device (Disk 1 and Disk 2)? The reason for this is because before we configured MPIO and iSCSI on the Hyper-V host, we presented two disks/LUNS from the MSA 1040 storage unit to the Hyper-V host server. We presented a Quorum LUN and a Data LUN. This is not relative to the iSCSI configuration but I thought it was important to understand what you are viewing in the image below.
To configure the MPIO Policy for each disk/LUN, select the disk, then select MPIO. You can configure the MPIO Policy several different ways. The default is Round Robin With Subset. This is what we used in our configuration example.
If you selected the Details for each Path ID, you’d notice that each one with have a different Target Portal IP address (one for each NIC on the MSA 1040).
I wanted to give props to the post below. It definitely helped me wrap my head around the process. Thanks mate!