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Microsoft iSCSI Initiator Step-by-Step Guide

Microsoft® Internet iSCSI Initiator enables you to connect a host computer that is running Windows® 7 or Windows Server® 2008 R2 to an external iSCSI-based storage array through an Ethernet network adapter. You can use Microsoft iSCSI Initiator in your existing network infrastructure to enable block-based storage area networks (SANs). SANs provide iSCSI target functionality without investing in additional hardware, and they enable the use of iSCSI storage devices in home and small offices.

iSCSI SANs and iSCSI storage devices are popular for a variety of reasons. They offer the ability to do the following:

  • Leverage existing investments in Ethernet infrastructures and expertise

  • Leverage existing investments in IP protocol

  • Offer dynamic capacity expansion

  • Simplify SAN configuration and management

  • Centralize management through storage consolidation

  • Provide scalable performance

  • Provide higher storage utilization

  • Present volumes as a block storage device. This makes iSCSI devices ideal for use by enterprise applications such as Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft SQL Server®. In particular, Microsoft iSCSI Initiator is the component in the overall iSCSI environment that creates the appearance that the iSCSI SANs are locally attached disks.

This document includes the following topics:

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